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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Karnal Bunt; Importation of Wheat and Related Articles

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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 importation of wheat and related articles from regions affected with Karnal bunt.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 23, 2011.

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 regulations for the importation of wheat and related articles from regions affected with Karnal bunt, contact Mr. William Aley, Senior Import Specialist, Risk Management and Plants for Planting Policy, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5057. 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: Karnal Bunt; Importation of Wheat and Related Articles.

OMB Number: 0579-0240.

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.

Karnal bunt is a fungal disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum), durum wheat (Triticum durum), and triticale (Triticum aestivum X Secale cereale), a hybrid of wheat and rye. Karnal bunt is caused by the smut fungus Tilletia indica (Mitra) Mundkhur and is spread by spores, primarily through the movement of infected seed. Karnal bunt is found in Afghanistan, India, Iraq, Pakistan, and portions of Mexico and the United States.

To prevent the introduction and spread of various wheat diseases, including Karnal bunt, APHIS's regulations in Subpart—Wheat Diseases (7 CFR 319.59-1 through 319.59-4) prohibit the importation of wheat seed, straw, and other products into the United States from regions affected with Karnal bunt.

The regulations require that certain regulated articles imported from Karnal bunt-free areas within regions regulated for Karnal bunt be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate that must be completed by an official of the national plant protection organization of the region of origin. The certificate must include a declaration stating that the regulated articles originated in areas where Karnal bunt is not known to occur, as attested to either by survey results or by testing for bunted kernals or spores.

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 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 1.2 hours per response.

Respondents: U.S. importers/exporters of wheat, foreign Federal officials.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 500.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.Start Printed Page 15935

Estimated annual number of responses: 500.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 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 16th day of March 2011.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2011-6604 Filed 3-21-11; 8:45 am]

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