[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 55 (Thursday, March 22, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 13423-13428]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-5229]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 55 / Thursday, March 22, 2007 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 13423]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0032]
RIN 0579-AC38


Citrus Canker; Interstate Movement of Regulated Nursery Stock 
From Quarantined Areas

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the citrus canker quarantine regulations to 
explicitly prohibit, with limited exceptions, the interstate movement 
of regulated nursery stock from a quarantined area. The interstate 
movement of regulated nursery stock from an area quarantined for citrus 
canker poses a high risk of spreading citrus canker outside the 
quarantined area. We are including two exceptions to the prohibition. 
We are allowing calamondin and kumquat plants, two types of citrus 
plants that are highly resistant to citrus canker, to move interstate 
from a quarantined area under a protocol designed to ensure that they 
are free of citrus canker prior to movement. We will also continue to 
allow the interstate movement of regulated nursery stock for immediate 
export, under certain conditions. This action is necessary to clarify 
our regulations and to address the risk associated with the interstate 
movement of regulated nursery stock from areas quarantined for citrus 
canker.

DATES: This interim rule is effective March 16, 2007. We will consider 
all comments that we receive on or before May 21, 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-2007-0032 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-
2007-0032, 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-2007-0032.
    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. Stephen Poe, Senior Operations 
Officer, Emergency Domestic Programs, Plant Protection and Quarantine, 
APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 137, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-
4387.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Citrus canker is a plant disease that affects plants and plant 
parts, including fresh fruit, of citrus and citrus relatives (Family 
Rutaceae). Citrus canker can cause defoliation and other serious damage 
to the leaves and twigs of susceptible plants. It can also cause 
lesions on the fruit of infected plants, which render the fruit 
unmarketable, and cause infected fruit to drop from the trees before 
reaching maturity. The aggressive A (Asiatic) strain of citrus canker 
can infect susceptible plants rapidly and lead to extensive economic 
losses in commercial citrus-producing areas.
    The regulations to prevent the interstate spread of citrus canker 
are contained in 7 CFR 301.75-1 through 301.75-14 (referred to below as 
the regulations). The regulations restrict the interstate movement of 
regulated articles from and through areas quarantined because of citrus 
canker and provide conditions under which regulated fruit and regulated 
seed may be moved from quarantined areas.
    On August 1, 2006, we published an interim rule in the Federal 
Register (71 FR 43345-43352, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0114) that 
designated the entire State of Florida as a quarantined area. The 
interim rule also amended the regulations governing the movement of 
regulated articles from a quarantined area to reflect the fact that the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) had announced on January 10, 
2006, that the eradication program that USDA and the State of Florida 
had been pursuing was no longer a scientifically feasible option to 
address citrus canker. Eradication had become an infeasible option in 
Florida due to the rapid spread of citrus canker across that State that 
occurred during the hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005.
    The amendments we made to our regulations in the August 2006 
interim rule were consistent with the recommendations of the Citrus 
Health Response Program, whose goal is to improve the ability of the 
commercial citrus industry to produce, harvest, process, and ship 
healthy fruit in the presence of citrus canker. This program provides 
general guidance to regulatory officials and all sectors of the citrus 
industry on ways to safeguard against citrus canker and other citrus 
pests of concern.

Regulations That Have Governed the Interstate Movement of Regulated 
Nursery Stock

    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has 
historically not allowed the interstate movement of regulated nursery 
stock from areas quarantined for citrus canker, because that movement 
is considered to be the highest risk pathway for the

[[Page 13424]]

spread of citrus canker. In virtually every case worldwide where citrus 
canker has been introduced into a new area, it has been through the 
movement of infected citrus nursery stock. If a citrus canker outbreak 
were to occur in another commercial citrus-producing area in the United 
States, the cost of eradicating the outbreak would be extremely high 
for both that State and the USDA, and citrus producers in that area 
could experience business interruptions and consequently lose 
substantial revenues.
    In Sec.  301.75-2 of the regulations, paragraph (a) prohibits the 
interstate movement of regulated articles except in accordance with the 
regulations. In addition, the regulations in Sec.  301.75-6 have set 
out threshold conditions that must be met for the movement of regulated 
articles under Sec. Sec.  301.75-7 and 301.75-8 from areas quarantined 
for citrus canker. These include requirements for surveying every 
regulated plant and regulated tree in every nursery in the quarantined 
area containing regulated plants and regulated trees at intervals of no 
more than 45 days and for treating personnel, vehicles, and equipment.
    The requirements in Sec.  301.75-6 were intended to be threshold 
conditions for the interstate movement of regulated fruit, whose 
movement is subject to the additional conditions in Sec.  301.75-7, and 
regulated seed, whose movement is subject to the additional conditions 
in Sec.  301.75-8, from a quarantined area. The requirements of Sec.  
301.75-6, standing alone, did not serve to address the risk associated 
with the movement of regulated articles such as nursery stock from the 
quarantined area, however, since they did not include any provisions to 
ensure that the specific articles to be moved were free of citrus 
canker. In fact, these requirements were not intended to serve as 
necessary and sufficient conditions under which the movement of 
regulated articles such as nursery stock would be allowed.
    We have considered the interstate movement of nursery stock to be 
prohibited under Sec.  301.75-2(a) because we have not had regulations 
in place that specifically set forth the conditions under which the 
interstate movement of nursery stock from a quarantined area would be 
allowed. However, the regulations have also not contained any provision 
specifically prohibiting the interstate movement of regulated nursery 
stock from the quarantined area. Given that, the general requirements 
in Sec.  301.75-6 could also have been read as allowing the interstate 
movement of any regulated article not specifically named elsewhere in 
the regulations, including nursery stock, subject to the conditions in 
that section. As stated earlier, APHIS' intent has always been to 
prohibit the movement of all nursery stock except calamondin and 
kumquat plants from the quarantined area. (Our reasons for allowing the 
interstate movement of those plants are discussed later in this 
document under the heading ``Protocol to Allow Interstate Movement of 
Calamondin and Kumquat Plants.'')
    Prior to the decision by the USDA that the eradication program was 
no longer a scientifically feasible option to address citrus canker in 
Florida, the State of Florida had placed restrictions on the intrastate 
movement of regulated nursery stock from the quarantined area. Under 
its authority, the State of Florida placed ``stop-sale'' orders on all 
nursery stock in the quarantined area, thus preventing its movement, 
and also destroyed any plants or trees that were infected with citrus 
canker as well as any regulated plants or trees that were located 
within 1,900 feet of an infected plant or tree. These intrastate 
movement restrictions effectively prohibited the movement of regulated 
nursery stock from the quarantined area. However, after the USDA 
decision and the subsequent designation of the entire State of Florida 
as a quarantined area, the State of Florida stopped routinely 
destroying infected and exposed trees and plants and issuing stop-sale 
orders for uninfected nurseries in the quarantined area, since the goal 
of the citrus canker program was no longer to eradicate citrus canker 
in Florida but to manage it.
    Therefore, we need to amend the regulations to explicitly prohibit, 
with limited exceptions, the interstate movement of regulated nursery 
stock, to codify our long-standing policy in that regard and to remove 
any ambiguity that may have arisen from the provisions in Sec.  301.75-
6.
    Accordingly, this interim rule prohibits the interstate movement of 
regulated nursery stock from a quarantined area. (This interim rule 
adds a definition of nursery stock to the definitions in Sec.  301.75-
1. The definition reads: ``Living plants and plant parts intended to be 
planted, to remain planted, or to be replanted.'' We are also amending 
the definition of regulated fruit, regulated plant, regulated seed, 
regulated tree so that it includes nursery stock. Thus, nursery stock 
derived from any citrus plant is considered to be regulated nursery 
stock.) We are including two exceptions to the prohibition: Calamondin 
and kumquat plants are allowed to move interstate from a quarantined 
area under a protocol designed to ensure that they are free of citrus 
canker prior to movement, and regulated nursery stock that is otherwise 
ineligible for interstate movement may be moved for immediate export. 
To codify these changes, we are amending Sec.  301.75-6 to address the 
interstate movement of regulated nursery stock. The changes we are 
making to the regulations are discussed directly below.

Amendments to Sec.  301.75-6 To Address Regulated Nursery Stock

    As discussed earlier, prior to the effective date of this interim 
rule, Sec.  301.75-6 set out threshold conditions that had to be met 
for the movement of regulated articles from the quarantined area under 
Sec. Sec.  301.75-7 and 301.75-8. We are revising the title of the 
section to read ``Interstate movement of regulated nursery stock from a 
quarantined area'' to reflect its new focus.
    We have moved the requirements in paragraph (b) to a new paragraph 
(c) and amended the paragraph to refer generally to nursery stock 
rather than only to plants and trees. This paragraph, which was 
originally added to the regulations in the August 2006 interim rule, 
allows regulated nursery stock produced in a nursery located in a 
quarantined area that is not otherwise eligible for movement to be 
moved interstate for immediate export. To be moved under this 
paragraph, the regulated nursery stock must be accompanied by a limited 
permit issued in accordance with Sec.  301.75-12 and must be moved in a 
container sealed by APHIS directly to the port of export in accordance 
with the conditions of the limited permit.
    We are replacing the remainder of Sec.  301.75-6 with new 
regulations.
    Prior to our August 2006 interim rule, paragraph (a) of Sec.  
301.75-6 required inspections at 45-day intervals of all regulated 
plants and regulated trees in nurseries within the quarantined area and 
annual inspections of all other regulated plants and regulated trees 
(except houseplants) within the quarantined area. In the ``Background'' 
section of the August 2006 interim rule, we stated that the level of 
inspection that had been required in Sec.  301.75-6 ``is necessary for 
a regulatory program focused on eradication but it is no longer 
appropriate in all cases given the current circumstances. Therefore, we 
are moving those requirements from Sec.  301.75-6 to Sec.  301.75-
4(d).'' That paragraph contains provisions under which an area less 
than an entire State may be designated as a quarantined area; our 
intention was to move all provisions in the regulations that were

[[Page 13425]]

related to eradication to that paragraph, as we would normally pursue 
eradication only in an area less than an entire State. However, while 
we did add those requirements to Sec.  301.75-4(d), only the provision 
regarding annual inspections was removed from Sec.  301.75-6 in the 
August 2006 interim rule. Therefore, we are removing the provision 
regarding inspection of nurseries within the quarantined area from 
Sec.  301.75-6 in this interim rule.
    Paragraph (a)(2) of Sec.  301.75-6 has required that, in the 
quarantined area, all vehicles, equipment, and other articles used in 
providing inspection, maintenance, harvesting, or related services in 
any grove containing regulated plants or regulated trees be treated in 
accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(d) upon leaving the grove. Paragraph 
(a)(2) has also required that all personnel who enter the grove or 
premises to provide these services must be treated in accordance with 
Sec.  301.75-11(c) upon leaving the grove. These requirements are 
designed to protect groves from the artificial spread of citrus canker 
and are more properly located in Sec.  301.75-7, i.e., in the 
regulations governing the interstate movement of fruit from the 
quarantined area, which require that regulated fruit come from a grove 
free of citrus canker in order to be eligible for interstate movement. 
Accordingly, we are moving the requirements that have been in Sec.  
301.75-6(a)(2) into paragraph (a) of Sec.  301.75-7.
    In this interim rule, we are revising paragraph (a) of Sec.  
301.75-6 to state that regulated nursery stock may not be moved 
interstate from a quarantined area except for immediate export in 
accordance with newly redesignated paragraph (c) of Sec.  301.75-6, 
with the proviso that calamondin and kumquat plants may be moved 
interstate from a quarantined area in accordance with a new paragraph 
(b). The provisions of this paragraph (b), along with our reasons for 
including them in the regulations, are discussed in detail directly 
below.

Protocol to Allow Interstate Movement of Calamondin and Kumquat Plants

    In a final rule published in the Federal Register on March 24, 1989 
(54 FR 12175-12183), we made several changes to the citrus canker 
regulations, including adding provisions to allow the interstate 
movement of own-root-only calamondin and kumquat plants under limited 
permit to all areas of the United States except commercial citrus-
producing areas. This final rule was published subsequent to a proposed 
rule we published in the Federal Register on October 21, 1988 (53 FR 
41538-41549, Docket No. 88-105). We received 32 comments on that 
proposal, but none addressed the provisions for the interstate movement 
of calamondin and kumquat plants. Therefore, we adopted the proposed 
provisions in our final rule, without change. The provisions adopted in 
that final rule are similar to the provisions under which we are 
allowing the interstate movement of calamondin and kumquat plants in 
this interim rule.
    At the time the March 1989 final rule was published, the entire 
State of Florida was quarantined for citrus canker. However, in a final 
rule published in the Federal Register on September 11, 1990 (55 FR 
37441-37453, Docket No. 90-114), we substantially revised the 
regulations to reflect the fact that the disease that had been called 
the Florida nursery strain of citrus canker was in fact a less serious 
disease called citrus bacterial spot. Therefore, in the September 1990 
final rule, the area of Florida quarantined for citrus canker was 
reduced to a much smaller area where the Asiatic strain of citrus 
canker was present. The September 1990 final rule also removed the 
provisions allowing the interstate movement of calamondin and kumquat 
plants from quarantined areas. We did not provide a reason for removing 
those provisions in either the final rule or the proposed rule that 
preceded it. Because the reduction in the quarantined area meant that 
most nurseries in Florida were now eligible to move regulated nursery 
stock of any kind interstate without restrictions, it can be presumed 
that the change did not have much negative effect on the nursery stock 
industry in Florida.
    The August 2006 interim rule again quarantined the entire State of 
Florida for citrus canker, thus prohibiting the interstate movement of 
regulated nursery stock from all nurseries in the State. To provide any 
possible relief from these restrictions, we reexamined the movement of 
calamondin and kumquat plants and determined the safeguards that the 
protocol required for the interstate movement of these highly resistant 
plants would mitigate the risk of spreading citrus canker from a 
quarantined area through the interstate movement of these plants. We 
subsequently began allowing such movement through administrative action 
pending the development of regulations. This interim rule codifies that 
protocol.
    The biological basis for allowing the interstate movement of 
calamondin and kumquat plants remains the same: These two types of 
citrus are highly resistant to infection by the bacterium that causes 
citrus canker.\1\ Additionally, we are requiring that these plants be 
produced in conditions that will further minimize the risk that they 
could be infected with citrus canker. Under paragraph (b) of Sec.  
301.75-6, calamondin and kumquat plants may only be moved interstate if 
all of the following conditions are met:
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    \1\ See Gottwald, T.R., Graham, J.H., and Schubert, T.S. 2002. 
Citrus canker: The pathogen and its impact. Plant Health Progress 
doi:10.1094/PHP-2002-0812-01-RV. Available at http://
www.plantmanagementnetwork.org/pub/php/review/citruscanker/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     The plants are own-root-only and have not been grafted or 
budded;
     The plants are started, are grown, and have been 
maintained solely at the nursery from which they will be moved 
interstate.
     If the plants are not grown from seed, then the cuttings 
used for propagation of the plants are taken from plants located on the 
same nursery premises or from another nursery that is eligible to 
produce calamondin and kumquat plants for interstate movement under the 
requirements of Sec.  301.75-6(b). Cuttings may not be obtained from 
properties where citrus canker is present.
     All citrus plants at the nursery premises have undergone 
State inspection and have been found to be free of citrus canker no 
less than three times. The inspections must be at intervals of 30 to 45 
days, with the most recent inspection being within 30 days of the date 
on which the plants are removed and packed for shipment.
     All vehicles, equipment, and other articles used in 
providing inspection, maintenance, or related services in the nursery 
must be treated in accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(d) before entering 
the nursery to prevent the introduction of citrus canker. All personnel 
who enter the nursery to provide these services must be treated in 
accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(c) before entering the nursery to 
prevent the introduction of citrus canker.
     If citrus canker is found in the nursery, all regulated 
plants and plant material must be removed from the nursery and all 
areas of the nursery's facilities where plants are grown and all 
associated equipment and tools used at the nursery must be treated in 
accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(d) in order for the nursery to be 
eligible to produce calamondin and kumquat plants to be moved 
interstate under Sec.  301.75-6(b). Fifteen days after these actions 
are completed, the nursery may receive new calamondin and kumquat seed 
or cuttings from a nursery that is eligible

[[Page 13426]]

to produce calamondin and kumquat plants for interstate movement under 
Sec.  301.75-6(b). The bacterium that causes citrus canker is extremely 
unlikely to survive if left for 15 days without host material to 
infect.
     The plants, except for plants that are hermetically sealed 
in plastic bags before leaving the nursery, are completely enclosed in 
containers or vehicle compartments during movement through the 
quarantined area. This requirement will prevent infection during 
transportation through the quarantined area.
    Paragraph (b) also requires that the plants be moved under limited 
permit to ensure that they are only moved to areas other than 
commercial citrus-producing areas. This requirement is contained in 
paragraph (b)(8), which requires that the calamondin or kumquat plants 
or trees be accompanied by a limited permit issued in accordance with 
Sec.  301.75-12. The statement ``Limited permit: Not for distribution 
in AZ, CA, HI, LA, TX, and American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana 
Islands, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands of the United States'' must be 
displayed on a plastic or metal tag attached to each plant, or on the 
box or container if the plant is sealed in plastic. In addition, this 
statement must be displayed on the outside of any shipping containers 
used to transport these plants, and the limited permit must be attached 
to the bill of lading or other shipping document that accompanies the 
plants.
    Section 301.75-12 contains general requirements for issuance and 
attachment of limited permits under the regulations. Paragraph (b) of 
that section requires that the limited permit accompanying a regulated 
article be attached to the outside of the article, the outside of the 
container, or the waybill. As described in the previous paragraph, the 
protocol for the interstate movement of calamondin and kumquat trees 
imposes additional, specific requirements related to the limited permit 
that are designed to provide as much assurance as possible that the 
nursery stock will not be moved into a commercial citrus-producing 
area. Accordingly, we are amending Sec.  301.75-12(b) to make it clear 
that the specific requirements for attaching limited permits to 
calamondin and kumquat plants supersede the general provisions of Sec.  
301.75-12(b).
    We believe these conditions will ensure the safe interstate 
movement of calamondin and kumquat plants from the quarantined area, as 
they did prior to the September 1990 final rule.
    Finally, we are also revising paragraph (a) of Sec.  301.75-2 to 
state that regulated articles may not be moved interstate from a 
quarantined area except in accordance with a protocol in Sec. Sec.  
301.75-6, 301.75-7, or 301.75-8; in accordance with Sec.  301.75-4 if 
less than an entire State is designated as a quarantined area; or in 
accordance with the regulations in Sec.  301.75-9 for scientific or 
experimental purposes only. We are making this change to clarify that 
the regulations prohibit the interstate movement from a quarantined 
area of all regulated articles other than those specifically addressed 
elsewhere in the regulations. If we determine that other regulated 
articles can be moved interstate from the quarantined area without 
spreading citrus canker, we will update the regulations to set out 
conditions for their movement.

Miscellaneous Change

    We are also amending the definition of nursery. This definition has 
read: ``Any premises, including greenhouses but excluding any grove, at 
which plants are grown or maintained for propagation or replanting.'' 
We are amending this definition to replace the reference to plants with 
a reference to nursery stock, as defined in this interim rule. We are 
also removing the references to propagation and replanting. Any 
premises at which nursery stock is grown or maintained could be a 
source of nursery stock that is moved interstate, regardless of the 
intended use of that nursery stock, and should be required to fulfill 
all applicable provisions of the regulations.

Emergency Action

    This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to address the 
ambiguities in Sec.  301.75-6 and the risk associated with the 
interstate movement of citrus nursery stock and other regulated 
articles from areas quarantined for citrus canker. 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. The rule 
has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive 
Order 12866 and, therefore, has not been reviewed by the Office of 
Management and Budget.
    This interim rule codifies existing policies and clarifies the 
regulations to prohibit the interstate movement of regulated nursery 
stock from the quarantined area. Because the interstate movement of 
nursery stock from an area quarantined for citrus canker poses a high 
risk of spreading citrus canker outside the quarantined area, APHIS has 
prohibited this movement prior to the effective date of this interim 
rule. This change to the regulations will not have any effect on any 
entities, as it codifies existing procedures. In addition, the interim 
rule retains a provision of the regulations that allows the interstate 
movement of regulated nursery stock for immediate export, under certain 
conditions.
    The interim rule also provides for the interstate movement of 
calamondin and kumquat plants, two types of citrus plants that are 
highly resistant to citrus canker, if they are produced and moved under 
a protocol designed to ensure that they are free from citrus canker 
prior to movement. Prior to the publication of the August 2006 interim 
rule, which quarantined the entire State of Florida for citrus canker, 
the movement of all regulated nursery stock, including calamondin and 
kumquat plants, from the quarantined area was prohibited by Florida's 
statutes and regulations. However, since the publication of the August 
2006 interim rule, APHIS has recognized the lower risk associated with 
the interstate movement of calamondin and kumquat plants by allowing 
them to move under the protocol designed to ensure that they are free 
of citrus canker, similar to how APHIS allowed that movement before the 
September 1990 final rule discussed earlier in this document reduced 
the area quarantined for citrus canker to an area less than the entire 
State of Florida. We have allowed the movement of calamondin and 
kumquat plants, subject to the protocol, through administrative action 
pending the development of regulations. Adding these provisions to the 
regulations in this interim rule simply codifies existing procedures.
    Because the changes to the regulations made by this interim rule 
will not have any effect on current quarantine operations, we expect 
that they will not have a significant economic impact on any entities, 
whether large or small.

[[Page 13427]]

    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

    In accordance with section 3507(j) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements included in this interim rule have been 
submitted for emergency approval to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB). When OMB notifies us of its decision, we will publish a document 
in the Federal Register providing notice of the assigned OMB control 
number.
    We plan to request continuation of that approval for 3 years. 
Please send written comments on the 3-year approval request to the 
following addresses: (1) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, 
OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for APHIS, Washington, DC 20503; and (2) 
Docket No. APHIS-2007-0032, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238. Please state that your comments refer to Docket No. APHIS-2007-
0032 and send your comments within 60 days of publication of this rule.
    This interim rule amends the citrus canker regulations to prohibit 
the interstate movement of nursery stock, except calamondin and kumquat 
plants produced in accordance with a production protocol and moved 
interstate to areas other than commercial citrus production areas. The 
imposition of the movement requirement will require regulated parties 
to secure limited permits for the interstate movement of calamondin and 
kumquat plants.
    We are soliciting comments from the public (as well as affected 
agencies) concerning our information collection and recordkeeping 
requirements. These comments will help us:
    (1) Evaluate whether the 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 
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 0.0015 hours per response.
    Respondents: Citrus growers.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 8.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 10,025.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 80,200.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 120 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 interim 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.

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

PART 301--DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
1. The authority citation 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).


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2. Section 301.75-1 is amended by removing the definition of regulated 
fruit, regulated plant, regulated seed, regulated tree, revising the 
definition of nursery, and adding, in alphabetical order, new 
definitions of nursery stock and regulated fruit, regulated nursery 
stock, regulated plant, regulated seed, regulated tree to read as 
follows:


Sec.  301.75-1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Nursery. Any premises, including greenhouses but excluding any 
grove, at which nursery stock is grown or maintained.
    Nursery stock. Living plants and plant parts intended to be 
planted, to remain planted, or to be replanted.
* * * * *
    Regulated fruit, regulated nursery stock, regulated plant, 
regulated seed, regulated tree. Any fruit, nursery stock, plant, seed, 
or tree defined as a regulated article.
* * * * *

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3. In Sec.  301.75-2, paragraph (a) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  301.75-2  General prohibitions.

    (a) Regulated articles may not be moved interstate from a 
quarantined area except in accordance with a protocol in Sec. Sec.  
301.75-6, 301.75-7, or 301.75-8, or in accordance with Sec.  301.75-4 
if less than an entire State is designated as a quarantined area. 
Regulated articles may be moved in accordance with the regulations in 
Sec.  301.75-9 for scientific or experimental purposes only.
* * * * *

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4. Section 301.75-6 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  301.75-6  Interstate movement of regulated nursery stock from a 
quarantined area.

    (a) Regulated nursery stock may not be moved interstate from a 
quarantined area except for immediate export in accordance with 
paragraph (c) of this section; Provided, that calamondin and

[[Page 13428]]

kumquat plants may be moved interstate from a quarantined area in 
accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.
    (b) Calamondin (Citrus mitus) and kumquat (Fortunella spp.) plants, 
with or without fruit attached, may be moved interstate from a 
quarantined area into any area of the United States except commercial 
citrus-producing areas if all of the following conditions are met:
    (1) The plants are own-root-only and have not been grafted or 
budded;
    (2) The plants are started, are grown, and have been maintained 
solely at the nursery from which they will be moved interstate.
    (3) If the plants are not grown from seed, then the cuttings used 
for propagation of the plants are taken from plants located on the same 
nursery premises or from another nursery that is eligible to produce 
calamondin and kumquat plants for interstate movement under the 
requirements of this paragraph (b). Cuttings may not be obtained from 
properties where citrus canker is present.
    (4) All citrus plants at the nursery premises have undergone State 
inspection and have been found to be free of citrus canker no less than 
three times. The inspections must be at intervals of 30 to 45 days, 
with the most recent inspection being within 30 days of the date on 
which the plants are removed and packed for shipment.
    (5) All vehicles, equipment, and other articles used in providing 
inspection, maintenance, or related services in the nursery must be 
treated in accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(d) before entering the 
nursery to prevent the introduction of citrus canker. All personnel who 
enter the nursery to provide these services must be treated in 
accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(c) before entering the nursery to 
prevent the introduction of citrus canker.
    (6) If citrus canker is found in the nursery, all regulated plants 
and plant material must be removed from the nursery and all areas of 
the nursery's facilities where plants are grown and all associated 
equipment and tools used at the nursery must be treated in accordance 
with Sec.  301.75-11(d) in order for the nursery to be eligible to 
produce calamondin and kumquat plants to be moved interstate under this 
paragraph (b). Fifteen days after these actions are completed, the 
nursery may receive new calamondin and kumquat seed or cuttings from a 
nursery that is eligible to produce calamondin and kumquat plants for 
interstate movement under this paragraph (b).
    (7) The plants, except for plants that are hermetically sealed in 
plastic bags before leaving the nursery, are completely enclosed in 
containers or vehicle compartments during movement through the 
quarantined area.
    (8) The calamondin or kumquat plants or trees are accompanied by a 
limited permit issued in accordance with Sec.  301.75-12. The statement 
``Limited permit: Not for distribution in AZ, CA, HI, LA, TX, and 
American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and Virgin 
Islands of the United States'' must be displayed on a plastic or metal 
tag attached to each plant, or on the box or container if the plant is 
sealed in plastic. In addition, this statement must be displayed on the 
outside of any shipping containers used to transport these plants, and 
the limited permit must be attached to the bill of lading or other 
shipping document that accompanies the plants.
    (c) Regulated nursery stock produced in a nursery located in a 
quarantined area that is not eligible for movement under paragraph (b) 
of this section may be moved interstate only for immediate export. The 
regulated nursery stock must be accompanied by a limited permit issued 
in accordance with Sec.  301.75-12 and must be moved in a container 
sealed by APHIS directly to the port of export in accordance with the 
conditions of the limited permit.

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5. Section 301.75-7 is amended by redesignating paragraph (a)(5) as 
paragraph (a)(6) and by adding a new paragraph (a)(5) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  301.75-7  Interstate movement of regulated fruit from a 
quarantined area.

    (a) * * *
    (5) All vehicles, equipment, and other articles used in providing 
inspection, maintenance, harvesting, or related services in the grove 
must be treated in accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(d) upon leaving the 
grove. All personnel who enter the grove or premises to provide these 
services must be treated in accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(c) upon 
leaving the grove.
* * * * *


Sec.  301.75-12  [Amended]

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6. In Sec.  301.75-12, the introductory text of paragraph (b)(1) is 
amended by removing the word ``Certificates'' and adding the words 
``Except as provided in Sec.  301.75-6(b)(8) for calamondin and kumquat 
plants, certificates'' in its place.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 16th day of March 2007.
Nick Gutierrez,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E7-5229 Filed 3-21-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P