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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Special Need Requests Under the Plant Protection Act

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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 to allow States to impose prohibitions or restrictions on specific articles in addition to those required by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service to help protect against the introduction and establishment of plant pests.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before February 6, 2009.

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 special need requests under the Plant Protection Act, contact Dr. Osama El Lissy, Director, Emergency Management, Emergency and Domestic Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 137, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 734-8247. 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: Special Need Requests Under the Plant Protection Act.

OMB Number: 0579-0291.

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, plant products, and other articles are contained in 7 CFR part 301, “Domestic Quarantine Notices.”

The regulations in “Subpart-Special Need Requests” allow States or political subdivisions of States to request approval from APHIS to impose prohibitions or restrictions on the movement in interstate commerce of specific articles that pose a plant health risk that are in addition to the prohibitions and restrictions imposed by APHIS. This process requires information collection activities, including a pest data detection survey with a pest risk analysis showing that a pest is not present in a State, or, if already present, the current distribution in the State, and that the pest would harm or injure the environment and/or agricultural resources of the State or political subdivision.

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 collection of information, 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 collection of information 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 160 hours per response.

Respondents: State Governments.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 10.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.

Estimated annual number of responses: 10.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,600 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 2nd day of December 2008.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-28966 Filed 12-5-08; 8:45 am]

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