[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 96 (Friday, May 18, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 27949-27951]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-9577]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 96 / Friday, May 18, 2007 / Rules and 
Regulations

[[Page 27949]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0051]


Mexican Fruit Fly; Addition of Quarantined Area

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the Mexican fruit fly regulations by adding a 
portion of Webb County, TX, to the existing quarantined area and 
restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles from that 
area; and by amending the definitions for core area and day degrees. 
These actions are necessary to prevent the artificial spread of the 
Mexican fruit fly into noninfested areas of the United States and to 
update the regulations to reflect current science and practices.

DATES: This interim rule is effective May 18, 2007. We will consider 
all comments that we receive on or before July 17, 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-2007-0051 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-
2007-0051, 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-2007-0051.
    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. Wayne Burnett, Domestic 
Coordinator, Fruit Fly Exclusion and Detection, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 36, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-4387.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Mexican fruit fly (Anastrepha ludens) is a destructive pest of 
citrus and many other types of fruit. The short life cycle of the 
Mexican fruit fly allows rapid development of serious outbreaks that 
can cause severe economic losses in commercial citrus-producing areas.
    The Mexican fruit fly regulations, contained in 7 CFR 301.64 
through 301.64-10 (referred to below as the regulations), were 
established to prevent the spread of the Mexican fruit fly to 
noninfested areas of the United States. The regulations impose 
restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from the 
quarantined areas.
    Section 301.64-3(a) provides that the Deputy Administrator for 
Plant Protection and Quarantine, Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service (APHIS), shall list as a regulated area each State, or each 
portion of a State, in which the Mexican fruit fly has been found by an 
inspector, in which the Deputy Administrator has reason to believe the 
Mexican fruit fly is present, or that the Deputy Administrator 
considers necessary to regulate because of its proximity to the Mexican 
fruit fly or its inseparability for quarantine enforcement purposes 
from localities in which the Mexican fruit fly occurs. The regulations 
impose restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles 
from the quarantined areas. Quarantined areas are listed in Sec.  
301.64-3(c).
    Less than an entire State will be designated as a quarantined area 
only if the Deputy Administrator determines that: (1) The State has 
adopted and is enforcing restrictions on the intrastate movement of the 
quarantined articles that are substantially the same as those imposed 
on the interstate movement of quarantined articles and (2) the 
designation of less than the entire State as a quarantined area will 
prevent the interstate spread of the Mexican fruit fly.
    Recent trapping surveys by APHIS inspectors reveal that Mexican 
fruit fly has been introduced into a portion of Webb County, TX.
    APHIS, with the cooperation of State agencies in Texas, has begun 
an intensive Mexican fruit fly eradication program in the quarantined 
area of Webb County. Also, Texas has taken action to restrict the 
intrastate movement of regulated articles from the quarantined area.
    Accordingly, to prevent the spread of the Mexican fruit fly to 
noninfested areas of the United States, we are amending the regulations 
in Sec.  301.64-3 by designating that portion of Webb County, TX, as a 
quarantined area for the Mexican fruit fly. The quarantined area is 
described in detail in the regulatory text at the end of this document.
    Section 301.64-1 of the regulations currently defines the term core 
area as the ``1 square mile area surrounding each property where 
Mexican fruit fly has been detected.'' We have determined that it is 
necessary to amend the definition of core area because the use of GPS 
technology allows us to more accurately measure the distance from a 
positive detection site of Mexican fruit fly. Therefore, we are 
revising the definition of the term core area to read ``the area within 
a circle surrounding each detection using a 1/2-mile radius with the 
detection as a center point.''
    The regulations currently define the term day degrees as a 
mathematical

[[Page 27950]]

construct combining average temperature over time that is used to 
calculate the length of a Mexican fruit fly life cycle. Day degrees are 
the product of the following formula, with all temperatures measured in 
[deg]F: [(Minimum Daily Temp + Maximum Daily Temp)/2]-54[deg]=Day 
Degrees. We have determined that it is necessary to amend the 
definition of day degrees because the use of weather service data 
entered into a computer model enables us to more accurately measure day 
degree accumulation based upon the latest biological information than 
was previously possible. Therefore, we are revising the definition of 
day degrees to read ``a unit of measurement used to measure the amount 
of heat required to further the development of fruit flies through 
their life cycle. Day-degree life cycle requirements are calculated 
through a modeling process specific for each fruit fly species.''

Emergency Action

    This rulemaking is necessary on an emergency basis to prevent the 
Mexican fruit fly 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.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the 
economic impact of their rules on small entities. The Small Business 
Administration (SBA) has established size standards for determining 
which economic entities meet the definition of a small firm. The SBA 
classifies entities that would normally be affected by a quarantine for 
the Mexican fruit fly, growers of oranges (NAICS category 111310), 
citrus (except orange) groves (NAICS category 111320), apple orchards 
(NAICS category 111331), and other non-citrus farming (NAICS category 
111339), as small businesses if their annual receipts are $750,000 or 
less. Any infestation by Mexican fruit fly could result in an increase 
in producer costs for pesticides and their application and a reduction 
in production and revenue. However, according to the 2002 Census of 
Agriculture, there were no commercial farms growing these commodities 
in Webb County, TX.
    County records indicate there are approximately 1 airport, 4 bus 
terminals, 2 cargo freight forwarders, 2 distributors, 1 food bank, 2 
nurseries, and 128 fruit sellers within the quarantined area that may 
be affected by this rule.
    We expect that any small entities located within the quarantined 
area that sell regulated articles do so primarily for local intrastate, 
not interstate, movement, so the effect, if any, of this rule on these 
entities appears to be minimal. The effect on any small entities that 
may move regulated articles interstate will be minimized by the 
availability of various treatments that, in most cases, will allow 
these small entities to move regulated articles interstate with very 
little additional cost.
    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.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and 
analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with this 
interim rule, we have prepared an environmental assessment and finding 
of no significant impact. The environmental assessment and finding of 
no significant impact were 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) USDA regulations implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) 
APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
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 interim rule.) In addition, copies 
may be obtained by writing to the individual listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

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, 7 CFR part 301 is amended 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. Section 301.64-1 is amended by revising the definitions of core area 
and day degrees to read as follows:


Sec.  301.64-1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Core area. The area within a circle surrounding each detection 
using a \1/2\ mile radius with the detection as a center point.
    Day degrees. A unit of measurement used to measure the amount of 
heat required to further the development of fruit flies through their 
life cycle. Day-degree life cycle requirements are calculated through a 
modeling process specific for each fruit fly species.
* * * * *

[[Page 27951]]

0
3. In Sec.  301.64-3, paragraph (c) is amended by adding, in 
alphabetical order, under the heading ``Texas,'' an entry for Webb 
County to read as follows:


Sec.  301.64-3  Quarantined areas.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *

TEXAS

* * * * *
    Webb County: That portion of Webb County in the Laredo area bounded 
by a line as follows: Beginning at a point described as 27.573282[deg] 
N. latitude and -99.517998[deg] W. longitude on the Rio Grande River, 
then east to a point described as 27.573524[deg] N. latitude and -
99.454503[deg] W. longitude, then south to a point described as 
27.442772[deg] N. latitude and -99.448625[deg] W. longitude, then west 
to a point described as 27.442613[deg] N. latitude and -99.495403[deg] 
N. longitude on the Rio Grande River, then north along the Rio Grande 
River to the point of beginning.
* * * * *

    Done in Washington, DC, this 14th day of May 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E7-9577 Filed 5-17-07; 8:45 am]
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