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Imported Fire Ant; Additions to the List of Quarantined Areas

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the imported fire ant regulations by designating as quarantined areas all or portions of 2 counties in Arkansas, 3 in North Carolina, and 3 in Tennessee, by expanding the quarantined area in 1 county in Arkansas and 15 in Tennessee, and by designating the entire State of South Carolina as a quarantined area. The interim rule was necessary to prevent the artificial spread of imported fire ant to noninfested areas of the United States. As a result of the interim rule, the interstate movement of regulated articles from those quarantined areas is restricted.

DATES:

Effective on February 5, 2008, we are adopting as a final rule the interim rule published at 72 FR 60533-60537 on October 25, 2007.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Charles L. Brown, Imported Fire Ant Quarantine Program Manager, Pest Detection and Management Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-4838.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The imported fire ant regulations (contained in 7 CFR 301.81 through 301.81-10 and referred to below as the regulations) quarantine infested States or infested areas within States and restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles to prevent the artificial spread of the imported fire ant. The regulations are intended to prevent the imported fire ant from spreading throughout its ecological range within the country.

The regulations in § 301.81-3 provide that the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service will list as a quarantined area each State, or each portion of a State, that is infested with the imported fire ant. The Administrator will designate less than an entire State as a quarantined area only under the following conditions: (1) The State has adopted and is enforcing restrictions on the intrastate movement of the regulated articles listed in § 301.81-2 that are equivalent to the interstate movement restrictions imposed by the regulations; and (2) designating less than the entire State will prevent the spread of the imported fire ant. The Administrator may include uninfested acreage within a quarantined area due to its proximity to an infestation or its inseparability from an infested locality for quarantine purposes. In § 301.81-3, paragraph (e) lists quarantined areas.

In an interim rule [1] effective and published in the Federal Register on October 25, 2007 (72 FR 60533-60537, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0114), we amended § 301.81-3(e) by:

  • Adding all of Lonoke and Yell Counties, AR, to the quarantined area;
  • Expanding the quarantined area in Faulkner County, AR, to include the entirety of the county;
  • Adding portions of Iredell, Lincoln, and Rutherford Counties, NC, to the list of quarantined areas;
  • Expanding the quarantined areas in Cherokee, Greenville, and Spartanburg Counties, SC, to include the entirety of each county, with the result that the entire State of South Carolina is now designated as a quarantined area;
  • Adding portions of Crockett, Morgan, and Warren Counties, TN, to the list of quarantined areas;
  • Expanding the quarantined areas in Anderson, Coffee, Cumberland, Haywood, Knox, and Williamson Counties, TN; and
  • Expanding the quarantined areas in Bedford, Benton, Bledsoe, Blount, Carroll, Grundy, Hickman, Rutherford, Start Printed Page 6578and Van Buren Counties, TN, to include the entirety of each county.

Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or before December 24, 2007. We did not receive any comments. Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule.

This action also affirms the information contained in the interim rule regarding Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, Executive Orders 12372 and 12988, and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Further, for this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.

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List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

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PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

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Accordingly, we are adopting as a final rule, without change, the interim rule that amended

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Done in Washington, DC, this 30th day of January 2008.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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Footnotes

[FR Doc. E8-2048 Filed 2-4-08; 8:45 am]

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