[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 120 (Thursday, June 23, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 36328-36330]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-12436]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. 05-005-2]


Citrus Canker; Quarantined Areas

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

[[Page 36329]]


ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim 
rule that amended the citrus canker regulations by updating the list of 
areas in the State of Florida quarantined because of citrus canker. The 
interim rule expanded one established quarantined area, added several 
new quarantine areas, and removed a portion of one quarantined area. 
These actions were necessary to prevent the spread of citrus canker 
into noninfested areas of the United States and to relieve restrictions 
that were no longer warranted.

DATES: The interim rule became effective on February 25, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Lynn Evans-Goldner, Assistant 
Staff Officer, Pest Detection and Management Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 
River Road Unit 137, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236, (301) 734-7228.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    In an interim rule effective and published in the Federal Register 
on February 25, 2005 (70 FR 9207-9210, Docket No. 05-005-1), we amended 
the regulations in ``Subpart--Citrus Canker'' (7 CFR 301.75 through 
301.75-16) by updating the list in Sec.  301.75-4 of areas in the State 
of Florida quarantined because of citrus canker. Specifically, to 
reflect the detection of citrus canker in an area adjacent to, but 
outside of, one current quarantined area in Florida, as well as in 
three additional areas, we expanded the boundaries of one existing 
quarantined area in DeSoto County and added several new areas in 
Charlotte, Collier, and Hendry Counties to the list of quarantined 
areas. We also removed portions of Manatee County from the list of 
quarantined areas because regular surveys showed them to have been free 
of citrus canker for at least 2 years. These actions were necessary to 
prevent the spread of citrus canker into noninfested areas of the 
United States and to relieve restrictions that were no longer 
warranted.
    Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or 
before April 26, 2005. 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.
    This action also affirms the information contained in the interim 
rule concerning Executive Order 12866, 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.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule affirms an interim rule that amended the regulations by 
updating the list of areas in the State of Florida quarantined because 
of citrus canker. The interim rule added three new quarantined areas 
based on the disease's discovery in the Burnt Store and the Farabee 
Grade quarantined areas in Charlotte County and the Collier quarantined 
area in Collier and Hendry Counties. The interim rule also expanded the 
area covered by the DeSoto B quarantined area in DeSoto County. The 
interim rule imposed certain restrictions on the interstate movement of 
regulated articles from and through these quarantined areas. The 
interim rule also removed the quarantined area in Manatee County from 
the list of areas quarantined for citrus canker. Therefore, the interim 
rule was necessary to prevent the spread of citrus canker into 
noninfested areas of the United States and to remove unnecessary 
restrictions. The following analysis addresses the economic effect of 
the interim rule on small entities, as required by the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act.
    Citrus canker is a bacterial disease causing lesions on the leaves, 
stems and fruit of citrus trees. The lesions allow the bacterium to 
reproduce in moisture-enriched environments. The bacteria that cause 
citrus canker can seep from the lesions and spread to other trees and, 
ultimately, other groves. The main contributing factors in the spread 
of citrus canker are contact by grove workers and equipment and wind-
driven rain. Citrus varieties have varying degrees of susceptibility to 
the disease. For example, grapefruit varieties are more vulnerable to 
the spread of citrus canker than some varieties of oranges, such as 
Valencia oranges.
    Costs incurred because of citrus canker derive both from the damage 
caused by the disease as well as from private, State, and Federal funds 
expended on control measures. Among the reported costs are public 
expenditures for eradication and for compensation of affected growers. 
Approximately $600 million has been devoted to eradicating citrus 
canker. Compensation payments by APHIS to affected growers over the 
past 4 fiscal years have totaled $105.2 million. The first round of 
payments for fiscal years 2000 and 2001 totaled $76.8 million. Payments 
for fiscal years 2003 and 2004 were $11.8 million and $16.6 million, 
respectively. The interim rule expanded the list of quarantined areas 
in an effort to thwart the spread of citrus canker to other citrus-
producing areas of the United States. The objective is to control the 
spread of citrus canker and thereby minimize its costs to private and 
public entities, as described above.
    The small business size standard identified by the Small Business 
Association (SBA), based upon the North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) codes 111310 (orange groves) and 111320 
(other citrus not oranges), is $750,000 or less in annual receipts. The 
interim rule affected a total of eight growers and six harvesters. One 
grower and four harvesters are located in the Collier quarantined area. 
In the Burnt Store quarantined area, the interim rule affected two 
growers and two harvesters; however, they are not harvesting this year. 
In the DeSoto B quarantine expansion, five growers are included in the 
quarantine expansion; three of these growers, however, were already 
affected by the same or other quarantine zones. No packinghouses or 
other affected businesses are located within this expanded quarantined 
area. Although the size of these affected entities is unknown, it is 
reasonable to assume that most are small in size according to the SBA's 
standards.
    Based on the experiences of citrus growers and harvesters in areas 
previously placed under quarantine, APHIS does not expect compliance 
with these restrictions on the movement of regulated fruit from the 
newly quarantined areas to have a significant economic effect on small 
entities in the three newly quarantined areas. An alternative to this 
rule would be to leave the regulations unchanged. However, failing to 
include these new areas in the regulations would be an unsatisfactory 
decision. As citrus canker can be transmitted by human means and via 
wind-driven rain, choosing to leave the regulations unchanged would 
likely lead to the spread of the disease from these areas to other 
citrus-producing areas.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

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

[[Page 36330]]

PART 301--DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
Accordingly, we are adopting as a final rule, without change, the 
interim rule that amended 7 CFR part 301 and that was published at 70 
FR 9207-9210 on February 25, 2005.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 17th day of June 2005.
Elizabeth E. Gaston,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 05-12436 Filed 6-22-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P