[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 105 (Friday, June 1, 2007)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 30462-30468]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-10562]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2006-0125]
RIN 0579-AC39


Importation of Emerald Ash Borer Host Material From Canada

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are establishing regulations to prohibit or restrict the 
importation of certain articles from Canada that present a risk of 
being infested with emerald ash borer. This action is necessary to 
prevent the artificial spread of this plant pest from infested areas in 
Canada to noninfested areas of the United States and to prevent further 
introductions of this plant pest into the United States.

DATES: This interim rule is effective June 1, 2007. We will consider 
all comments that we receive on or before July 31, 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-2006-0125 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)

[[Page 30463]]

to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0125, 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 APHIS-2006-0125.
    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. Hesham Abuelnaga, Import 
Specialist, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1231; (301) 734-6334.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The emerald ash borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis) is a destructive 
wood-boring insect that attacks ash trees (Fraxinus spp., including 
green ash, white ash, black ash, and several horticultural varieties of 
ash). The insect, which is indigenous to Asia and known to occur in 
China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the Russian Far East, and Taiwan, 
eventually kills healthy ash trees after it bores beneath their bark 
and disrupts their vascular tissues.
    EAB was first found in North America in ash trees in several 
counties in Michigan in July 2002, and subsequently in a small area in 
Ontario, Canada. On October 14, 2003, we published an interim rule in 
the Federal Register (68 FR 59082-59091, Docket No. 02-125-1) in which 
we quarantined 13 counties in Michigan and placed restrictions on the 
interstate movement of regulated articles from those quarantined areas 
to prevent the artificial spread of EAB to other States. Additional 
detections of EAB were made in Ohio in November 2003, in Indiana in 
April 2004, and in Illinois in June 2006. Subsequent interim rules\1\ 
have extended the quarantined area to additional counties in Michigan, 
and to the entire States of Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Officials of 
the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and of State, 
county, and city agencies have been conducting intensive survey and 
eradication programs in the infested areas in the affected States. 
Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio have quarantined the EAB-infested 
areas and imposed restrictions on the intrastate movement of certain 
articles from the regulated areas to prevent the artificial spread of 
EAB within each State. Similarly, provincial officials in Ontario and 
officials of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) have been 
conducting extensive survey and eradication activities in the infested 
areas in Ontario. Plant health officials in the United States and 
Canada have been working cooperatively to establish a regulatory 
framework to address the risk of the artificial spread of EAB between 
the two countries.
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    \1\ These interim rules were published January 4, 2005 (70 FR 
249-253, Docket No. 02-125-2), March 3, 2005 (70 FR 10315-10318, 
Docket No. 02-125-3), October 31, 2005 (70 FR 62230-62232, Docket 
No. 05-067-1), May 24, 2006 (71 FR 29762-29766, Docket No. APHIS-
2006-0046), October 2, 2006 (71 FR 57871-57873, Docket No. APHIS-
2006-0131), and April 2, 2007 (72 FR 15597-15598, Docket No. APHIS-
2007-0005).
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    The regulations in 7 CFR part 319, ``Foreign Quarantine Notices,'' 
prohibit or restrict the importation of certain plants and plant 
products to prevent the introduction or dissemination of plant pests 
and noxious weeds into the United States. In order to prevent the 
artificial spread of EAB from Canada into noninfested areas of the 
United States, we are amending our regulations in part 319 to restrict 
or prohibit the importation of EAB host material into the United States 
from EAB-infested areas of Canada. These requirements are consistent 
with the requirements imposed by the CFIA with respect to the 
importation into Canada of EAB host material from EAB-infested areas of 
the United States.

Nursery Stock

    The regulations contained in ``Subpart-Nursery Stock, Plants, 
Roots, Bulbs, Seeds, and Other Plant Products,'' Sec. Sec.  319.37 
through 319.37-14 (referred to below as the regulations), restrict, 
among other things, the importation of living plants, plant parts, and 
seeds for propagation.
    Nursery stock, plants, and other propagative plant material that 
cannot be feasibly inspected, treated, or handled to prevent them from 
introducing plant pests new to or not known to be widely prevalent in 
or distributed within and throughout the United States are listed in 
Sec.  319.37-2 as prohibited articles. Prohibited articles may not be 
imported into the United States unless imported by the USDA for 
experimental or scientific purposes, or under specified safeguards.
    Ash nursery stock imported into the United States from areas in 
Canada regulated under the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture and the 
CFIA's EAB Infested Place Orders \2\ presents a significant risk of 
spreading the pest; therefore, we are amending Sec.  319.37-2 to list 
any ash nursery stock originating in these EAB-regulated areas in 
Canada as prohibited articles. Previously, we believed that small ash 
trees (trees smaller than 460 millimeters or approximately 18 inches in 
height and half an inch or less in diameter) could not serve as a host 
for the pest. However, subsequently we found EAB on ash stock that 
measured less than half an inch in diameter. Therefore, we are 
prohibiting the importation into the United States of all ash trees, 
regardless of size, that originate in regions regulated by the CFIA 
under the EAB Infested Place Orders because of EAB. We have amended the 
entry for articles of the genus Fraxinus in the table of prohibited 
articles in paragraph (a) of Sec.  319.37-2 to indicate these 
restrictions.
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    \2\ Infested Place Orders are the means by which the CFIA 
regulates EAB-infested areas within Canada. Links to the Infested 
Place Orders for the infested areas in Canada and other information 
about Canada's EAB program can be viewed online at the CFIA's Web 
site at http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/plaveg/pestrava/agrpla/
agrplae.shtml.
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    Alternately, nursery stock, plants, and other propagative plant 
material that can be inspected, treated, or handled to prevent them 
from spreading plant pests are designated in the regulations as 
restricted articles. Paragraph (a) of Sec.  319.37-3 lists restricted 
articles that may be imported or offered for importation into the 
United States after issuance of a written permit by the Plant 
Protection and Quarantine programs, Animal and Plant Health Inspection 
Service (APHIS). We are adding a provision to this section to require 
that ash nursery stock that originates in counties or municipal 
regional counties not regulated for EAB but which are within Provinces 
or Territories in Canada regulated for EAB may only be imported after 
issuance of an import permit by APHIS. Nursery stock originating in 
unaffected Provinces or Territories (i.e., Provinces or Territories 
without areas regulated for EAB) and seeds of Fraxinus spp. from 
anywhere in Canada present little risk of spreading EAB into the United 
States and will not require import permits. We are adding a new 
paragraph (a)(19) to Sec.  319.37-3 to reflect these changes.
    Paragraph (a) of Sec.  319.37-4 of the regulations states that, 
except for small lots of seed imported in accordance with Sec.  319.37-
4(d), any restricted article offered for importation into the United 
States must be accompanied by a

[[Page 30464]]

phytosanitary certificate or, in the case of certain greenhouse-grown 
plants from Canada, a certificate of inspection in the form of a label. 
Paragraph (c) of Sec.  319.37-4 lists the requirements for importing 
certain greenhouse-grown plants from Canada without a phytosanitary 
certificate.
    Considering the serious threat posed by EAB, we believe it is 
necessary to require all ash nursery stock-including greenhouse-grown 
ash nursery stock-from Canada that is eligible for importation (i.e., 
ash nursery stock that does not originate in an EAB-regulated county or 
municipal regional county within a Canadian Province or Territory) to 
be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate of inspection, as defined 
in Sec.  319.37-1. The phytosanitary certificate must include an 
additional declaration stating that the material was produced or 
harvested in a county or municipal regional county where EAB does not 
occur.

Ash Logs and Wood and Ash Wood and Bark Chips

    The regulations in ``Subpart-Logs, Lumber, and Other Unmanufactured 
Wood Articles'' (7 CFR 319.40-1 through 319.40-11, referred to below as 
the regulations) are intended to mitigate the plant pest risk presented 
by the importation of logs, lumber, and other unmanufactured wood 
articles.
    Under the regulations in Sec.  319.40-2, logs, lumber, and other 
unmanufactured wood articles must be imported with the following: (1) A 
permit and (2) an importer document that lists the genus and species of 
the tree from which the regulated article was derived, the country and 
locality, if known, where the tree from which the regulated article was 
derived was harvested, the quantity of the regulated article to be 
imported, the use for which the regulated article is imported, and any 
treatments or handling of the regulated article required by the 
regulations that were performed prior to arrival at the port of first 
arrival. These requirements are intended to protect against the 
introduction of plant pests, including EAB, into the United States.
    However, the provisions of Sec.  319.40-2 have not applied to ash 
logs, lumber, and other unmanufactured wood articles imported into the 
United States from Canada which only require a general permit under 
Sec.  319.40-3(a). Other than regulated articles of the subfamilies 
Aurantioideae, Rutoideae, and Toddalioideae of the botanical family 
Rutaceae, and pine articles from regions regulated for pine shoot 
beetle (Tomicus pinniperda) on their way to a facility operating under 
a compliance agreement for specified treatment or handling, currently 
regulated articles from Canada covered by the general permit need only 
be accompanied by an importer document stating that they were derived 
from trees harvested in Canada and have never been moved outside 
Canada. Therefore, we are amending Sec.  319.40-3 to exclude regulated 
articles of the genus Fraxinus from Canada from eligibility for 
importation under general permit, and we are specifying provisions for 
the importation of these articles in a new paragraph (n) of Sec.  
319.40-5.
    Section 319.40-5 sets out importation and entry requirements for 
articles that require more specific conditions for importation. Since 
there are particular risks associated with the importation of various 
articles derived from trees of the genus Fraxinus, we are adding the 
measures described below in a new paragraph (n) to mitigate these 
risks. Regulated articles of the genus Fraxinus (ash) from Canada may 
only be imported in accordance with these measures and subject to the 
certification requirements in Sec.  319.40-2(a) and the inspection and 
other requirements in Sec.  319.40-9.
    Studies by the USDA and independent researchers have shown that EAB 
larvae do not survive the grinding process in wood or bark chips that 
are less than 1 inch in diameter. Wood and bark chips this size are 
also too small to support EAB larval growth. Therefore, the risk of 
pest introduction associated with these wood and bark chips is low. For 
this reason we are allowing wood and bark chips that measure 1 inch or 
less in two dimensions to be imported into the United States under the 
conditions described below. Additionally, we are designating all 
hardwood species of firewood as regulated articles because as hardwood 
is dried and cut into firewood, it is difficult to identify the 
Fraxinus (ash) species from other species of tree from which the 
firewood was derived.
    Canada may refer to regions within recognized legal boundaries 
within a Province or Territory as ``counties'' or ``municipal regional 
counties;'' for the sake of clarity and simplicity, we refer to those 
regions simply as counties. Under this rule, the following requirements 
apply to specified articles:
     Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species, and ash 
logs and wood, including cants and stumps, that originate in an EAB-
regulated county within a Province or Territory regulated for EAB by 
the CFIA require a permit and must be accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate with an additional declaration stating that the articles in 
the shipment were (1) debarked, and vascular cambium was removed to a 
depth of 1.27 cm (\1/2\ inch) during the debarking process, or (2) heat 
treated in accordance with Sec.  319.40-7(c). If articles were heat-
treated, the method of treatment must be described in the treatment 
section of the certificate.
     Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species, and ash 
logs and wood, including cants and stumps, that originate in a county 
not regulated for EAB within a Province or Territory regulated for the 
EAB by the CFIA require an import permit and must be accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that 
the articles in the shipment were produced/harvested in a county where 
the EAB does not occur, based on official surveys.
     Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species, and ash 
logs and wood, including cants and stumps, that originate in a Province 
or Territory that is not regulated for EAB by the CFIA must be 
accompanied by an importer document that certifies that the article did 
not originate in a Province or Territory known to be affected with EAB. 
Since articles from unaffected Provinces or Territories present little 
risk of carrying EAB, we are not requiring a permit or phytosanitary 
certificate for these items.
     Ash wood chips or bark chips larger than 1 inch (2.54 cm) 
in diameter in any two dimensions that originate in an EAB-regulated 
county within a Province or Territory that is regulated for EAB by the 
CFIA are prohibited importation into the United States.
     Ash wood chips or bark chips 1 inch (2.54 cm) or less in 
diameter that originate in an EAB-regulated county within a Province or 
Territory that is regulated for EAB by the CFIA require a permit and 
must be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate with an additional 
declaration stating that the wood or bark chips in the shipment were 
ground to 1 inch (2.54 cm) or less in diameter in any two dimensions.
     Ash wood chips or bark chips that originate in a county 
not regulated for EAB within a Province or Territory regulated for EAB 
by the CFIA require a permit and must be accompanied by a certificate 
with an additional declaration stating that the articles in the 
shipment were produced/harvested in a county where the EAB does not 
occur, based on official surveys.
     Ash wood chips or bark chips that originate in a Province 
or Territory that is not regulated for EAB by the CFIA must be 
accompanied by an importer

[[Page 30465]]

document that certifies that the article did not originate in a 
Province or Territory known to be affected by EAB. Since articles from 
unaffected Provinces or Territories present little risk of carrying 
EAB, we are not requiring a permit or a certificate for these items.
    Articles being moved through Canada from counties not regulated for 
EAB may not transit an EAB-regulated area in Canada en route to the 
United States unless they are moved directly through the regulated area 
without stopping (except for refueling or for traffic conditions, such 
as traffic lights or stop signs). If these articles are being moved 
through the EAB-regulated area in Canada between May 1 and August 31 or 
when the ambient air temperature is 40 [deg]F or higher, they must be 
in an enclosed vehicle or completely covered to prevent access by the 
EAB.

Miscellaneous

    Section 319.40-1 provides definitions for terms that apply to all 
of the regulations in the subpart. The definition of certificate 
details the information that must be provided on certificates of 
inspection, which includes a description of the restricted articles 
intended to be imported into the United States as well as any specific 
additional declarations that may be required by the specific sections 
of the regulations. We are amending the definition of certificate to 
specify that the certificate is addressed to Plant Protection and 
Quarantine Programs, the national plant protection organization of the 
United States. We are doing this for purposes of clarity.

Emergency Action

    Immediate action is necessary to prevent the spread of EAB into 
noninfested regions 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 action 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.
    In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 603, we have performed an initial 
regulatory flexibility analysis, which is set out below, regarding the 
economic effects of this interim rule on small entities. Based on the 
information we have, there is no reason to conclude that this rule will 
result in any significant economic effect on a substantial number of 
small entities. However, we do not currently have all of the data 
necessary for a comprehensive analysis of the economic impacts of this 
rule on small entities. Therefore, we are inviting comments on 
potential economic impacts. In particular, we are interested in 
determining the number and kind of small entities that may incur 
benefits or costs from the implementation of this rule.
    Under the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the 
Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to regulate the importation of 
plants, plant products, and other articles to prevent the introduction 
of plant pests into the United States or the dissemination of plant 
pests within the United States.
    This interim rule amends the regulations to prohibit or restrict 
the importation of certain articles from Canada that present risk of 
being infested with EAB. This action is necessary on an emergency basis 
to prevent the spread of the pest from infested areas in Canada to 
noninfested areas of the United States, and to prevent further 
introductions of the pest into the United States.
    The EAB has been found in ash trees in counties in Michigan, Ohio, 
Illinois, and Indiana in the United States, and in Essex County, 
Ontario, Canada. The economic impact could be severe if the EAB is 
allowed to spread from infested areas to the surrounding forests of the 
northeastern United States, where nursery, landscaping, and timber 
industries, and forest-based recreation and tourism industries play a 
vital economic role. APHIS's EAB import requirements are consistent 
with the EAB import requirements imposed by the CFIA with respect to 
the importation of EAB host material from the United States into 
Canada.
    As a result of this rule, importation into the United States of ash 
nursery stock, and wood chips and bark chips larger than 1 inch in 
diameter is prohibited from the EAB-regulated areas in Canada. 
Additional documentation is required for all products from both EAB-
regulated and non-regulated areas in Canada (table 1).
    Ash logs and wood imported from EAB-regulated counties in Canada 
will require a permit and phytosanitary certificate, and an appropriate 
treatment of the wood. Thus, businesses in the regulated counties in 
Canada that wish to export ash logs and wood to the United States will 
have to incur additional costs for heat treatment or debarking. The 
cost of heat treatment has been estimated at $10.40 to $23.75 per cubic 
meter (35.314 cubic feet) of treated wood and the cost of debarking has 
been estimated at $2 per cubic meter of wood. However, the regulations 
still provide for the importation of products from non-regulated 
counties and Provinces/Territories in accordance with the provisions 
outlined in this interim rule.

 Table 1.--Requirements for Ash Products Imported Into the United States
          From EAB-Regulated and Non-Regulated Areas in Canada
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                        Non-regulated
         Ash product           Regulated counties         counties
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ash nursery stock...........  Prohibited..........  Permit or
                                                     phytosanitary
                                                     certificate.
Ash logs and wood...........  Permit and            Importer document.
                               phytosanitary
                               certificate, and
                               debarked or heat
                               treated.
Ash wood chips and bark       Prohibited..........  Importer document.
 chips larger than 1 inch in
 diameter.
Ash wood chips and bark       Importer document     Importer document.
 chips less than 1 inch in     and phytosanitary
 diameter.                     certificate.
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[[Page 30466]]

U.S. Wood Imports From Canada

    In 2005, the value of wood imports into the United States from 
Canada was $14.2 billion. This represented 60 percent of the value of 
all wood imports into the United States ($23.8 billion) (U.S. Trade 
Statistics, 2007). Lumber accounted for 49 percent of wood imports into 
the United States from Canada, valued at $6.93 billion in 2005. 
However, 95 percent of this value accrued to coniferous wood, while 
non-coniferous wood accounted for only 5 percent. The volume of ash 
wood lumber imports from Canada was 5,937 m\3\, with a value of $1.74 
million. This represented only 0.03 percent of value and 0.002 percent 
of volume of lumber imports from Canada. Thus, this rule will affect 
less than 1 percent of United States lumber imports from Canada. 
Imports of non-coniferous wood chips from Canada amounted to $5.94 
million in 2005. However, the percentage of non-coniferous wood chips 
derived from ash is not reported.
    Ontario accounted for 10 percent of the value of United States 
lumber imports from Canada in 2005, in Canadian dollars. This estimate 
includes all woods, and data are not available for ash specifically. 
Essex, Elgin, and Lambton Counties, Ontario, are regulated for EAB by 
CFIA. These three counties, which are located at the southern tip of 
Ontario, are the least forested counties in southern Canada, and 
relatively little nursery stock has traditionally moved from these 
counties to either the United States or other parts of Canada.

Affected Entities

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has established size 
criteria based on the North American Industry Classification System 
(NAICS) for determining which economic entities meet the definition of 
a small firm. The small entity size standard for nursery and tree 
production (NAICS code 111421) is $750,000 or less in annual receipts, 
and $6 million or less in annual receipts for forest nurseries and 
gathering of forest products (NAICS code 113210). The SBA classifies 
logging operations (NAICS code 113310), sawmills (NAICS code 321113), 
and wood product manufacturers (NAICS subsector 321) generally as small 
entities if they have 500 or fewer employees.
    APHIS does not have an estimate of the number of these types of 
entities that would be affected by the rule. Since the EAB only infests 
certain species of trees, only a subset of the logging, wood 
manufacturing, and nursery and seedling operations would potentially be 
affected, and only to the extent that products are imported from the 
areas in Canada affected by the rule. Because most businesses engaged 
in tree or lumber production or wood product manufacturing are small 
entities, we expect that firms affected by this rule will primarily be 
small in size. APHIS welcomes information that the public is able to 
provide regarding the number and size of firms that may be impacted.

Alternatives

    There are no significant alternatives to this rule that would meet 
the objective of reducing the pest risk of importing articles from 
Canada that are infested with EAB, while minimizing economic impacts 
for affected entities. Pest risks associated with ash logs and wood, 
and ash wood chips and bark chips less than 1 inch in diameter, could 
be addressed by simply prohibiting their importation from Canada, but 
this could put unwarranted restrictions on international trade since 
debarking, heat treatment, and grinding into chips have been shown to 
kill EAB effectively, thus reducing the pest risk associated with such 
importations. Conversely, allowing importation of ash nursery stock and 
ash wood chips larger than 1 inch in diameter from regulated Canadian 
counties, even with treatment, would yield unacceptable risks of EAB 
introduction. The documentation and treatment requirements of the 
interim rule best satisfy our phytosanitary objectives while minimizing 
economic impacts for United States entities, large or small.
    This interim rule contains certain information collection or 
recordkeeping requirements (see ``Paperwork Reduction Act'' below).

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). OMB has assigned control number 0579-0319 to the information 
collection and recordkeeping requirements.
    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-2006-0125, 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-2006-
0125 and send your comments within 60 days of publication of this rule.
    This interim rule establishes regulations to prohibit or restrict 
the importation of certain articles from Canada that present a risk of 
being infested with EAB. This interim rule is necessary to prevent the 
artificial spread of plant pests from infested areas in Canada to 
noninfested areas of the United States and to prevent further 
introductions of plant pests into the United States. 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 0.6 hours per response.
    Respondents: Importers, officials of CFIA, and nursery industry.
    Estimated annual number of respondents: 5.
    Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1.
    Estimated annual number of responses: 5.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 3 hours. (Due to 
averaging,

[[Page 30467]]

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 319

    Coffee, Cotton, Fruits, Imports, Logs, Nursery stock, Plant 
diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Rice, Vegetables.

0
Accordingly, 7 CFR part 319 is amended as follows:

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 319 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 450, 7701-7772, and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 
and 136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

0
2. In Sec.  319.37-2, paragraph (a), the table entry for ``Fraxinus 
spp. (ash)'' is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.37-2  Prohibited articles.

    (a) * * *

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                    Plant pests existing
Prohibited article (includes                         in the places named
 seeds only if specifically    Foreign places from  and capable of being
         mentioned)             which prohibited    transported with the
                                                     prohibited article
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                              * * * * * * *
Fraxinus spp. (ash).........  Any county or         Agrilus planipennis
                               municipal regional    (emerald ash
                               county in Canada      borer).
                               regulated because
                               of the emerald ash
                               borer.
                              Europe..............  Pseudomonas
                                                     savastanoi var.
                                                     fraxini (Brown)
                                                     Dowson (Canker and
                                                     dwarfing disease of
                                                     ash).
 
                              * * * * * * *
------------------------------------------------------------------------

* * * * *

0
3. Section 319.37-3 is amended as follows:
0
a. In paragraph (a) (17), by removing the word ``and'' at the end of 
the paragraph.
0
b. In paragraph (a)(18), by removing the period at the end of the 
paragraph and adding the word ``; and'' in its place.
0
c. By adding a new paragraph (a)(19) to read as set forth below.


Sec.  319.37-3  Permits.

    (a) * * *
    (19) Articles (except seeds) of Fraxinus spp. (ash) from counties 
or municipal regional counties in Canada that are not regulated for 
emerald ash borer (EAB) but are within an EAB-regulated Province or 
Territory and are not prohibited under Sec.  319.37-2(a).
* * * * *


Sec.  319.37-4  [Amended]

0
4. In Sec.  319.37-4, the introductory text of paragraph (c) is amended 
by removing the word ``A'' and adding the words ``With the exception of 
Fraxinus spp. (ash) plants, a'' in its place.


Sec.  319.40-1  [Amended]

0
5. In Sec.  319.40-1, the definition of certificate is amended by 
adding the words ``which is addressed to the plant protection service 
of the United States (Plant Protection and Quarantine Programs),'' 
after the word ``grown,''.

0
6. In Sec.  319.40-3, a new paragraph (a)(1)(i)(C) is added to read as 
follows:


Sec.  319.40-3  General permits; articles that may be imported without 
a specific permit; articles that may be imported without either a 
specific permit or an importer document.

    (a) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (i) * * *
    (C) Regulated articles of Fraxinus spp. (ash), which are subject to 
the requirements in Sec.  319.40-5(n).
* * * * *

0
7. In 319.40-5, a new paragraph (n) is added and the OMB citation at 
the end of the section is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  319.40-5  Importation and entry requirements for specified 
articles.

* * * * *
    (n) Regulated articles of the genus Fraxinus from Canada. Except 
for articles prohibited under paragraph (n)(4) of this section, 
regulated articles of the genus Fraxinus (ash) from Canada may be 
imported in accordance with this paragraph (n) and subject to the 
certification requirements in Sec.  319.40-2(a) and the inspection and 
other requirements in Sec.  319.40-9. Articles being moved from 
counties or municipal regional counties in Canada not regulated for the 
emerald ash borer (EAB) may not transit an EAB-regulated area in Canada 
en route to the United States unless they are moving directly through 
the EAB-regulated area without stopping (except for refueling or for 
traffic conditions, such as traffic lights or stop signs). If these 
articles are being moved through the regulated area between May 1 and 
August 31 or when the ambient air temperature is 40 [deg]F or higher, 
they must be in an enclosed vehicle or completely covered to prevent 
access by the emerald ash borer.
    (l) Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species, and ash logs 
and wood, including cants and stumps, that originate in a county or 
municipal regional county regulated for the emerald ash borer within a 
Province or Territory regulated by the Canadian Government for the 
emerald ash borer require a permit issued under Sec.  319.40-2(a) and 
must be accompanied by a certificate bearing an additional declaration 
that the articles in the shipment were:
    (i) Debarked, and vascular cambium removed to a depth of 1.27 cm 
(\1/2\ inch) during the debarking process; or
    (ii) Heat treated in accordance with Sec.  319.40-7(c). The 
phytosanitary certificate accompanying such articles must describe the 
treatment method employed.
    (2) Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species, and ash logs 
and wood, including cants and stumps, that originate in a county or 
municipal regional county not regulated for the emerald ash borer 
within a Province or Territory regulated for the emerald ash borer 
require a permit issued under

[[Page 30468]]

Sec.  319.40-2(a) and must be accompanied by a certificate with an 
additional declaration stating that the articles in the shipment were 
produced/harvested in a county or municipal regional county where the 
emerald ash borer does not occur, based on official surveys.
    (3) Firewood of all hardwood (non-coniferous) species, and ash logs 
and wood, including cants and stumps, that originate in a Province or 
Territory that is not regulated for the emerald ash borer must be 
accompanied by an importer document that certifies that the article 
originated in a county or municipal regional county free of the emerald 
ash borer.
    (4) The importation of ash wood chips or bark chips larger than 1 
inch diameter in any two dimensions that originate in a county or 
municipal regional county regulated for the emerald ash borer within a 
Province or Territory regulated for the emerald ash borer is 
prohibited.
    (5) Ash wood chips or bark 1 inch or less in diameter that 
originate in an area regulated for the emerald ash borer within a 
Province or Territory regulated for the emerald ash borer must be 
accompanied by a permit issued under Sec.  319.40-2(a) and a 
phytosanitary certificate with an additional declaration stating that 
the wood or bark chips in the shipment were ground to 1 inch (2.54 cm) 
or less in diameter in any two dimensions.
    (6) Ash wood chips or bark chips that originate in a county or 
municipal regional county not regulated for the emerald ash borer 
within a Province or Territory regulated for the emerald ash borer must 
be accompanied by a permit issued under Sec.  319.40-2(a), and a valid 
certificate with an additional declaration stating that the articles in 
the shipment were produced/harvested in a county or municipal regional 
county where the emerald ash borer does not occur, based on official 
surveys.
    (7) Ash wood chips or bark chips that originate in a Province or 
Territory that is not regulated for the emerald ash borer must be 
accompanied by an importer document that certifies that the article 
originates in a Province or Territory free of the emerald ash borer.

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
numbers 0579-0049, 0579-0257, and 0579-0319).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 25th day of May 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E7-10562 Filed 5-31-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P