[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 196 (Wednesday, October 11, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 59694-59696]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-16754]


========================================================================
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. 71, No. 196 / Wednesday, October 11, 2006 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 59694]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Parts 305 and 318

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0027]
RIN 0579-AC15


Interstate Movement of Fruits and Vegetables From Hawaii

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: We are proposing to remove vapor heat treatment as an approved 
treatment for bell pepper, eggplant, Italian squash, and tomato moved 
interstate from Hawaii. This action is necessary because these four 
commodities can serve as hosts for the solanum fruit fly, which has 
been detected in Hawaii. Vapor heat treatment is not an approved 
treatment for that pest. We are also proposing to provide for the use 
of irradiation as an approved treatment for all Capsicum spp. (peppers) 
and Curcurbita spp. (squash) moved interstate from Hawaii. This action 
would relieve unnecessary restrictions on the interstate movement of 
peppers and squash and allow a greater variety of Capsicum spp. and 
Curcurbita spp. to be moved interstate from Hawaii.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
December 11, 2006.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://
www.regulations.gov, select ``Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service'' from the agency drop-down menu, then click ``Submit.'' In the 
Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0027 to submit or view public 
comments and to view supporting and related materials available 
electronically. Information on using Regulations.gov, including 
instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing 
the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through 
the site's ``User Tips'' link.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send four copies 
of your comment (an original and three copies) to Docket No. APHIS-
2006-0027, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-
03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. Please state 
that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0027.
    Reading Room: 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.
    Other Information: Additional information about APHIS and its 
programs is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. David B. Lamb, Import Specialist, 
Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road 
Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-8758.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Hawaiian fruits and vegetables regulations, contained in 7 CFR 
318.13 through 318.13-17 (referred to below as the regulations), 
govern, among other things, the interstate movement of fruits and 
vegetables from Hawaii. Regulation is necessary to prevent the spread 
of dangerous plant diseases and pests that occur in Hawaii. Some fruits 
and vegetables regulated under the Hawaiian fruits and vegetables 
regulations are allowed to move interstate if they are treated with an 
approved treatment for certain plant pests. Lists of approved 
treatments for these fruits and vegetables and requirements for 
conducting these treatments are contained in 7 CFR part 305.
    Four of the fruits and vegetables that are allowed to move 
interstate from Hawaii if treated with an approved treatment are bell 
pepper, eggplant, Italian squash, and tomato. The treatments approved 
for these commodities, as listed in the table in Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(ii), 
include the vapor heat treatments numbered VH T106-b-1 (for bell 
peppers), VH T106-b-2 (for eggplant), VH T106-b-5 and VH T106-b-7 (for 
tomato), and VH T106-b-6 (for Italian squash). Despite their differing 
numbers, these treatment numbers all refer to the same treatment 
schedule, which is described in Sec.  305.24(c). These commodities may 
also be treated with irradiation in accordance with Sec.  305.34, which 
sets out requirements for the use of irradiation as a treatment for 
fruits and vegetables moved interstate from Hawaii. Both the vapor heat 
treatment and the irradiation treatment are approved to neutralize the 
Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata), the Oriental fruit fly 
(Bactrocera dorsalis), and the melon fruit fly (Bactrocera 
curcurbitae). These fruit flies are present in Hawaii, and these four 
commodities can serve as hosts for them.
    An additional species of fruit fly has been detected in Hawaii, the 
solanum fruit fly (Bactrocera latifrons).\1\ Bell peppers, eggplant, 
Italian squash, and tomatoes can all serve as hosts for this fruit fly. 
Because limited research has been done regarding the effectiveness of 
the vapor heat treatment schedule described in Sec.  305.24(c) at 
neutralizing solanum fruit fly, this treatment is not approved to treat 
for solanum fruit fly. Therefore, we are proposing to remove vapor heat 
treatment as an approved treatment for bell pepper, eggplant, tomato, 
and Italian squash. We would accomplish this by removing the respective 
vapor heat treatment numbers for these commodities from their entries 
in Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(ii).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ See Liquido NJ, Harris EJ, and Dekker LA. ``Ecology of 
Bactrocera latifrons (Diptera: Tephritidae) Populations: Host 
Plants, Natural Enemies, Distribution, and Abundance,'' Annals of 
the Entomological Society of America, 87(1):71-85, 1994.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We have also determined that the four fruit flies named above--the 
Mediterranean fruit fly, the Oriental fruit fly, the melon fruit fly, 
and the solanum fruit fly--are the only pests for which treatment 
should be required for the interstate movement of all species of the 
genus Capsicum (peppers), not just the bell pepper, and all species of 
the genus Curcurbita (squash), not just the Italian squash. Like the 
Mediterranean

[[Page 59695]]

fruit fly, the Oriental fruit fly, and the melon fruit fly, the solanum 
fruit fly is a member of the family Tephritidae. We have previously 
determined that an irradiation dose of 150 gray is sufficient to 
neutralize all fruit flies of the family Tephritidae. (For more 
information on this determination, see the final rule published in the 
Federal Register on January 27, 2006 [Docket No. 03-077-2, 71 FR 4451-
4464].)
    Therefore, we are proposing to add irradiation as an approved 
treatment for Capsicum spp. and Curcurbita spp. moved interstate from 
Hawaii. To accomplish this change, we would make the following 
amendments in 7 CFR parts 305 and 318:
     In paragraph (b) of Sec.  318.13-4b, we would add 
``Capsicum spp. (peppers)'' and ``Curcurbita spp. (squash)'' to the 
list of commodities that are eligible for interstate movement from 
Hawaii if, prior to interstate movement, they are inspected for plant 
pests by an inspector and are then treated for plant pests under the 
supervision of an inspector in accordance with a treatment prescribed 
in 7 CFR part 305.
     In Sec.  318.13-4f, which lists fruits and vegetables from 
Hawaii for which irradiation in accordance with Sec.  305.34 is an 
approved treatment, we would add ``Capsicum spp. (peppers)'' and 
``Curcurbita spp. (squash)'' to that list.
     In Sec.  305.34(a)(1), in the table that lists fruits and 
vegetables from Hawaii for which irradiation is an approved treatment 
and the irradiation dose that is approved for each commodity, we would 
add entries for ``Capsicum spp. (peppers)'' and ``Curcurbita spp. 
(squash)'' and indicate that a dose of 150 gray is approved for their 
treatment.
     In Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(ii), we would add entries in the 
table for ``Capsicum spp. (peppers)'' and ``Curcurbita spp. (squash).'' 
These entries would list irradiation as an approved treatment for 
commodities of these genera. They would also indicate that irradiation 
would be approved to treat all fruit flies of the family Tephritidae 
that are associated with these commodities. Indicating that the 
treatment is approved for all fruit flies of the family Tephritidae 
would mean that we would not have to update the regulations in the 
event that we discover that another fruit fly of that family is 
associated with one of these genera.
    In each of these locations, we would remove the separate entries 
for ``bell pepper'' and ``Italian squash.''
    Irradiation is already an approved treatment for eggplant and 
tomato in Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(ii). We would update the entries for these 
commodities in Sec.  305.2(h)(2)(ii) by indicating that irradiation 
would be approved to treat all fruit flies of the family Tephritidae 
associated with these commodities.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
The rule has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of 
Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the 
Office of Management and Budget.
    This proposed rule is in response to a species of fruit fly that 
has been detected in Hawaii, the solanum fruit fly (Bactrocera 
latifrons). Bell peppers, eggplant, Italian squash, and tomatoes are 
the four commodities for which vapor heat treatment is an approved 
treatment that are affected by the solanum fruit fly. Because limited 
research has been done regarding the effectiveness of vapor heat 
treatment at neutralizing solanum fruit fly, APHIS is proposing to 
remove vapor heat treatment from the list of approved treatments for 
bell peppers, eggplant, Italian squash, and tomatoes moved interstate 
from Hawaii.
    While vapor heat treatment would no longer be an approved 
treatment, irradiation is an approved treatment for the interstate 
movement of bell peppers and Italian squash from Hawaii. We are 
proposing to amend the regulations to approve irradiation as a 
treatment for all species of the genus Capsicum (peppers), not just 
bell peppers, and all species of the genus Curcurbita (squash), not 
just the Italian squash. APHIS has previously determined that an 
irradiation dose of 150 gray is sufficient to neutralize all fruit 
flies that affect Capsicum spp. and Curcurbita spp. in Hawaii, 
including the solanum fruit fly.
    Approximately $15.4 million worth of eggplant, green peppers, 
Italian squash, Oriental squash, and tomatoes were produced in the 
State of Hawaii in 2004, amounting to 52 million pounds (table 1). 
However, none of the eggplant, green peppers, Italian squash, or 
tomatoes produced in Hawaii in 2004 was moved interstate to the U.S. 
mainland. According to the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, none of 
these commodities has been moved interstate from Hawaii to the U.S. 
mainland within the last 2 years.

  Table 1.--Production and Value of Hawaiian Eggplant, Peppers, Squash,
                           and Tomatoes, 2004
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                  Quantity
                   Commodity                        (lb)        Value
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Eggplant......................................    1,050,000     $809,000
Peppers (Green)...............................    3,200,000    2,208,000
Squash (Italian, Oriental)....................    2,350,000    1,263,000
Tomatoes......................................   16,800,000   11,088,000
                                               -------------------------
  Total.......................................   52,200,000  15,368,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Source: USDA, Hawaii Agricultural Statistics, 2006.

    The proposed rule would continue to give Hawaiian entities the 
opportunity to move Capsicum spp. and Curcurbita spp. interstate. While 
vapor heat treatment would no longer be an approved treatment for bell 
peppers and Italian squash, irradiation would become an approved 
treatment for all Capsicum spp. and Curcurbita spp. Irradiation would 
continue to be an approved treatment for eggplant and tomatoes as well.
    Accordingly, we do not expect that this rule would have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 
This proposed rule is necessary to safeguard the U.S. mainland from the 
introduction of solanum fruit fly (Bactrocera latifrons). Because in 
recent years eggplant, peppers, squash, and tomatoes have not been 
moved interstate from Hawaii, the rule is not expected to have a 
significant impact on small or large entities.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action would 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

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 proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings will not be required before 
parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

[[Page 59696]]

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

Lists of Subjects

7 CFR Part 305

    Irradiation, Phytosanitary treatment, Plant diseases and pests, 
Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

7 CFR Part 318

    Cotton, Cottonseeds, Fruits, Guam, Hawaii, Plant diseases and 
pests, Puerto Rico, Quarantine, Transportation, Vegetables, Virgin 
Islands.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR parts 305 and 318 to read as 
follows:

PART 305--PHYTOSANITARY TREATMENTS

    1. The authority citation for part 305 would continue to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 
136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    2. In Sec.  305.2, in the table in paragraph (h)(2)(ii), the entry 
for Hawaii would be amended as follows:
    a. By removing the entries for ``Bell pepper'' and ``Squash, 
Italian''.
    b. By adding, in alphabetical order, entries for ``Capsicum spp. 
(peppers)'' and ``Curcurbita spp. (squash)'' to read as set forth 
below.
    c. By revising the entries for ``Eggplant'' and ``Tomato'' to read 
as set forth below.


Sec.  305.2  Approved treatments.

* * * * *
    (h) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) * * *

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Location                     Commodity                   Pest                 Treatment schedule
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Hawaii............................
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                    Capsicum spp.          Fruit flies of the family   IR.
                                     (peppers).             Tephritidae.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                    Curcurbita spp.        Fruit flies of the family   IR.
                                     (squash).              Tephritidae.
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                    Eggplant.............  Fruit flies of the family   IR.
                                                            Tephritidae.
                                                  * * * * * * *
                                    Tomato...............  Fruit flies of the family   IR.
                                                            Tephritidae.
                                                           Ceratitis capitata........  MB T101-c-3.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *
    3. In Sec.  305.34, in paragraph (a)(1), the table would be amended 
as follows:
    a. By removing the entries for ``Bell pepper'' and ``Italian 
squash''.
    b. By adding, in alphabetical order, entries for ``Capsicum spp. 
(peppers)'' and ``Curcurbita spp. (squash)'' to read as set forth 
below.


Sec.  305.34  Irradiation treatment of certain fruits and vegetables 
from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *

      Irradiation for plant pests in Hawaiian fruits and vegetables
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                  Dose
                           Commodity                             (gray)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                * * * * *
Capsicum spp. (peppers).......................................       150
 
                                * * * * *
Curcurbita spp. (squash)......................................        50
 
                                * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

PART 318--HAWAIIAN AND TERRITORIAL QUARANTINE NOTICES

    4. The authority citation for part 318 would continue to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, 
and 371.3.


Sec.  318.13-4b  [Amended]

    5. In Sec.  318.13-4b, paragraph (b) would be amended as follows:
    a. By removing the words ``bell peppers'' and adding the words 
``Capsicum spp. (peppers)'' in their place.
    b. By adding the words ``Curcurbita spp. (squash),'' after the word 
``carambolas,''.
    c. By removing the words ``Italian squash,''.


Sec.  318.13-4f  [Amended]

    6. Section 318.13-4f would be amended as follows:
    a. By removing the words ``bell pepper'' and adding the words 
``Capsicum spp. (peppers)'' in their place.
    b. By adding the words ``Curcurbita spp. (squash),'' after the word 
``carambola,''.
    c. By removing the words ``Italian squash,''.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 4th day of October 2006.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E6-16754 Filed 10-10-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P