[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 28 (Monday, February 12, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 6433-6435]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-2325]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 28 / Monday, February 12, 2007 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 6433]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0169]


Pine Shoot Beetle; Additions to Quarantined Areas

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We are amending the pine shoot beetle regulations by adding 
the entire State of Iowa and two counties, Morris and Somerset, in New 
Jersey to the list of quarantined areas. We are taking this action 
following the detection of pine shoot beetle in these areas. This 
action is necessary to prevent the spread of pine shoot beetle, a pest 
of pine trees, into noninfested areas of the United States.

DATES: This interim rule is effective February 12, 2007. We will 
consider all comments that we receive on or before April 13, 2007.

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-2006-0169 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-
2006-0169, 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-2006-0169.
    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. Weyman Fussell, Program Manager, 
Pest Detection and Management Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road 
Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5705.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The regulations in 7 CFR 301.50 through 301.50-10 (referred to 
below as the regulations) restrict the interstate movement of certain 
regulated articles from quarantined areas in order to prevent the 
spread of pine shoot beetle (PSB) into noninfested areas of the United 
States.
    PSB is a pest of pine trees that can cause damage in weak and dying 
trees, where reproduction and immature stages of PSB occur. During 
``shoot feeding,'' young beetles tunnel into the center of pine shoots 
(usually of the current year's growth), causing stunted and distorted 
growth in host trees. PSB is also a vector of several diseases of pine 
trees. Factors that may result in the establishment of PSB populations 
far from the location of the original host tree include: (1) Adults can 
fly at least 1 kilometer, and (2) infested trees and pine products are 
often transported long distances. This pest damages urban ornamental 
trees and can cause economic losses to the timber, Christmas tree, and 
nursery industries.
    PSB hosts include all pine species. The beetle has been found in a 
variety of pine species (Pinus spp.) in the United States. Scotch pine 
(P. sylvestris) is the preferred host of PSB. The Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has determined, based on scientific 
data from European countries, that fir (Abies spp.,) larch (Larix 
spp.,) and spruce (Picea spp.) are not hosts of PSB.
    Surveys conducted by State and Federal inspectors have revealed 
that areas in Iowa and New Jersey are infested with PSB. Copies of the 
surveys may be obtained by writing to the individual listed under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    The regulations in Sec.  301.50-3 provide that the Administrator of 
APHIS will list as a quarantined area each State, or each portion of a 
State, in which PSB has been found by an inspector, in which the 
Administrator has reason to believe PSB is present, or that the 
Administrator considers necessary to regulate because of its 
inseparability for quarantine enforcement purposes from localities in 
which PSB has been found. The regulations further provide that less 
than an entire State will be designated as a quarantined area only if 
the Administrator determines that: (1) The State has adopted and is 
enforcing a quarantine and regulations that impose restrictions on the 
intrastate movement of regulated articles that are equivalent to those 
imposed on the interstate movement of those articles; and (2) the 
designation of less than the entire State as a regulated area will 
otherwise be adequate to prevent the artificial interstate spread of 
PSB.
    In accordance with these criteria, we are designating the entire 
State of Iowa and two additional counties, Morris and Somerset, in New 
Jersey to the list of quarantined areas. Previously, two counties in 
Iowa (Dubuque and Scott) and five counties in New Jersey (Bergen, 
Hunterdon, Passaic, Sussex, and Warren) had been quarantined due to 
PSB. We took this action in an interim rule published in the Federal 
Register and effective on October 3, 2006 (71 FR 58243-58246, Docket 
No. APHIS-2006-0117). Since then, the Iowa Department of Agriculture 
has elected not to enforce an intrastate quarantine; it is, therefore, 
necessary to designate the entire State as a quarantined area. The New 
Jersey Department of Agriculture has elected to implement an intrastate 
quarantine; therefore, quarantined areas are listed at

[[Page 6434]]

the county level based on reports of the presence of PSB in individual 
counties.

Emergency Action

    This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent PSB 
from spreading to noninfested areas of the United States. Under these 
circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and 
opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest and 
that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this rule 
effective less than 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
    We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for 
this interim rule (see DATES above). After the comment period closes, 
we will publish another document in the Federal Register. The document 
will include a discussion of any comments we receive and any amendments 
we are making to the rule.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this 
action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under 
Executive Order 12866.
    This rule amends the PSB regulations by adding the counties of 
Morris and Somerset in New Jersey and the entire State of Iowa to the 
list of quarantined areas.
    Entities affected by this rule may include nurseries, Christmas 
tree farms, logging operations, moving companies and others who sell, 
process, or move regulated articles interstate from these areas. As a 
result of this rule, any regulated articles to be moved interstate from 
a quarantined area must first be inspected and/or treated in order to 
qualify for a certificate or limited permit. This action will help 
prevent the artificial spread of the pest to new areas, and 
consequently avoid economic damage to timber, nursery, and Christmas 
tree producers in areas that could become infested if no action were 
taken.
    Certain pine products will not be allowed to be shipped during 
certain months of the year or will be required to undergo debarking 
before transport occurs. Enterprises such as Christmas tree farms, 
nurseries and greenhouses, sawmill and logging operations, and others 
in the newly designated PSB quarantined areas wishing to move regulated 
articles from these areas may be affected by compliance requirements; 
however, costs associated with issuance of certificates and limited 
permits are borne by the issuing agency.
    APHIS has identified approximately 1,077 entities in Iowa and the 
two New Jersey counties we are designating as quarantined areas that 
sell, process, or move forest products and thus may be affected by this 
rule (table 1). Of these entities, there were approximately 747 that 
produced nursery and greenhouse crops, 303 Christmas tree farms, and at 
least 27 sawmills in 2002. In addition, an unknown number of sawmills 
and logging operations in the newly quarantined counties process pine 
tree products. According to information previously collected by APHIS, 
pine trees and pine tree products such as cut Christmas trees sold in 
these areas largely remain within the regulated areas. Nurseries and 
greenhouses specialize in production of deciduous landscape products 
rather than production of rooted pine Christmas trees and pine nursery 
stock. The latter products in general constitute a small part of their 
production, if they are produced at all. Therefore, the rule is not 
likely to affect most nurseries and greenhouses.

                                       Table 1.--Christmas Tree Farms, Nurseries, Sawmills and Their Market Sales
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                           Market sales                    Market sales      Number of
                                                             Number of     of Christmas     Nurseries &   of nurseries &     sawmills          Sales
                    Quarantined areas                     Christmas tree    tree farms     green-houses     greenhouses     (NAICS code    revenues \1\
                                                               farms         ($1,000)                        ($1,000)         321113)        ($1,000)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Iowa....................................................             215           1,424             554          77,610              27          54,229
Morris and Somerset (NJ)................................              88             323             193          43,957  ..............  ..............
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total...............................................             303           1,747             747         121,567              27          54,229
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\1\ The number of sawmills is reported by State only and thus there are no numbers by county. In the case of New Jersey, there are no numbers by State,
  either. Source: 2002 Census Bureau. American FactFinder. Sector 00: All sectors: Geographic Area Series: Economy Wide Key Statistics (http://
factfinder.census.gov).

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size 
standards to determine when an entity is considered small. Nursery 
stock growers may be considered small when they have annual sales of 
$750,000 or less, and Christmas tree growers may be considered small 
when they have annual sales of $5 million or less.
    The 2002 Agricultural Census does not report sales by entity size. 
However, from previously gathered information, APHIS expects that the 
majority of these entities are small by the SBA size standards.
    Regulated articles from quarantined areas may be moved interstate 
if accompanied by a certificate or limited permit. A certificate for 
interstate movement of regulated articles from quarantined areas is 
issued by an inspector after it is determined that the regulated 
articles are not infested with PSB and do not present a risk of 
spreading PSB to other areas. A limited permit is issued by an 
inspector for the interstate movement of regulated articles from 
quarantined areas when they are to be moved to a specified destination 
for processing, handling, or utilization and the movement will not 
result in the spread of PSB. Regulated articles must have the name of 
the consignor and consignee, as well as the certificate or limited 
permit, attached during all segments of interstate movement.
    A request for a certificate or a limited permit must be made at 
least 48 hours prior to transporting the regulated articles interstate. 
The cost for this service falls upon the issuing agency, and not the 
person/business entity requesting the certificate/limited permit.
    In summary, this rule designates newly quarantined areas for PSB. 
APHIS has identified approximately 747 nursery and greenhouse farms, 
303 cut Christmas tree farms, at least 27 sawmills and an unknown 
number of logging operations, in the newly quarantined two counties in 
New Jersey and the whole state of Iowa. As noted previously, the 
movement of cut Christmas pine trees and pine tree products by these 
establishments is generally within the regulated counties and States. 
Thus, those farms, nurseries, logging operations, and other entities

[[Page 6435]]

are expected to be little affected by this rule.
    Under these circumstances, the Administrator of the Animal and 
Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that this action will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities.

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 rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and 
regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no 
retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings 
before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act

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

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

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

0
Accordingly, we are amending 7 CFR part 301 as follows:

PART 301--DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 301 continues 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).


0
2. In Sec.  301.50-3, paragraph (c) is amended as follows:
0
a. By revising the entry for Iowa to read as set forth below.
0
b. In the entry for New Jersey, by adding new counties in alphabetical 
order to read as set forth below.


Sec.  301.50-3  Quarantined areas.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
* * * * *
Iowa
    The entire State.
* * * * *
New Jersey
* * * * *
    Morris County. The entire county.
* * * * *
    Somerset County. The entire county.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 6th day of February 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-2325 Filed 2-9-07; 8:45 am]
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