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Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Gypsy Moth Identification Worksheet

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection associated with the gypsy moth program.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before March 31, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on this docket in our reading room. The reading room is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming.

Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on the gypsy moth program, contact Dr. Weyman Fussell, Program Manager, Invasive Species and Pest Management, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5705. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS* Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Gypsy Moth Identification Worksheet.

OMB Number: 0579-0104.

Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has authority for the control and eradication of plant pests. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), USDA, has delegated authority to carry out this mission.

As part of the mission, Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ), APHIS, engages in detection surveys to monitor for the presence of, among other things, the European gypsy moth and the Asian gypsy moth. The European gypsy moth was introduced into the United States in the 1860's and has been damaging woodland areas in the Northeast for more than the last 100 years. The Asian gypsy moth, which is not established in this country, is Start Printed Page 5157considered to pose an even greater threat to trees and forested areas.

Unlike the flightless European gypsy moth female adult, the Asian gypsy moth female adult is capable of strong directed flight between mating and egg deposition, significantly increasing its ability to spread over a much greater area and become widely established within a short time.

To determine the presence and extent of a European gypsy moth or an Asian gypsy moth infestation, we set traps in high-risk areas to collect specimens. Once an infestation is identified, control and eradication work (usually involving State cooperation) is initiated to eliminate the moths.

APHIS personnel, with assistance from State agriculture personnel, check traps for the presence of gypsy moths. If a suspicious moth is found in the trap, it is sent to APHIS laboratories at the Otis Methods Development Center in Massachusetts so that it can be correctly identified through DNA analysis. (Since the European gypsy moth and the Asian gypsy moth are strains of the same species, they cannot be visually distinguished from each other. DNA analysis is the only way to accurately identify these insects.)

The PPQ or State employee submitting the moth for analysis completes a gypsy moth identification worksheet (PPQ Form 305), which accompanies the insect to the laboratory. The worksheet enables both Federal and State regulatory officials to identify and track specific specimens through the DNA identification tests that we conduct.

The information provided by the gypsy moth identification worksheets is vital to our ability to monitor, detect, and eradicate gypsy moth infestations.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of this information collection activity for an additional 3 years.

The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us:

(1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

(2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;

(3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

(4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.1708 hours per response.

Respondents: State cooperators.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 120.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 2.

Estimated annual number of responses: 240.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 41 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.)

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of January 2008.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-1529 Filed 1-28-08; 8:45 am]

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