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Asian Longhorned Beetle; Additions to Quarantined Areas in Massachusetts

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ACTION:

Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

SUMMARY:

We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) regulations by quarantining portions of Suffolk and Norfolk Counties, MA, and expanding the quarantined area in Worcester County, MA. The interim rule also amended the regulations to add plants of the genus Koelreuteria (golden raintree) to the list of regulated articles. The interim rule, which restricted the interstate movement of regulated articles from these areas, was necessary to prevent the artificial spread of ALB to noninfested areas of the United States.

DATES:

Effective on April 17, 2012, we are adopting as a final rule the interim rule published at 76 FR 52541-52543 on August 23, 2011.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Claudia Ferguson, Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulations, Permits, and Manuals, PPQ, APHIS; 4700 River Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2352.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB, Anoplophora glabripennis), an insect native to China, Japan, Korea, and the Isle of Hainan, is a destructive pest of hardwood trees. It attacks many healthy hardwood trees, including maple, horse chestnut, birch, poplar, willow, and elm. In addition, nursery stock, logs, green lumber, firewood, stumps, roots, branches, and wood debris of half an inch or more in diameter are subject to infestation. The beetle bores into the heartwood of a host tree, eventually killing the tree. Immature beetles bore into tree trunks and branches, causing heavy sap flow from wounds and sawdust accumulating at tree bases.

The regulations in 7 CFR 301.51-1 through 301.51-9 restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas to prevent the artificial spread of ALB to noninfested areas of the United States.

In an interim rule [1] effective and published in the Federal Register on August 23, 2011 (76 FR 52541-52543, Docket No. APHIS-2010-0128), we amended the regulations by expanding the quarantined area in Worcester County, MA, and adding portions of Suffolk and Norfolk Counties, MA, after surveys revealed that infestations of ALB have occurred in those areas. We also amended the list of regulated articles by adding Koelreuteria spp. (golden raintree) because studies conducted in China by APHIS scientists have found ALB completing a full life cycle in trees of this genus in the environment.

Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or before October 24, 2011. 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 without change.

This action also affirms the information contained in the interim rule concerning 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.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

PART 301—DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

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

Done in Washington, DC, this 11th day of April 2012.

Kevin Shea,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 2012-9178 Filed 4-16-12; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P