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Notice

Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Plum Pox Compensation

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Start Preamble

ACTION:

Revision to and 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 a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with the regulations that provide for the payment of compensation to owners of commercial stone fruit orchards and fruit tree nurseries whose trees or nursery stock were destroyed to eradicate plum pox virus.

DATES:

We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 14, 2020.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/​#!docketDetail;​D=​APHIS-2019-0087 or in our reading room, which 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) 799-7039 before coming.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For information on the regulations for plum pox compensation, contact Ms. Lynn Evans-Goldner, National Policy Manager, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 150, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-2292; lynn.evans-goldner@usda.gov. For information on the information collection process, contact Mr. Joseph Moxey, APHIS Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851-2483; joseph.moxey@usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Plum Pox Compensation.

OMB Control Number: 0579-0159.

Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection.

Abstract: The Plant Protection Act (PPA, 7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, either independently or in cooperation with the States, to carry out operations or measures to detect, eradicate, suppress, control, prevent, or retard the spread of plant pests, such as plum pox virus (PPV), that are new to or not widely distributed within the United States.

Plum pox is an extremely serious viral disease of plants that can affect many Prunus (stone fruit) species, including plum, peach, apricot, almond, nectarine, and sweet and tart cherry. A number of wild and ornamental Prunus species may also be susceptible to this disease. Infection eventually results in severely reduced fruit production, and the fruit that is produced is often misshapen and blemished. PPV is transmitted under natural conditions by several species of aphids. The long distance spread of PPV occurs by budding and grafting with infected plant material and by farm tools/equipment, and through movement of infected budwood, nursery stock, and other plant parts. There are no known effective methods for treating trees or other plant material infected with PPV, nor are there any known effective preventive treatments. Without effective treatments, the only option for preventing the spread of the disease is the destruction of infected and exposed trees and other infected plant material.

The regulations in “Subpart L—Plum Pox” (7 CFR 301.74-301.74-5) quarantine areas of the United States where PPV has been detected, restrict the interstate movement of host material from quarantined areas, and when the Secretary of Agriculture declares an extraordinary emergency, provides for compensation to owners of commercial stone fruit orchards and fruit tree nurseries whose trees or nursery stock were destroyed to eradicate PPV. Eligible applicants must submit an application for compensation with a supplemental indemnity claim statement. This may include providing direct deposit information for claim payment and applying for a data universal numbering system (DUNS) number, if needed. Applicants must also maintain or provide records verifying losses and destruction of stocks, and respond to an emergency action notification if issued by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

We are asking the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of these information collection activities, as described, 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 burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response.

Respondents: Owners and affiliates of stone fruit orchards and fruit tree nurseries, and State plant health officials.

Estimated annual number of respondents: 2.

Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 3.

Estimated annual number of responses: 5.

Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 5 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.

Start Signature

Done in Washington, DC, this 7th day of February 2020.

Kevin Shea,

Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

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[FR Doc. 2020-03004 Filed 2-13-20; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-34-P