[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 210 (Tuesday, October 31, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 63707-63717]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-18150]


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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. 71, No. 210 / Tuesday, October 31, 2006 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 63707]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0002]
RIN 0579-AB91


Boll Weevil; Quarantine and Regulations

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to establish domestic boll weevil regulations 
that would restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles 
within regulated areas and from regulated areas into or through 
nonregulated areas in commercial cotton-producing States. The proposed 
regulations would help prevent the artificial spread of boll weevil 
into noninfested areas of the United States and the reinfestation of 
areas from which the boll weevil has been eradicated.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
January 2, 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-2006-0002 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-
2006-0002, 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-2006-0002.
    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. William Grefenstette, National 
Coordinator, Boll Weevil Eradication Program, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 138, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-8676.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The boll weevil, Anthonomus grandis, is a very destructive pest of 
cotton. This pest can cause serious economic losses by lowering the 
yield and quality of cotton crops. All portions of the plant may be 
affected, but the greatest damage occurs to the fruiting structures 
such as the flower buds, blooms, and bolls. This damage reduces the 
quality and quantity of the harvested lint or seed. Heavy infestations 
can result in complete loss of the crop.
    Cotton production is an important element of the U.S. agricultural 
economy. It is the fourth most valuable crop in the United States after 
corn, soybeans, and wheat, with cotton production in 2003 valued at 
$5.5 billion, and cottonseed production at $779 million. Cotton and 
cotton products exported by the United States generated $5.2 billion. 
The boll weevil is the principal pest of this major industry, having 
caused losses to the nation's economy estimated at $22 billion since 
its introduction into the United States. Boll weevil eradication 
efforts have provided stability for the U.S. cotton industry and 
strengthened its ability to compete on the world market.
    The current boll weevil eradication program is a cooperative 
Federal, State, and industry effort that has helped to reduce cotton 
losses to the boll weevil in recent years. A number of formerly 
infested States or portions of States are now free of this pest. 
Growers have benefited from significantly lower production costs and 
higher yields. Without effective quarantine measures, however, these 
higher yields would not be realized. It is also possible that, because 
of reinfestation, losses will again begin to mount in areas in which 
the boll weevil had been previously eradicated.
    Because the boll weevil is a migratory pest, it is necessary for 
States to cooperate within regions to ensure the success of control 
programs. These control programs have been voluntary in the past and as 
a result we are very close to eradicating this pest. Although some 
individual growers have successfully controlled boll weevils in their 
fields, neighboring areas often contribute to reinfestations. The boll 
weevil's movement is largely dependent on wind direction and speed, but 
it has been known to travel up to 169 miles, often causing 
reinfestations across State lines.
    Officials of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS), cotton grower foundations, and affected States have conducted 
successful eradication programs over the years, moving sequentially 
across the infested areas. This has been achieved in the context of 
zones within States that have agreed to engage in eradication 
activities and place restrictions on the movement of certain articles 
from infested suppressive areas to prevent the spread of the boll 
weevil throughout cotton-producing States. We believe that Federal 
regulations are necessary to restrict the interstate movement of 
certain articles from areas which may become generally infested in the 
future and from current suppressive areas to help prevent the 
artificial spread of the boll weevil to noninfested areas. This is to 
encourage all cotton producers to remain diligent in their 
participation of eradication activities.
    We are proposing to amend the domestic quarantine notices in 7 CFR 
part 301 by adding a new subpart, ``Boll Weevil'' (Sec. Sec.  301.54 
through 301.54-9, referred to below as the regulations). The 
regulations would provide for the designation of regulated areas, both

[[Page 63708]]

generally infested and suppressive areas, within cotton-producing 
States because of the boll weevil. The regulations would restrict the 
interstate movement of regulated articles within regulated areas and 
from regulated areas into or through nonregulated areas in commercial 
cotton producing States. These proposed provisions are described in 
detail below.

Restrictions on Interstate Movement of Regulated Articles (Proposed 
Sec.  301.54)

    In Sec.  301.54, paragraph (a) would prohibit the interstate 
movement of regulated articles from any regulated area into or through 
any commercial cotton-producing area except in accordance with the 
regulations. This paragraph would also contain a footnote explaining 
that any properly identified inspector is authorized, upon probable 
cause, to stop and inspect persons and means of conveyance moving in 
interstate commerce and to hold, seize, quarantine, treat, apply other 
remedial measures to, destroy, or otherwise dispose of regulated 
articles as provided in section 414 of the Plant Protection Act (7 
U.S.C. 7714, 7731). Paragraph (b) of this section would contain a list 
of States designated as commercial cotton-producing areas. These States 
are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, 
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North 
Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Definitions (Proposed Sec.  301.54-1)

    Section 301.54-1 would contain definitions of the following terms: 
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), boll 
weevil, certificate, compliance agreement, cotton, cotton lint, cotton 
products, departmental permit, generally infested area, gin motes, gin 
trash, gin waste, infestation, inspector, interstate, limited permit, 
linters, moved (move, movement), oil mill waste, person, Plant 
Protection and Quarantine (PPQ), regulated area, regulated article, 
seed cotton, State, suppressive area, and used cotton equipment. These 
terms and their proposed definitions are set out in the proposed 
regulatory text at the end of this document.

Regulated Articles (Proposed Sec.  301.54-2)

    Certain articles present a risk of spreading the boll weevil if 
they are moved from regulated areas without restrictions. We call these 
articles regulated articles, and would impose restrictions on their 
movement because the boll weevil can survive in these materials if 
present and could possibly be transported to noninfested areas. 
Paragraphs (a) through (f) of Sec.  301.54-2 list the following as 
regulated articles:
     The boll weevil, in any living stage of development;
     Cotton, including wild cotton and ornamental cotton, but 
excluding commercial bales and cottonseed;
     Seed cotton;
     Gin trash;
     Used cotton harvesting or processing equipment; and
     Any other product, article, or means of conveyance when an 
inspector determines that it presents a risk of spreading the boll 
weevil and the person in possession of the product, article, or means 
of conveyance has been notified in writing that it is subject to the 
restrictions in the regulations.
    The last item listed above, which provides for the designation of 
``any other product, article, or means of conveyance'' as a regulated 
article, is intended to address the risks presented by, for example, a 
truck that may have inadvertently picked up plant material or adult 
boll weevils while driving through fields, thus enabling an inspector 
to designate that truck as a regulated article in order to ensure that 
any necessary risk-mitigating measures are carried out.

Regulated Areas (Proposed Sec.  301.54-3)

    Paragraph (a) of Sec.  301.54-3 would provide the criteria for the 
inclusion of States, or portions of States, in the list of regulated 
areas. Under these criteria, any State or portion of a State in which 
the boll weevil is found by an inspector, in which the Administrator 
has reason to believe that the boll weevil is present, or when the 
Administrator considers it necessary due to the area's inseparability 
for quarantine enforcement purposes from localities in which the boll 
weevil has been found, will be listed as a regulated area. These 
criteria also provide that an area will be designated as a regulated 
area when the Administrator determines that minimum pest surveillance 
and control activities are not maintained (see following paragraph for 
a discussion about these activities). As noted previously, eradication 
efforts are underway in some States or portions of States. Thus, this 
paragraph would also provide that the Administrator may designate a 
part of a regulated area as a suppressive area after determining that 
eradication of infestation is being undertaken as an objective in that 
part of the regulated area; any part of a regulated area that is not 
designated as a suppressive area will be designated as a generally 
infested area.
    We are proposing that each cotton-producing State, or legally 
defined zone within a State, would be designated as a regulated area 
when growers fail to maintain minimum pest surveillance and control 
activities to prevent reinfestation of that area as well as surrounding 
areas by the boll weevil. These activities would consist of the annual 
installation and monitoring of boll weevil pheromone traps, and the 
application of effective control measures if boll weevils are detected. 
APHIS would work with entomological experts to determine appropriate 
minimum trapping densities in each particular area; trapping densities 
would be based on an area's proximity to existing infestations and 
susceptibility to reinfestation. Effective control measures would 
involve the demonstrated ability to apply in a timely manner, by 
aircraft or ground equipment, materials that have proven effective in 
eradicating the boll weevil. Such applications would have to be made 
within 48 hours of detecting a reinfestation. Failure by cotton growers 
within a State or zone where boll weevil is not known to be present to 
maintain the prescribed minimum standards of detection and control 
would result in the area being listed as a regulated area. We invite 
comment on our proposed requirements for minimum pest surveillance and 
control activities.
    Paragraph (a) of Sec.  301.54-3 would also provide that we will 
designate less than an entire State as a regulated area only if we 
determine that the State has adopted and is enforcing restrictions on 
the intrastate movement of regulated articles that are equivalent to 
those imposed on the interstate movement of regulated articles and that 
the designation of less than the entire State as a regulated area will 
prevent the interstate spread of the boll weevil. In practice, the 
latter determination--that the designation of less than an entire State 
will prevent the interstate spread of the boll weevil--would be based, 
at least in part, on our finding that infestations are confined to the 
regulated areas as a result of natural breaks between infested areas 
and noninfested areas, known as zones, and would eliminate the need for 
designating an entire State as a regulated area. APHIS would adopt 
existing buffer zones that have been established under the States' 
current eradication programs.
    Paragraph (b) of Sec.  301.54-3 would provide that we may 
temporarily designate any nonregulated area in a State as a regulated 
area when we determine that the nonregulated area meets the criteria 
for designation as a

[[Page 63709]]

regulated area described in Sec.  301.54-3(a). In such cases, we will 
give the owner or person in possession of the nonregulated area a copy 
of the regulations along with written notice of the area's temporary 
designation as a regulated area, after which time the interstate 
movement of any regulated article from the area will be subject to the 
regulations. This provision is necessary to prevent the spread of the 
boll weevil during the time between the detection of the pest and the 
time a document designating the area as a regulated area can be made 
effective and published in the Federal Register. In the event that an 
area's designation as a temporary regulated area is terminated, we will 
provide written notice of that termination to the owner or person in 
possession of the area as soon as is practicable.
    Paragraph (c) lists the proposed regulated areas. These areas, as 
noted previously, would be divided into generally infested (areas that 
do not operate under an area-wide, APHIS-endorsed control program) and 
suppressive areas (areas engaged in an area-wide eradication program 
supported by APHIS). The proposed regulated areas, all of which are 
designated as suppressive areas, are listed in the rule portion of this 
document and include all or portions of the States of Arkansas, 
Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and 
Texas. The list of regulated areas was derived from information \1\ 
provided to APHIS by State regulatory officials and cotton foundation 
program directors indicating evidence of boll weevil in the areas.
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    \1\ This information is available from the person listed under 
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. It may also be reviewed in our 
reading room. See ADDRESSES above for the location and hours of the 
reading room.
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Conditions Governing the Interstate Movement of Regulated Articles From 
Regulated Areas (Proposed Sec.  301.54-4)

    This section would require most regulated articles moving 
interstate from regulated areas to be accompanied by a certificate or a 
limited permit if moved into commercial cotton-producing areas. 
Specifically, paragraph (a) of proposed Sec.  301.54-4 would provide 
that a certificate or limited permit issued and attached in accordance 
with Sec. Sec.  301.54-5 and 301.54-8 would have to accompany regulated 
articles moving interstate:
     From any regulated area into or through any nonregulated 
area that is located in a commercial cotton-producing area listed in 
Sec.  301.54(b);
     From any generally infested area into or through any 
suppressive area; \2\ or
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    \2\ As defined in proposed Sec.  301.54-1, a suppressive area is 
that part of a regulated area where eradication of infestation under 
an area-wide, APHIS-endorsed control program is undertaken as an 
objective. Generally infested areas (none currently exist) are those 
regulated areas in which the growers are not currently participating 
in such a program. Articles moved from a suppressive area would be 
more likely to qualify for movement based on premises inspection, 
while each consignment shipped from a generally infested area would 
have to be individually inspected or treated due to the unchecked 
presence of weevils within such an area.
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     Between any noncontiguous suppressive areas; or
     Between contiguous suppressive areas when it is determined 
by the inspector that the regulated articles present a hazard of the 
spread of the boll weevil and the person in possession thereof has been 
so notified.
    Under paragraph (b) of proposed Sec.  301.54-4, a certificate or 
limited permit would not be required for the movement of regulated 
articles into areas that are not commercial cotton-producing areas. 
Given the host specificity of the boll weevil, there would be little, 
if any, risk associated with the movement of regulated articles into 
areas that are not commercial cotton-producing areas due to the lack of 
host material for the pest.
    Under paragraph (c) of proposed Sec.  301.54-4, articles that are 
moved into the regulated area from outside the regulated area and that 
are accompanied by a waybill that indicates the point of origin may be 
moved interstate from the regulated area to commercial cotton-producing 
areas without a certificate or limited permit, provided certain 
conditions are met. The articles would have to be moved in an enclosed 
vehicle or be completely enclosed by a covering adequate to prevent 
access by the boll weevil. The regulated articles would also have to be 
moved through the regulated area without stopping (except for 
refueling, rest stops, emergency repairs, and for traffic conditions 
such as traffic lights and stop signs), and the regulated articles 
could not be opened, unpacked, or unloaded in the regulated area.
    Finally, paragraph (d) of proposed Sec.  301.54-4 would provide 
that APHIS or the U.S. Department of Agriculture (the Department) may 
move regulated articles interstate without a certificate or limited 
permit if the articles are moved for experimental or scientific 
purposes. However, the articles would have to be moved in accordance 
with a departmental permit issued by the Administrator, under 
conditions specified on the permit to prevent the spread of the boll 
weevil, and with a tag or label bearing the number of the departmental 
permit attached to the regulated article or to the outside of its 
container.

Issuance and Cancellation of Certificates and Limited Permits (Proposed 
Sec.  301.54-5)

    Under Federal domestic plant quarantine programs, there is a 
difference between the use of certificates and limited permits. 
Certificates are issued for regulated articles when an inspector finds 
that, because of certain conditions (e.g., the article is free of boll 
weevil), there is no pest risk before movement. Regulated articles 
accompanied by a certificate may be moved interstate without further 
restrictions. Limited permits are issued for regulated articles when an 
inspector finds that, because of a possible pest risk, the articles may 
be safely moved interstate only subject to further restrictions, such 
as movement to limited areas and movement for limited purposes. Section 
301.54-5 would explain the conditions for issuing a certificate or 
limited permit.
    Specifically, Sec.  301.54-5(a) would provide that a certificate 
may be issued by an inspector for the interstate movement of a 
regulated article if the inspector determines that the article: (1) Is 
free of the boll weevil, has been treated under the direction of an 
inspector in accordance with the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) 
Treatment Manual, or comes from a premises of origin that is free of 
the boll weevil; (2) will be moved through the regulated area in an 
enclosed vehicle or will be completely covered to prevent access by the 
boll weevil; (3) will be moved in compliance with any additional 
remedial conditions deemed necessary to prevent the spread of the boll 
weevil under section 414 of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7714); 
and (4) is eligible for unrestricted movement under all other Federal 
domestic plant quarantines and regulations applicable to that article.
    We have included a footnote that provides an address for securing 
the addresses and telephone numbers of the local Plant Protection and 
Quarantine (PPQ) offices at which services of inspectors may be 
requested. We have also included a footnote that explains that the 
Secretary of Agriculture may, under the Plant Protection Act, take 
remedial actions to hold, seize, quarantine, treat, destroy, apply 
other remedial measures to, or otherwise dispose of articles that he or 
she has

[[Page 63710]]

reason to believe are a plant pest or are infested with a plant pest.
    Paragraph (b) of Sec.  301.54-5 would provide for the issuance of a 
limited permit (rather than a certificate) by an inspector for 
interstate movement of a regulated article if the inspector determines 
that the article is to be moved interstate to a specified destination 
for specified handling, utilization, or processing, and that the 
movement will not result in the spread of the boll weevil because life 
stages of the boll weevil will be destroyed by the specified handling, 
utilization, or processing. A limited permit will only be issued if the 
regulated article: (1) Will be moved in an enclosed vehicle or 
completely covered to prevent access by, and escape of, the boll 
weevil; (2) will be moved in compliance with any additional remedial 
conditions imposed by the Administrator under sections 414 of the Plant 
Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7714) to prevent the spread of the boll 
weevil; and (3) if the regulated article is eligible for interstate 
movement under all other Federal domestic plant quarantines and 
regulations applicable to the regulated article.
    Paragraph (c) of Sec.  301.54-5 would provide that any person who 
has entered into and is operating under a compliance agreement may 
issue a certificate or limited permit for the interstate movement of a 
regulated article after determining that the article is otherwise 
eligible for a certificate or limited permit under Sec.  301.54-5(a) or 
(b), respectively.
    Also, Sec.  301.54-5(d) would contain provisions for the withdrawal 
of a certificate or limited permit by an inspector if the inspector 
determines that the holder of the certificate or limited permit has not 
complied with conditions for the use of the document. This paragraph 
would also contain provisions for notifying the holder of the reasons 
for the withdrawal and for holding a hearing if there is any conflict 
concerning any material fact in the event that the person wishes to 
appeal the cancellation.

Compliance Agreements and Cancellation (Proposed Sec.  301.54-6)

    Section 301.54-6 would provide for the use of and cancellation of 
compliance agreements. Compliance agreements are provided for the 
convenience of persons who are involved in the growing, handling, or 
moving of regulated articles from regulated areas. A person may enter 
into a compliance agreement when an inspector has determined that the 
person requesting the compliance agreement has been made aware of the 
requirements of the regulations and the person has agreed to comply 
with the requirements of the regulations and the provisions of the 
compliance agreement. This section contains a footnote that explains 
where compliance agreement forms may be obtained.
    Section 301.54-6 would also provide that an inspector may cancel 
the compliance agreement upon finding that a person who has entered 
into the agreement has failed to comply with any of the provisions of 
the regulations. The inspector will notify the holder of the compliance 
agreement of the reasons for cancellation and offer an opportunity for 
a hearing to resolve any conflicts of material fact in the event that 
the person wishes to appeal the cancellation.

Assembly and Inspection of Regulated Articles (Proposed Sec.  301.54-7)

    Section 301.54-7 would provide that any person (other than a person 
authorized to issue certificates or limited permits under Sec.  301.54-
5(c)) who desires a certificate or limited permit to move regulated 
articles interstate must request, at least 48 hours before the desired 
movement, that an inspector issue a certificate or limited permit. The 
regulated articles would have to be assembled in a place and manner 
directed by the inspector.

Attachment and Disposition of Certificates and Limited Permits 
(Proposed Sec.  301.54-8)

    Section 301.54-8 would require the certificate or limited permit 
issued for movement of the regulated article to be attached, during the 
interstate movement, to the regulated article, or to a container 
carrying the regulated article, or to the consignee's copy of the 
accompanying waybill. Further, the section would require that the 
carrier or the carrier's representative furnish the certificate or 
limited permit to the consignee listed on the certificate or limited 
permit upon arrival at the location provided on the certificate or 
limited permit.

Costs and Charges (Proposed Sec.  301.54-9)

    Section 301.54-9 explains the APHIS policy that the services of an 
inspector that are needed to comply with the regulations are provided 
without cost between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except holidays, to persons requiring those services, but that we will 
not be responsible for any other costs or charges (such as overtime 
costs for inspections conducted at times other than between 8 a.m. to 
4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays).

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
The rule has been determined to be significant for the purposes of 
Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has been reviewed by the Office 
of Management and Budget.
    We are proposing to establish domestic regulations for the boll 
weevil (Anthonomus grandis) that would restrict the interstate movement 
of regulated articles within regulated areas and from regulated areas 
into or through nonregulated areas in commercial cotton-producing 
States. The proposed regulations would help prevent the artificial 
spread of boll weevil into noninfested areas of the United States, and 
the reinfestation of areas from which the boll weevil has been 
eradicated.
    For this proposed rule, we have prepared an economic analysis. The 
economic analysis, which is set out below, provides a cost-benefit 
analysis as required by Executive Order 12866 and an analysis of the 
potential economic effects of this proposed rule on small entities as 
required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act.
    All cotton-producing areas in the United States are either free of 
boll weevil or in the process of eliminating the pest through State-
sanctioned eradication efforts. These initiatives receive Federal 
support and are collectively referred to as the cooperative boll weevil 
eradication program. The areas where the boll weevil is still present, 
but where growers are participating in the eradication efforts, are 
categorized as suppressive areas. Suppressive areas are present in the 
States of Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, 
Tennessee, and Texas. Previously, Texas and other States also contained 
areas known as generally infested, where producers had not entered into 
the voluntary State-sanctioned eradication programs. However, these 
areas have since also joined the cooperative efforts.
    Therefore, all cotton-producing areas in the United States are now 
categorized as either pest-free or suppressive areas, and all areas 
where the pest is present are involved in eradication. Most areas have 
already eliminated the boll weevil. The remaining areas that are in the 
process of doing so are expected to achieve eradication over the next 
few years. States with suppressive areas impose controls on the 
intrastate movement of regulated material to pest free areas. These 
intrastate controls are

[[Page 63711]]

essentially the same as the proposed interstate regulations.

Benefits and Costs of the Rule

    The primary benefits of the proposed Federal controls on the 
interstate movement of regulated articles are to help prevent the 
artificial spread of boll weevil into noninfested areas of the United 
States, and to strengthen the effort of the States to prevent 
reinfestation of areas from which the pest has been eradicated. The 
regulations also are expected to contribute to boll weevil eradication, 
over and above what would be accomplished under the voluntary 
cooperative eradication program.
    Because the boll weevil is a migratory pest, it is necessary for 
States to cooperate within regions to ensure the success of control 
programs. Although individual growers have successfully controlled boll 
weevils in their fields, neighboring infested areas can contribute to 
reinfestations. In order to encourage all cotton producers to remain 
diligent in their participation in eradication activities, we believe 
that Federal regulations are necessary to restrict the interstate 
movement of certain articles from areas which may become generally 
infested in the future and from current suppressive areas to help 
prevent the artificial spread of the boll weevil to noninfested areas.
    Cotton production is an important element of the U.S. agricultural 
economy. In 2004, cotton production was valued at $5.3 billion, 
cottonseed production at $874 million, and cotton and cotton products 
exported at $6.4 billion. The boll weevil is a destructive pest of 
cotton, and is the principal pest of this major industry. It causes 
economic losses by lowering the yield and quality of cotton, and heavy 
infestations can result in complete loss of the crop. The boll weevil 
arrived in the United States from Mexico in 1892, and has since caused 
an estimated $22 billion in yield losses and control costs to the U.S. 
cotton industry.
    In those areas where the boll weevil has been eradicated, cotton 
growers have benefited from lower costs of production because of 
reduced pesticide use, and from higher yields that have led to 
increased land values and expanded cotton acreage. Pesticide savings of 
between 40 and 90 percent have been realized, and many cotton growers 
have been able to forgo pesticide use entirely. Yield increases of 10 
to 20 percent have been achieved in areas where this pest has been 
eliminated. Without effective quarantine measures, however, these 
higher yields would not be realized. It is also possible that, because 
of reinfestation, losses will again begin to mount in areas in which 
the boll weevil had previously been eradicated.
    Boll weevil eradication efforts have provided stability for the 
U.S. cotton industry and strengthened its ability to compete in the 
world market. Various formerly infested States or portions of States 
are now free of this pest. As areas become boll weevil-free, 
eradication costs have declined. Over the 4-year period 1999-2002, 
national program costs totaled $1.019 billion, compared to $585 million 
spent over the following 4 years, 2003-2006. Recent yearly costs have 
declined rapidly, from $245 million in 2002, to $125 million in 2006. 
(All dollar amounts are unadjusted for inflation.) The major cost areas 
are labor, treatments (chemicals and application), trapping supplies, 
and vehicles and transportation. The APHIS share of these costs has 
been between 25 and 30 percent. But the benefits exceed even such high 
expenditures, and extend beyond the cotton industry to related sectors 
of the national economy as well as to the local economies in cotton-
producing areas.
    The extent of the reduction in risk that would be achieved with the 
regulations cannot be determined, since we do not know the likelihood 
of interstate movement of infested articles from the suppressive areas. 
However, we do know that reinfestation of areas where the pest had been 
eradicated can be costly.
    The Southeastern Boll Weevil Eradication Foundation has tracked the 
costs associated with boll weevil reintroductions and reinfestations in 
six southeastern States between 1987 and 2004. The cost approximations 
are based on incomplete work unit records, but nonetheless clearly 
indicate the benefits of prevention and, when reinfestations occur, of 
limiting their size through early detection and rapid control. About 
half of the affected counties reported reinfestations in various years 
that cost less than $10,000, with fewer than 10 weevils discovered. 
Other counties reported much larger reinfestations and eradication 
costs, ranging up to $1.3 million spent in Orangeburg County, SC, 
between 1995 and 1997, where 23,899 weevils were detected and 
eliminated.
    As with the expected benefits, the costs of the proposed 
regulations would derive from controls on the interstate movement of 
regulated articles from regulated areas. Costs are expected to be 
incurred primarily by entities such as custom harvester operators and 
other agricultural service providers who move regulated articles from 
the infested areas. Specific costs would depend on the types of 
regulated articles moved, unit costs of disinfestation, and the 
frequency of interstate movement.
    Methods of boll weevil disinfestation range widely, from hand 
removal of leaves and sweeping of foreign material with brooms, to more 
costly methods such as compressed air blowing, high-pressure washing, 
and fumigation. Unit costs also range widely, from $4 for hand sweeping 
of a truck bed, to as much as $800 for the fumigation of harvesting 
equipment such as pickers and strippers.
    Relatively few cotton growers or gin operators are expected to be 
affected, since most cotton is grown and ginned within the same area, 
and baled cotton and cottonseed are not regulated articles. Custom 
harvesters and other agricultural service providers who move regulated 
articles from infested areas would be affected, but the impact on such 
entities is not expected to be large. Fumigation of a cotton harvester 
is estimated to cost about $800, less than 1 percent of annual receipts 
for a representative operator. APHIS estimates that as many as 100 
custom harvesters would be affected by this rule. With establishment of 
the proposed regulations, owners of such equipment could be expected to 
schedule harvesting contracts so as to minimize the number of 
interstate movements from infested areas during a season.
    APHIS is proposing that each cotton-producing State, or legally 
defined zone within a State, would be designated as a regulated area 
when growers fail to maintain minimum pest surveillance and control 
activities to prevent reinfestation of that area as well as surrounding 
areas by the boll weevil. These activities would consist of the annual 
installation and monitoring of boll weevil pheromone traps, and the 
application of effective control measures if boll weevils are detected. 
Failure by cotton growers within a State or zone where boll weevil is 
not known to be present to maintain prescribed minimum standards of 
detection and control would result in the area being listed as a 
regulated area. The cost of these activities should be less than $2 per 
acre, but may vary depending on proximity to regulated areas. Under the 
current boll weevil eradication program, surveillance and control 
activities are already required in areas from which the pest has been 
eradicated. We expect that these surveillance and control costs would 
continue to be incurred even without promulgation of this rule.

[[Page 63712]]

    A numerical comparison of expected benefits and costs of the 
regulations is not possible, since we cannot estimate the reduction in 
the risk of spread that would be attributable to the proposed 
regulations, nor can we predict aggregate expenditures by directly 
affected entities. However, given the sizable benefits that boll weevil 
eradication has afforded cotton growers and others in areas where this 
pest has been eliminated and the relatively small cost of 
disinfestation of regulated articles moved interstate, APHIS believes 
the net benefit of the regulations would be positive.
    Costs to APHIS of administering the rule would differ little from 
the Agency's current costs of participating with producers and States 
in the National Boll Weevil Cooperative Control Program, whereby APHIS 
is contributing about 25 to 30 percent of total eradication 
expenditures. Federal appropriations for the program have fallen from 
about $77 million in 2002, to less than $39 million in 2006. Once 
nationwide eradication has been accomplished, APHIS participation in 
funding post-eradication annual surveys, expected to cost between $5 
million and $7 million per year, would depend on Congressional 
direction. The cost to APHIS of funding eradication activities in areas 
that become reinfested depends on the size of the outbreak, and has 
ranged from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Alternative to the Rule

    An alternative to the regulations would be to take no action, that 
is, not establish Federal controls on the interstate movement of 
regulated articles. If this alternative were selected, nationwide 
eradication could be delayed. There would be increased risk of 
reinfestation and production losses in cotton-producing areas where the 
pest has been eliminated. Current State regulations have been fairly 
effective in preventing the artificial movement of boll weevils from 
infested areas into noninfested areas. However, the long-term 
protection of these areas can be significantly enhanced by the proposed 
Federal regulations.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires agencies to evaluate the 
potential effects of their proposed rules on small entities. We address 
here the requirements of an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, 
and welcome public comment on expected small entity effects of this 
rule.

Reasons Why Action by APHIS is Being Considered

    APHIS is proposing Federal controls on the interstate movement of 
regulated articles to help prevent the artificial spread of the boll 
weevil into noninfested areas of the United States. Most commercial 
cotton-producing areas of the United States have already eliminated the 
boll weevil. Complete elimination of this pest is expected to be 
achieved over the next few years, as long as reinfestation of areas 
from which the pest has been eradicated is prevented. Through the 
cooperative boll weevil eradication program, States with suppressive 
areas, that is, areas in the process of eliminating the pest through 
APHIS-endorsed, area-wide control programs, impose controls on the 
intrastate movement of regulated material to pest-free areas. The 
proposed interstate movement restrictions would complement these 
intrastate controls. The rule is expected to contribute to boll weevil 
eradication, over and above what would be accomplished under the 
voluntary cooperative eradication program.

Objective and Legal Basis

    The objective of the proposed rule is to minimize risks of 
infestation or reinfestation of boll weevil-free areas through the 
interstate movement of regulated articles and thereby hasten the 
Nation's eradication of this pest. Current State regulations have been 
fairly effective in preventing the artificial movement of the boll 
weevil from infested areas into noninfested areas. The long-term 
protection of noninfested areas can be significantly enhanced by the 
proposed regulations.
    In accordance with the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et 
seq.), the Secretary of Agriculture has the authority to promulgate 
regulations and take measures to prevent the spread of plant pests 
within the United States, which includes regulating the interstate 
movement of any product, article, or means of conveyance that presents 
a risk of spreading the boll weevil.

Potentially Affected Small Entities

    The principal entities engaged in cotton production--growers, gin 
operators, and agricultural service providers such as custom 
harvesters--are mainly small entities, and the economic effects for 
them would be the same as has been described generally. Small entities 
in nonregulated areas would benefit from a reduced risk of boll weevil 
infestation. Entities that move regulated articles from infested areas 
into noninfested areas would bear certain costs of complying with the 
regulations.
    As indicated in table 1, more than 81 percent of cotton farms and 
more than 76 percent of ginning establishments are small entities, 
based on small-entity definitions of annual receipts of not more than 
$750,000 and not more than $6.5 million, respectively. Small entity 
cotton farms and ginning establishments in areas free of the boll 
weevil would benefit from the reduction in risk of infestation or 
reinfestation provided by the rule.
    The soil preparation, planting, and cultivation industry includes 
businesses that provide fertilizer and cultivation services; soil 
treatments; crop spraying; and disease, insect, or weed control 
services. Small entities in this industry are establishments that have 
annual receipts of not more than $6.5 million. Information is not 
available on the percentage of these establishments that are small, but 
we expect that they represent the majority, since 96 percent of these 
businesses have fewer than 20 employees. We are unable to estimate the 
number of small entity agricultural service providers that may be 
affected by this rule.

                              Table 1.--Small Entity Representation in Industries That May Be Affected by the Proposed Rule
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                       Small entity definition      Number of                                         Percentage of  establishments that
      Industry (NAICS code) \1\                  \2\             establishments        Number of small  entities              are small entities
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cotton farming \3\ (111920)..........  Less than or equal to              24,721  Fewer than 20,042.................  Less than 81.
                                        $0.75 million annual
                                        receipts.
Cotton ginning \4\ (115111)..........  Less than or equal to                 887  Fewer than 671....................  Less than 76.
                                        $6.5 million annual
                                        receipts.
Soil preparation, planting, and        Less than or equal to               2,394  Not known.........................  Not known.
 cultivating \5\ (115112).              $6.5 million annual
                                        receipts.

[[Page 63713]]

 
Crop harvesting, primarily by machine  Less than or equal to                 368  Not known.........................  Not known.
 \5\ (115113).                          $6.5 million annual
                                        receipts.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ North American Industry Classification System.
\2\ http://www.sba.gov/size/sizetable2002.html.
\3\ NASS, 2002 Census of Agriculture, Volume 1, Table 56. The 20,042 cotton and cottonseed farms sold agricultural products valued at less than $500,000
  in 2002.
\4\ NASS, Cotton Ginnings 2005 Summary, May 2006, and 2005 Agricultural Statistics. In the 2005 crop year, there were 671 active gins that ginned fewer
  than 20,000 running bales. (A running bale is approximately equal to 1.03 ginned bales.) The average value of a ginned bale in 2004 was $230. Thus,
  annual receipts per establishment for the 671 gins were less than $4.6 million.
\5\ Census Bureau, 2003 County Business Patterns for the United States, http://www.census.gov/epcd/cbp/view/us03.txt. Size distributions for industries
  are described by the Census Bureau in terms of number of employees, not annual receipts. The employment patterns for these industries suggest that
  they are primarily composed of small entities. For the soil preparation, planting, and cultivating industry, 96 percent of establishments (2,294) had
  fewer than 20 employees in 2003. For the crop harvesting, primarily by machine, industry, 92 percent of establishments (337) had fewer than 20
  employees in 2003.

    Similarly, the small entity definition for harvesting operations is 
annual receipts of not more than $6.5 million. While we do not know the 
percentage of these establishments with receipts that fall below this 
threshold, we note that 92 percent of harvesting businesses have fewer 
than 20 employees. Custom harvesters and other agricultural service 
providers are types of firms that may be affected by the proposed rule 
because of their movement from regulated areas to or through 
nonregulated areas. APHIS estimates that as many as 100 small entity 
cotton harvester operators may be affected by this rule.
    The information shown in table 1 on numbers of establishments in 
the soil preparation, planting, and cultivating industry and in the 
crop harvesting industry is for all crops. We believe the predominance 
of small entities in these industries overall holds as well for the 
cotton sector.
    APHIS welcomes information that the public may provide on the 
number of small entities in the identified industries that may be 
affected by the proposed rule, as well as information on small entities 
in other industries that the public believes may be affected.

Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance Requirements

    Regulated articles moving interstate from regulated areas would be 
required to be accompanied by a certificate or a limited permit if 
moved into nonregulated, commercial cotton-producing areas. The 
proposed rule would also provide for the use of compliance agreements, 
for the convenience of persons who are involved in the growing, 
handling, or moving of regulated articles from regulated areas. The 
reporting and recordkeeping requirements associated with this proposed 
rule are described below under ``Paperwork Reduction Act.''
    Relatively few cotton growers or gin operators are expected to be 
affected by the proposed rule, since most cotton is grown and ginned 
within the same area, and baled cotton and cottonseed are not regulated 
articles. The largest treatment cost may be borne by operators of 
harvesters and other major machinery. Based on a unit fumigation cost 
for harvesting equipment of $800, and a single movement per season from 
a regulated to a nonregulated area, the cost per harvester would be 
$800, and industry-wide, $80,000, assuming 100 harvesting equipment 
operators would be affected.\3\ The fumigation cost per harvester and 
the single movement per season requiring fumigation are APHIS estimates 
based on information provided by industry. This annual cost of $800 is 
estimated to be less than 1 percent of annual receipts for a 
representative operator. APHIS welcomes public comment that would 
enable us to more fully understand possible costs associated with the 
proposed rule's compliance requirements.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ The fumigation cost per harvester and the single movement 
per season requiring fumigation are APHIS estimates based on 
information provided by industry.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Growers in areas from which the boll weevil has been eradicated 
would be required to maintain minimum weevil surveillance and control 
activities to prevent reinfestation, whether or not they move regulated 
articles interstate. Since these surveillance and control activities 
are already required under the current boll weevil eradication program 
in areas from which the pest has been eradicated, their cost (estimated 
by APHIS to average about $2 per acre per year) would continue to be 
incurred without this rule. Therefore, the cost of these activities for 
small-entity cotton producers is not attributable to the proposed rule.

Alternatives to Minimize Any Significant Economic Impact

    We do not expect the rule to have a significant impact on entities, 
large or small, and therefore have not set forth alternatives intended 
to minimize significant impacts on 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.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and 
analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the 
proposed domestic boll weevil quarantine program, we have prepared an 
environmental assessment. The environmental assessment was prepared in 
accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 
(NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the 
Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural 
provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3)

[[Page 63714]]

USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA 
Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov 
Web site or in our reading room. (Instructions for accessing 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room are provided under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning 
of this proposed rule). In addition, copies may be obtained by calling 
or writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(d) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements included in this proposed rule have been 
submitted for approval to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 
Please send written comments to the Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, 
DC 20503. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-
2006-0002. Please send a copy of your comments to: (1) Docket No. 
APHIS-2006-0002, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, 
Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238, 
and (2) Clearance Officer, OCIO, USDA, Room 404-W, 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue, SW., Washington, DC 20250. A comment to OMB is 
best assured of having its full effect if OMB receives it within 30 
days of publication of this proposed rule.
    We are proposing to establish domestic boll weevil regulations that 
would restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles within 
regulated areas and from regulated areas into or through nonregulated 
areas in commercial cotton-producing States. The proposed regulations 
would help prevent the artificial spread of boll weevil into 
noninfested areas of the United States and the reinfestation of areas 
from which the boll weevil has been eradicated. Because the boll weevil 
is a migratory pest, it is necessary for States to cooperate within 
regions to ensure the success of the eradication program.
    Implementation of this regulation would require us to engage in 
certain information collection activities, which in turn necessitates 
the use of forms. Forms we plan to use to implement and enforce the 
program include compliance agreements, limited permits, and 
certificates. We described these documents in greater detail previously 
in this document.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our proposed information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed information collection, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology; e.g., permitting electronic 
submission of responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 1 hour per response.
    Respondents: Cotton growers, cotton gin operators, custom 
harvesters.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 1,025
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 1,025.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 1,025 hours. (Due to 
averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of 
the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per 
response.)
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Mrs. 
Celeste Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 
734-7477.

E-Government Act Compliance

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is committed to 
compliance with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the Internet 
and other information technologies, to provide increased opportunities 
for citizen access to Government information and services, and for 
other purposes. For information pertinent to E-Government Act 
compliance related to this proposed rule, please contact Mrs. Celeste 
Sickles, APHIS' Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 734-7477.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

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

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 301, as follows:

PART 301--DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

    1. The authority citation for part 301 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.

    Section 301.75-15 issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Public Law 
106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 
issued under Sec. 203, Title II, Public Law 106-224, 114 Stat. 400 
(7 U.S.C. 1421 note).

    2. Part 301 would be amended by adding a new Subpart--Boll Weevil, 
Sec. Sec.  301.54 through 301.54-9, to read as follows:

Subpart--Boll Weevil

Sec.
301.54 Restrictions on interstate movement of regulated articles.
301.54-1 Definitions.
301.54-2 Regulated articles.
301.54-3 Regulated areas.
301.54-4 Conditions governing the interstate movement of regulated 
articles from regulated areas.
301.54-5 Issuance and cancellation of certificates and limited 
permits.
301.54-6 Compliance agreements and cancellation.
301.54-7 Assembly and inspection of regulated articles.
301.54-8 Attachment and disposition of certificates and limited 
permits.
301.54-9 Costs and charges.

Subpart--Boll Weevil


Sec.  301.54  Restrictions on interstate movement of regulated 
articles.

    (a) No person may move any regulated article interstate from any 
regulated area into or through any commercial cotton-producing area 
except in accordance with this subpart.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Any properly identified inspector is authorized, upon 
probable cause, to stop and inspect persons and means of conveyance 
moving in interstate commerce and to hold, seize, quarantine, treat, 
apply other remedial measures to, destroy, or otherwise dispose of 
regulated articles as provided in sections 414 and 421 of the Plant 
Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7714, 7731).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) The following States are designated as commercial cotton-
producing areas: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, 
Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, 
New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, 
Virginia.


Sec.  301.54-1  Definitions.

    Administrator. The Administrator, Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection

[[Page 63715]]

Service, or any person authorized to act for the Administrator.
    Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). The Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of 
Agriculture.
    Boll weevil. The insect known as the boll weevil, Anthonomus 
grandis, in any stage of development.
    Certificate. A document in which an inspector or person operating 
under a compliance agreement affirms that a specified regulated article 
is free of boll weevil and may be moved interstate to any destination.
    Compliance agreement. A written agreement between APHIS and a 
person engaged in growing, handling, or moving regulated articles, 
wherein the person agrees to comply with this subpart.
    Cotton. All parts of cotton and wild cotton plants of the genera 
Gossypium and Thurberia, except baled cotton and cotton products.
    Cotton lint. All forms of raw ginned cotton except linters and gin 
waste.
    Cotton products. Seed cotton, cotton lint, linters, oil mill waste, 
gin waste, gin trash, cottonseed, cottonseed hulls, and all other forms 
of unmanufactured cotton fiber.
    Departmental permit. A document issued by the Administrator in 
which he or she affirms that interstate movement of the regulated 
article identified on the document is for scientific or experimental 
purposes and that the regulated article is eligible for interstate 
movement in accordance with Sec.  301.54-4(d) of this subpart.
    Generally infested area. Any part of a regulated area not 
designated as a suppressive area.
    Gin motes. Short fragments of unmanufactured cotton fiber removed 
from lint cleaners after ginning cotton.
    Gin trash. All materials produced during the cleaning and ginning 
of seed cotton, bollies, or snapped cotton. It does not include the 
lint, cottonseed, or gin waste.
    Gin waste. All forms of unmanufactured waste cotton fiber, 
including gin motes, resulting from the ginning of seed cotton, other 
than baled cotton lint.
    Infestation. The presence of the boll weevil or the existence of 
circumstances that makes it reasonable to believe that the boll weevil 
may be present.
    Inspector. Any employee of APHIS or other person authorized by the 
Administrator to perform the duties required under this subpart.
    Interstate. From any State into or through any other State.
    Limited permit. A document in which an inspector or person 
operating under a compliance agreement affirms that the regulated 
article identified on the document is eligible for interstate movement 
in accordance with Sec.  301.54-5(b) only to a specified destination 
and only in accordance with specified conditions.
    Linters. Residual unmanufactured cotton fiber separated from 
cottonseed after the lint has been removed.
    Moved (move, movement). Shipped, offered for shipment, received for 
transportation, transported, carried, or allowed to be moved, shipped, 
transported, or carried.
    Oil mill waste. Waste product, including linters, derived from the 
milling of cottonseed.
    Person. Any association, company, corporation, firm, individual, 
joint stock company, partnership, society, or other entity.
    Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ). The Plant Protection and 
Quarantine program of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 
United States Department of Agriculture.
    Regulated area. Any State, or any portion of a State, listed in 
Sec.  301.54-3(c) or otherwise designated as a regulated area in 
accordance with Sec.  301.54-3(b).
    Regulated article. Any article listed in Sec.  301.54-2(a) through 
(e), or otherwise designated as a regulated article in accordance with 
Sec.  301.54-2(f).
    Seed cotton. All forms of unginned cotton from which the seed has 
not been separated.
    State. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana 
Islands, or any State, territory, or possession of the United States.
    Suppressive area. That part of a regulated area where an APHIS-
endorsed area-wide control program is operating, with the objective of 
eradicating the boll weevil.
    Used cotton equipment. Any cotton equipment previously used to 
harvest, strip, transport, destroy, or process cotton.


Sec.  301.54-2  Regulated articles.

    The following are regulated articles:
    (a) The boll weevil, in any living stage of development.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Permit and other requirements for the interstate movement of 
boll weevils are contained in part 330 of this chapter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (b) Cotton, including wild cotton and ornamental cotton, but 
excluding commercial bales and cottonseed;
    (c) Seed cotton;
    (d) Gin trash;
    (e) Used cotton harvesting or processing equipment; and
    (f) Any other product, article, or means of conveyance not listed 
in paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section that an inspector 
determines presents a risk of spreading the boll weevil, after the 
inspector provides written notification to the person in possession of 
the product, article, or means of conveyance that it is subject to the 
restrictions of this subpart.


Sec.  301.54-3  Regulated areas.

    (a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (b) of this section, 
the Administrator will list as a regulated area in paragraph (c) of 
this section each State, or each portion of a State, in which the boll 
weevil has been found by an inspector, in which the Administrator has 
reason to believe that the boll weevil is present, in which minimum 
pest surveillance and control activities are not maintained, or that 
the Administrator considers necessary to regulate because of its 
inseparability for quarantine enforcement purposes from localities in 
which the boll weevil has been found. The Administrator may designate 
any part of a regulated area as a suppressive area after determining 
that eradication of infestation is being undertaken as an objective in 
that part of the regulated area; any part of a regulated area that is 
not designated as a suppressive area will be designated as a generally 
infested area. Less than an entire State will be designated as a 
regulated area only if the Administrator determines that:
    (1) The State has adopted and is enforcing restrictions on the 
intrastate movement of the regulated articles that are equivalent to 
those imposed by this subpart on the interstate movement of regulated 
articles; and
    (2) The designation of less than the entire State as a regulated 
area will prevent the interstate spread of the boll weevil.
    (b) The Administrator or an inspector may temporarily designate any 
nonregulated area in a State as a regulated area in accordance with 
paragraph (a) of this section. The Administrator will give a copy of 
this regulation along with a written notice for the temporary 
designation to the owner or person in possession of the nonregulated 
area. Thereafter, the interstate movement of any regulated article from 
an area temporarily designated as a regulated area will be subject to 
this subpart. As soon as practicable, the area will be added to the 
list in paragraph (c) of this section or the designation will be 
terminated by the Administrator or an inspector. The owner or person in 
possession of an area for which designation is terminated will be given 
notice of the termination as soon as practicable.

[[Page 63716]]

    (c) The following areas are designated as regulated areas and are 
divided into generally infested areas and suppressive areas as 
indicated below:

Arkansas

    (1) Generally infested areas. None.
    (2) Suppressive areas. Arkansas, Ashley, Chicot, Clay, Craighead, 
Crittenden, Cross, Desha, Drew, Greene, Independence, Jackson, 
Jefferson, Lee, Lincoln, Little River, Lonoke, Mississippi, Monroe, 
Phillips, Poinsett, Prairie, Pulaski, St. Francis, and Woodruff 
Counties.

Louisiana

    (1) Generally infested areas. None.
    (2) Suppressive areas. Adams, Attala, Benton, Bolivar, Calhoun, 
Carroll, Claiborne, Coahoma, De Soto, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, 
Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leflore, Madison, Marshall, 
Monroe, Montgomery, Panola, Pontotoc, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, 
Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Yalobusha, and 
Yazoo Counties.

Mississippi

    (1) Generally infested areas. None.
    (2) Suppressive areas. Adams, Attala, Benton, Bolivar, Calhoun, 
Carroll, Claiborne, Coahoma, De Soto, Grenada, Hinds, Holmes, 
Humphreys, Issaquena, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leflore, Madison, Marshall, 
Monroe, Montgomery, Panola, Pontotoc, Quitman, Sharkey, Sunflower, 
Tallahatchie, Tate, Tippah, Tunica, Warren, Washington, Yalobusha, and 
Yazoo Counties.

Missouri

    (1) Generally infested areas. None.
    (2) Suppressive areas. Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, 
Scott, and Stoddard Counties.

New Mexico

    (1) Generally infested areas. None
    (2) Suppressive areas. Chaves, Eddy, and Lea Counties.

Oklahoma

    (1) Generally infested areas. None.
    (2) Suppressive areas. Atoka, Beckham, Cotton, Greer, Harmon, 
Jackson, McCurtain, Roger Mills, and Tillman Counties.

Tennessee

    (1) Generally infested areas. None.
    (2) Suppressive areas. Crockett, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, 
Haywood, Lake, Lauderdale, Obion, Shelby, and Tipton Counties.

Texas

    (1) Generally infested areas. None.
    (2) Suppressive areas. Anderson, Andrews, Aransas, Archer, 
Atascosa, Austin, Bastrop, Baylor, Bee, Bell, Bexar, Borden, Brazoria, 
Brazos, Briscoe, Brooks, Brown, Burleson, Caldwell, Calhoun, Callahan, 
Cameron, Carson, Childress, Clay, Cochran, Coke, Collin, Collingsworth, 
Colorado, Comanche, Coryell, Cottle, Crosby, Dawson, Delta, Denton, De 
Witt, Dickens, Dimmit, Duval, Eastland, Ellis, Falls, Fannin, Fisher, 
Floyd, Foard, Fort Bend, Frio, Gaines, Garza, Glasscock, Goliad, 
Grayson, Grimes, Guadalupe, Hale, Hall, Hardeman, Haskell, Hays, 
Hildalgo, Hill, Hockley, Hopkins, Houston, Howard, Hunt, Jackson, Jim 
Hogg, Jim Wells, Johnson, Jones, Karnes, Kaufman, Kenedy, Kent, King, 
Kinney, Kleberg, Knox, Lamar, La Salle, Lavaca, Limestone, Live Oak, 
Lubbock, Lynn, McLennan, Martin, Matagorda, Maverick, Medina, Midland, 
Milam, Mitchell, Motley, Navarro, Nolan, Nueces, Rains, Reagan, Red 
River, Reeves, Refugio, Robertson, Rockwall, San Patricio, Scurry, 
Shackelford, Starr, Stephens, Stonewall, Sutton, Swisher, Tarrant, 
Taylor, Throckmorton, Travis, Upton, Uvalde, Van Zandt, Victoria, 
Walker, Waller, Washington, Webb, Wharton, Wichita, Wilbarger, Willacy, 
Williamson, Wilson, Yoakum, Young, Zapata, and Zavala Counties.


Sec.  301.54-4  Conditions governing the interstate movement of 
regulated articles from regulated areas.

    Any regulated article may be moved interstate from a regulated area 
\3\ only if moved under the following conditions:
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    \3\ Requirements under all other applicable Federal domestic 
plant quarantines and regulations must also be met.
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    (a) With a certificate or limited permit issued and attached in 
accordance with Sec. Sec.  301.54-5 and 301.54-8 if the regulated 
article is moved:
    (1) From any regulated area into or through any nonregulated area 
that is located in a commercial cotton-producing area listed in Sec.  
301.54(b); or
    (2) From any generally infested area into or through any 
suppressive area; or
    (3) Between any noncontiguous suppressive areas; or
    (4) Between contiguous suppressive areas when it is determined by 
the inspector that the regulated articles present a hazard of the 
spread of the boll weevil and the person in possession thereof has been 
so notified.
    (b) Without a certificate or limited permit if the regulated 
article is moved into an area that is not listed in Sec.  301.54(b).
    (c) Without a certificate or limited permit if the regulated 
article originated outside the regulated area and:
    (1) Is either moved in an enclosed vehicle or is completely 
enclosed by a covering adequate to prevent access by boll weevils (such 
as canvas, plastic, or other closely woven cloth) while moving through 
the regulated area; and
    (2) The point of origin of the regulated article is indicated on 
the waybill, and the enclosed vehicle or the enclosure that contains 
the regulated article is not opened, unpacked, or unloaded in the 
regulated area; and
    (3) The regulated article is moved through the regulated area 
without stopping except for refueling, rest stops, emergency repairs, 
or for traffic conditions, such as traffic lights or stop signs.
    (d) Without a certificate or limited permit if:
    (1) The regulated article is moved by the United States Department 
of Agriculture for experimental or scientific purposes; and
    (2) Pursuant to a departmental permit issued by the Administrator 
for the regulated article; and
    (3) Under conditions specified on the departmental permit and found 
by the Administrator to be adequate to prevent the spread of the boll 
weevil; and
    (4) With a tag or label bearing the number of the departmental 
permit issued for the regulated article attached to the outside of the 
container of the regulated article or attached to the regulated article 
itself if not in a container.


Sec.  301.54-5  Issuance and cancellation of certificates and limited 
permits.

    (a) A certificate may be issued by an inspector \4\ for the 
interstate movement of a regulated article if the inspector determines 
that:
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    \4\ Services of an inspector may be requested by contacting 
local offices of Plant Protection and Quarantine, which are listed 
in telephone directories.
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    (1)(i) In accordance with part 305 of this chapter; or
    (ii) Based on inspection of the premises of origin, the premises 
are free from the boll weevil; or
    (iii) Based on inspection of the regulated article, the regulated 
article is free of boll weevils; and
    (2) The regulated article will be moved through the regulated area 
in an enclosed vehicle or will be completely enclosed by a covering 
adequate to prevent access by the boll weevil; and
    (3) The regulated article is to be moved in compliance with any 
additional remedial conditions the Administrator may impose under 
section 414 of the Plant Protection Act

[[Page 63717]]

(7 U.S.C. 7714) \5\ to prevent the spread of the boll weevil; and
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    \5\ Section 414 of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7714) 
provides that the Secretary of Agriculture may, under certain 
conditions, hold, seize, quarantine, treat, apply other remedial 
measures to, destroy, or otherwise dispose of any plant, plant pest, 
plant product, article, or means of conveyance that is moving, or 
has moved, into or through the United States or interstate if the 
Secretary has reason to believe the article is a plant pest or is 
infested with a plant pest at the time of movement.
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    (4) The regulated article is eligible for unrestricted movement 
under all other Federal domestic plant quarantines and regulations 
applicable to the regulated article.
    (b) An inspector \6\ will issue a limited permit for the interstate 
movement of a regulated article if the inspector determines that:
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    \6\ See footnote 4 to Sec.  301.54-5(a).
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    (1) The regulated article is to be moved interstate to a specified 
destination for specified handling, processing, or utilization (the 
destination and other conditions to be listed in the limited permit), 
and this interstate movement will not result in the spread of the boll 
weevil because life stages of the boll weevil will be destroyed by the 
specified handling, processing, or utilization;
    (2) The regulated article will be moved in an enclosed vehicle or 
completely covered to prevent access by, and escape of, the boll 
weevil;
    (3) The regulated article is to be moved in compliance with any 
additional remedial conditions the Administrator may impose under 
section 414 of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7714) to prevent the 
spread of the boll weevil; and
    (4) The regulated article is eligible for interstate movement under 
all other Federal domestic plant quarantines and regulations applicable 
to the regulated article.
    (c) Certificates and limited permits for the interstate movement of 
regulated articles may be issued by an inspector or person operating 
under a compliance agreement. A person operating under a compliance 
agreement may issue a certificate for the interstate movement of a 
regulated article after determining that the regulated article is 
otherwise eligible for a certificate in accordance with paragraph (a) 
of this section. A person operating under a compliance agreement may 
issue a limited permit for interstate movement of a regulated article 
after determining that the regulated article is otherwise eligible for 
a limited permit in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.
    (d) Any certificate or limited permit that has been issued may be 
withdrawn, either orally or in writing, by an inspector if he or she 
determines that the holder of the certificate or limited permit has not 
complied with all conditions in this subpart for the use of the 
certificate or limited permit. If the withdrawal is oral, the 
withdrawal and the reasons for the withdrawal will be confirmed in 
writing as promptly as circumstances allow. Any person whose 
certificate or limited permit has been withdrawn may appeal the 
decision in writing to the Administrator within 10 days after receiving 
the written notification of the withdrawal. The appeal must state all 
of the facts and reasons upon which the person relies to show that the 
certificate or limited permit was wrongfully withdrawn. As promptly as 
circumstances allow, the Administrator will grant or deny the appeal, 
in writing, stating the reasons for the decision. A hearing will be 
held to resolve any conflict as to any material fact. Rules of practice 
concerning a hearing will be adopted by the Administrator.


Sec.  301.54-6  Compliance agreements and cancellation.

    (a) Any person engaged in growing, handling, or moving regulated 
articles may enter into a compliance agreement when an inspector 
determines that the person is aware of this subpart, agrees to comply 
with its provisions, and agrees to comply with all the provisions 
contained in the compliance agreement.\7\
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    \7\ Compliance agreement forms are available without charge from 
local Plant Protection and Quarantine offices, which are listed in 
telephone directories.
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    (b) Any compliance agreement may be canceled, either orally or in 
writing, by an inspector whenever the inspector finds that the person 
who has entered into the compliance agreement has failed to comply with 
this subpart. If the cancellation is oral, the cancellation and the 
reasons for the cancellation will be confirmed in writing as promptly 
as circumstances allow. Any person whose compliance agreement has been 
canceled may appeal the decision, in writing, to the Administrator, 
within 10 days after receiving written notification of the 
cancellation. The appeal must state all of the facts and reasons upon 
which the person relies to show that the compliance agreement was 
wrongfully canceled. As promptly as circumstances allow, the 
Administrator will grant or deny the appeal, in writing, stating the 
reasons for the decision. A hearing will be held to resolve any 
conflict as to any material fact. Rules of practice concerning a 
hearing will be adopted by the Administrator.


Sec.  301.54-7  Assembly and inspection of regulated articles.

    (a) Any person (other than a person authorized to issue 
certificates or limited permits under Sec.  301.54-5(c)) who desires a 
certificate or limited permit to move a regulated article interstate 
must notify an inspector \8\ as far in advance of the desired 
interstate movement as possible, but no less than 48 hours before the 
desired interstate movement.
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    \8\ See footnote 4 to Sec.  301.54-5(a).
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    (b) The regulated article must be assembled at the place and in the 
manner the inspector designates as necessary to comply with this 
subpart.


Sec.  301.54-8  Attachment and disposition of certificates and limited 
permits.

    (a) A certificate or limited permit required for the interstate 
movement of a regulated article must, at all times during the 
interstate movement, be:
    (1) Attached to the outside of the container containing the 
regulated article; or
    (2) Attached to the regulated article itself if not in a container; 
or
    (3) Attached to the consignee's copy of the accompanying waybill. 
If the certificate or limited permit is attached to the consignee's 
copy of the waybill, the regulated article must be sufficiently 
described on the certificate or limited permit and on the waybill to 
identify the regulated article.
    (b) The certificate or limited permit for the interstate movement 
of a regulated article must be furnished by the carrier or the 
carrier's representative to the consignee listed on the certificate or 
limited permit upon arrival at the location provided on the certificate 
or limited permit.


Sec.  301.54-9  Costs and charges.

    The services of the inspector during normal business hours (8 a.m. 
to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays) will be furnished 
without cost. The user will be responsible for all costs and charges 
arising from inspection and other services provided outside normal 
business hours.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 24th day of October 2006.
Bruce Knight,
Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. E6-18150 Filed 10-30-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P