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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Treatments for Fruits and Vegetables

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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 regulations for the interstate movement of fruits and vegetables from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help ensure that injurious plant pests are not spread to noninfested areas of the United States.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 29, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/​fdmspublic/​Start Printed Page 36839component/​main?​main=​DocketDetail&​d=​APHIS-2008-0046 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2008-0046, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2008-0046.

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 regulations for the interstate movement of fruits and vegetables from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, contact Dr. Inder P. S. Gadh, Senior Risk Manager, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-8758. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2908.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Treatments for Fruits and Vegetables.

OMB Number: 0579-0281.

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

Abstract: As authorized by the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) (PPA), the Secretary of Agriculture may prohibit or restrict the importation, entry, exportation, or movement in interstate commerce of any plant, plant product, biological control organism, noxious weed, means of conveyance, or other article if the Secretary determines that the prohibition or restriction is necessary to prevent a plant pest or noxious weed from being introduced into or disseminated within the United States. This authority has been delegated to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which administers regulations to implement the PPA.

Regulations governing the interstate movement of plants and plant products from Hawaii and U.S. territories, including Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are contained in 7 CFR 318, “Hawaiian and Territorial Quarantine Notices.” These regulations are necessary to prevent the interstate spread of plant pests such as the Mediterranean fruit fly, the melon fly, the Oriental fruit fly, green coffee scale, the bean pod borer, and other plant pests to noninfested areas of the United States.

Certain fruits and vegetables moved interstate from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands must undergo irradiation treatment. Requirements for irradiation treatment of fruits and vegetables are contained in 7 CFR 305, “Phytosanitary Treatments.” These requirements involve information collection activities, including the use of permits, certificates, requests for facility approval, and package marking.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities 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 0.2444 hours per response.

Respondents: Persons moving fruits and vegetables interstate from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, irradiation facility personnel, shippers, and State plant regulatory officials.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 23.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 9.7826.

Estimated annual number of responses: 225.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 55 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 24th day of June 2008.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-14793 Filed 6-27-08; 8:45 am]

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