[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 128 (Wednesday, July 3, 2002)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 44523-44524]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-16683]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 67, No. 128 / Wednesday, July 3, 2002 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 44523]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. 01-093-2]


Mediterranean Fruit Fly; Removal of Quarantined Area

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the Mediterranean fruit fly regulations by 
removing a portion of Los Angeles County, CA, from the list of 
quarantined areas and by removing restrictions on the interstate 
movement of regulated articles from that area. This action is necessary 
to relieve restrictions that are no longer needed to prevent the spread 
of Mediterranean fruit fly to noninfested areas of the United States. 
We have determined that the Mediterranean fruit fly has been eradicated 
from this area and that the quarantine and restrictions are no longer 
necessary. As a result of this action, there are no longer any areas in 
the continental United States quarantined because of the Mediterranean 
fruit fly.

DATES: This interim rule was effective June 27, 2002. We will consider 
all comments that we receive on or before September 3, 2002.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by postal mail/commercial delivery 
or by e-mail. If you use postal mail/commercial delivery, please send 
four copies of your comment (an original and three copies) to: Docket 
No. 01-093-2, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 
3C71, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state 
that your comment refers to Docket No. 01-093-2. If you use e-mail, 
address your comment to regulations@aphis.usda.gov. Your comment must 
be contained in the body of your message; do not send attached files. 
Please include your name and address in your message and ``Docket No. 
01-093-2'' on the subject line.
    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.
    APHIS documents published in the Federal Register, and related 
information, including the names of organizations and individuals who 
have commented on APHIS dockets, are available on the Internet at 
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Stephen A. Knight, Senior Staff 
Officer, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1236; (301) 734-8247.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), is one 
of the world's most destructive pests of numerous fruits and 
vegetables. The Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) can cause serious 
economic losses. Heavy infestations can cause complete loss of crops, 
and losses of 25 to 50 percent are not uncommon. The short life cycle 
of this pest permits the rapid development of serious outbreaks.
    The Mediterranean fruit fly regulations (contained in 7 CFR 301.78 
through 301.78-10 and referred to below as the regulations) restrict 
the interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas to 
prevent the spread of Medfly to noninfested areas of the United States.
    In an interim rule effective October 15, 2001, and published in the 
Federal Register on October 19, 2001 (66 FR 53123-53124, Docket No. 01-
093-1), we quarantined a portion of Los Angeles County, CA, and 
restricted the interstate movement of regulated articles from the 
quarantined area.
    Based on trapping surveys conducted by the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service and California State and county inspectors, we have 
determined that the Medfly has been eradicated from the quarantined 
area in Los Angeles County, CA. The last finding of Medfly in that 
portion of Los Angeles County, CA, was September 5, 2001. Since that 
time, no evidence of infestation has been found in this area. We are, 
therefore, removing that portion of Los Angeles County, CA, from the 
list in Sec. 301.78-3(c) of areas quarantined because of the Medfly. As 
a result of this action, there are no longer any areas in the 
continental United States quarantined because of the Medfly.

Immediate Action

    Immediate action is warranted to remove restrictions that are no 
longer necessary. The portion of Los Angeles County, CA, affected by 
this document was quarantined to prevent the Medfly from spreading to 
noninfested areas of the United States. Because we have determined that 
the Medfly has been eradicated from this area, immediate action is 
necessary to remove the quarantined status of that portion of Los 
Angeles County, CA, and to relieve restrictions on the interstate 
movement of regulated articles from that area. Under these 
circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest and 
that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this action 
effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
    We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for 
this interim rule (see DATES above). After the comment period closes, 
we will publish another document in the Federal Register. The document 
will include a discussion of any comments we receive and any amendments 
we are making to the rule as a result of the comments.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this 
action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under 
Executive Order 12866.
    In an interim rule effective October 15, 2001, and published in the 
Federal Register on October 19, 2001 (66 FR 53123-53124, Docket No. 01-
093-1), we added a portion of Los Angeles County,

[[Page 44524]]

CA, to the list of areas quarantined because of Medfly. At the time 
that October 2001 interim rule was published, we did not have all the 
data necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the effects of that 
interim rule on small entities. As a result, we performed an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis and solicited comments regarding the 
effects of that action on small entities. Comments on the October 2001 
interim rule were required to be received by December 18, 2001. We did 
not receive any comments.
    This interim rule amends the regulations by removing the portion of 
Los Angeles County, CA, that was added to the list of quarantined areas 
in the October 2001 interim rule. The economic analysis contained in 
this interim rule is based on the information provided in the October 
2001 interim rule. However, to ensure that our analysis is 
comprehensive, we are inviting comments on the economic analysis 
contained in this interim rule. In particular, we are interested in 
determining the number and kind of small entities that may incur 
benefits or costs from the implementation of this interim rule.
    This action affects the interstate movement of regulated articles 
from the portion of Los Angeles County, CA, that had been quarantined 
because of Medfly. That area is a predominantly residential area with 
many apartment buildings. Available information indicates that there 
are no entities in the quarantined area that sell, process, handle, or 
move regulated articles. Such entities would include fruit sellers, 
nurseries, growers, packinghouses, certified farmers markets, and 
swapmeets.
    The effect of this action on affected entities should be minimally 
positive, as they will no longer be required to treat articles to be 
moved interstate for Medfly.
    Therefore, the termination of the quarantine on that portion of Los 
Angeles County, CA, should have only a minimal economic effect on any 
affected entities operating in this area. We anticipate that the 
economic effect of lifting the quarantine, though positive, will be no 
more significant than was the minimal effect of its imposition.
    The alternative to this interim rule was to make no changes in the 
regulations. After consideration, we rejected this alternative because 
the Medfly has been eradicated from this area, and because the 
continued quarantined status of that portion of Los Angeles County, CA, 
would impose unnecessary regulatory restrictions on any affected 
entities.
    This interim rule contains no information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements.

Executive Order 12372

    This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, 
which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local 
officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and 
regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no 
retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings 
before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This interim rule contains no information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

    Agricultural commodities, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.


    Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 301 as follows:

PART 301--DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

    1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 166, 7711, 7712, 7714, 7731, 7735, 7751, 
7752, 7753, and 7754; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3. Section 301.75-15 
also issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Pub. L. 106-113, 113 Stat. 
1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 also issued under Sec. 
203, Title II, Pub. L. 106-224, 114 Stat. 400 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note).

    2. In Sec. 301.78-3, paragraph (c) is revised to read as follows:


Sec. 301.78-3  Quarantined areas.

* * * * *
    (c) There are no areas in the continental United States quarantined 
because of the Mediterranean fruit fly.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 27th day of June, 2002.
Bobby R. Acord,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 02-16683 Filed 7-2-02; 8:45 am]
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