[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 189 (Friday, September 30, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 57121-57122]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-19576]



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Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 189 / Friday, September 30, 2005 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 57121]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. 04-127-2]


West Indian Fruit Fly; Regulated Articles

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim 
rule that amended the West Indian fruit fly regulations by removing 
grapefruit, sweet lime, sour orange, and sweet orange from the list of 
regulated articles. A review of available scientific literature and 
other information led us to conclude that these citrus fruits do not 
present a risk of spreading West Indian fruit fly. This action affirms 
the elimination of restrictions on the interstate movement of these 
citrus fruits from areas quarantined because of the West Indian fruit 
fly.

DATES: The interim rule became effective on April 26, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Wayne D. Burnett, National Program 
Manager, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1236; (301) 734-4387.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The West Indian fruit fly regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.98 
through 301.98-10 (referred to below as the regulations), restrict the 
interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas to 
prevent the spread of West Indian fruit fly (Anastrepha obliqua) to 
noninfested areas of the United States. Regulated articles are listed 
in Sec.  301.98-2, and quarantined areas are listed in Sec.  301.98-
3(c). There are currently no areas in the continental United States 
quarantined for the West Indian fruit fly.
    In an interim rule effective and published in the Federal Register 
on April 26, 2005 (70 FR 21325-21326, Docket No. 04-127-1), we amended 
the regulations by removing grapefruit, sweet lime, sour orange, and 
sweet orange from the list of regulated articles for West Indian fruit 
fly because the available information indicates that these fruit do not 
present a risk of spreading West Indian fruit fly.
    Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or 
before June 27, 2005. We received one comment by that date. The 
commenter--a State government official--raised several issues, which 
are addressed below.
    First, the commenter stated that the literature and record review 
used as the basis of the interim rule not only provides weak support 
for removing Citrus spp. as a host of West Indian fruit fly, but 
actually substantiates Citrus spp. as an occasional host. We disagree 
with this comment. The literature review examined nine papers that were 
based on original research and that supported Citrus spp. as a host to 
West Indian fruit fly. A detailed evaluation of these papers' quality 
led APHIS to conclude that the evidence supported only a low likelihood 
that Citrus spp. are a host. After conducting this review and examining 
the multi-year interception data included in the report, we do not 
believe that the low likelihood of Citrus spp. being a host is 
sufficient to support the continued listing of these fruits as 
regulated articles.
    Second, the commenter stated that without formal regulations for 
West Indian fruit fly and with the lack of a sensitive and effective 
detection trap, a serious threat is posed for too many commercial and 
dooryard hosts in Florida, including mango, guava, carambola, avocado, 
pear, peach, and other tropical fruits. We are making no changes based 
on this comment. The interim rule did not remove all of the regulations 
for West Indian fruit fly. Instead, the interim rule simply removed 
four articles--grapefruit, sweet lime, sour orange, and sweet orange--
from the list of regulated articles; the remaining provisions of the 
regulations will remain intact. In addition, we will continue using our 
current detection system, which has proven to be an effective method 
for determining if a population of fruit flies exists.
    Third, the commenter stated that the interception records cited do 
not provide reliable data either due to inadequate identification of 
specimens or a low interception rate of hosts. The commenter stated 
that over 3,000 Anastrepha spp. larvae per year were intercepted over 
the period listed in Table 1 of the literature review, which identifies 
a high rate of risk. We are unclear on the source and context of the 
number cited by the commenter. Table 1 in the literature review 
presented interception data from the Greater and Lesser Antilles. Of 
17,258 interceptions, only 8 interceptions were reported as occurring 
in Citrus spp. Upon a closer review of these eight reports, most were 
deemed invalid as proof of infestation--three were reported as on fruit 
(not in fruit), two were listed as adults, one was listed as on leaves, 
and one was from citrus obtained in Haiti and intended for use as on-
board food on an airline flight that departed from Haiti. The final 
interception could have been Anastrepha suspensa, as this pest is known 
to use Citrus spp. as a host and Anastrepha obliqua larvae can not be 
reliably differentiated from Anastrepha suspensa larvae using keys. 
Given this analysis, the evidence supported a conclusion of low 
likelihood of the host status of Citrus spp.
    Finally, the commenter called for additional data and scientific 
justification for the change in the regulations and suggested that an 
interactive risk assessment be conducted by APHIS in concert with 
certain concerned and affected States before further action is taken. 
We are making no changes based on this comment. We continue to believe 
that the information contained in the literature review provides a 
sufficient basis for our determination that there is only a low 
likelihood that Citrus spp. would be a host to West Indian fruit fly. 
If more research regarding this topic is published, we may reevaluate 
the host status of Citrus spp. with respect to West Indian fruit fly.
    Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule and in this 
document, we are adopting the interim rule as a final rule without 
change.

[[Page 57122]]

    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

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

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 21325-21326 on April 26, 2005.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 26th day of September 2005.
Elizabeth E. Gaston,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 05-19576 Filed 9-29-05; 8:45 am]
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