[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 83 (Monday, May 2, 2005)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 22612-22613]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-8661]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 83 / Monday, May 2, 2005 / Proposed 
Rules

[[Page 22612]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. 03-069-3]
RIN 0579-AB85


Public Meeting; Criteria for New Category of Imported Nursery 
Stock

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of meeting and reopening of comment period.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service will hold a meeting concerning the possibility of 
establishing a category of plant taxa excluded pending pest risk 
analysis with respect to the importation of plants for planting. In 
order to allow interested persons who cannot attend the meeting an 
opportunity to prepare and submit comments, we are also reopening the 
comment period for our December 2004 advance notice of proposed 
rulemaking regarding whether and how we should amend the regulations 
concerning the importation of nursery stock.

DATES: The public meeting will be held on May 25, 2005, from 8:30 a.m. 
to 5 p.m. We will also consider written comments that we receive on or 
before June 3, 2005.

ADDRESSES: The public meeting will be held at the USDA Center at 
Riverside, 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD. You may submit written 
comments by either of the following methods:
     EDOCKET: Go to http://www.epa.gov/feddocket to submit or 
view public comments, access the index listing of the contents of the 
official public docket, and to access those documents in the public 
docket that are available electronically. Once you have entered 
EDOCKET, click on the ``View Open APHIS Dockets'' link to locate Docket 
03-069-1.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies 
of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. 03-069-1, 
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. 03-069-1.
    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on Docket 
No. 03-069-1 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: You may view APHIS documents published in the 
Federal Register and related information on the Internet at http://
www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/rad/webrepor.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Arnold T. Tschanz, Senior Staff 
Officer, Permits, Registrations and Imports, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-5306.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 9, 2004, the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal Register an 
advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) and request for comments 
(69 FR 71736-71744, Docket No. 03-069-1) concerning whether and how we 
should amend the regulations that govern the importation of nursery 
stock. We solicited comments concerning our notice for 90 days, ending 
March 10, 2005.
    In a notice published in the Federal Register on March 10, 2005 (70 
FR 11886, Docket No. 03-069-2), we extended the comment period for 
Docket No. 03-069-1 for an additional 30 days ending April 11, 2005, to 
allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit 
comments.
    As described in the December 2004 ANPR, our regulations in 
``Subpart--Nursery Stock, Plants, Roots, Bulbs, Seeds, and Other Plant 
Products'' (7 CFR 319.37 through 319.37-14) currently either (1) 
prohibit the importation of plants for planting, (2) allow the 
importation of plants for planting subject to specific restrictions 
such as additional declarations on phytosanitary certificates or 
postentry quarantine, or (3) allow the importation of plants for 
planting subject to general restrictions such as phytosanitary 
certificates and inspection at a Federal plant inspection station or 
port of entry.
    In the ANPR, we solicited comments on the idea of establishing a 
new category for certain taxa of plants for planting that would be 
excluded from importation pending risk evaluation and approval. As 
described in the ANPR, a taxon in this new category would, with certain 
exceptions for plants produced under clean stock or best management 
practices programs, be excluded from importation until APHIS has 
completed a pest risk assessment (PRA) and the PRA indicated that the 
taxon could be imported safely. The PRA would provide us an opportunity 
to identify any phytosanitary mitigation measures that might be 
necessary to safely import plants for planting of that taxon; those 
mitigation measures could then be added to the regulations and the 
taxon removed from the list of taxa excluded from importation pending 
risk evaluation and approval.
    We have recently completed a set of draft criteria that could be 
used in the decisionmaking process for determining which taxa might be 
included in the ``excluded pending'' category, should such a category 
be established. The draft criteria may be viewed on the Internet at 
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/Q37/workshop/ or may be obtained from the 
person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. The draft criteria 
are also available in our reading room (information on the location and 
hours of the reading room is provided under the heading ADDRESSES at 
the beginning of this document).
    In order to provide a forum for discussing those draft criteria and 
associated issues, such as how any such category might be implemented 
were it to be adopted, we will be holding a public meeting on May 25, 
2005, in Riverdale, MD. The meeting will use a workshop format to allow 
for more effective information exchange between APHIS personnel and 
those interested persons who attend the meeting. So that individuals 
who are unable to attend the meeting have an opportunity to provide 
comments on the draft criteria and the subject of establishing a new 
category

[[Page 22613]]

for taxa excluded from importation pending risk evaluation and 
approval, we are also reopening the comment period for our December 
2004 ANPR until June 3, 2005.

Registration

    Due to space considerations, attendance at the public meeting will 
be limited. We encourage preregistration. You may register by visiting 
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/q37/workshop or by contacting Ms. Linda 
Toran by May 20, 2005, at (301) 734-5307 or by e-mail at 
Linda.C.Toran@aphis.usda.gov. Check-in on the day of the meeting will 
begin at 7:30 a.m.

Parking and Security Procedures

    Please note that a fee of $2.25 is required to enter the parking 
lot at the USDA Center at Riverside. The machine accepts $1 bills or 
quarters.
    Picture identification is required to be admitted into the 
building. Upon entering the building, visitors should inform security 
personnel that they are attending the Nursery Stock meeting.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 26th day of April 2005.
W. Ron DeHaven,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 05-8661 Filed 4-29-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P