[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 231 (Monday, December 3, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67881-67882]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-23369]


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Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

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Federal Register / Vol. 72, No. 231 / Monday, December 3, 2007 / 
Notices

[[Page 67881]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0135]


Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllid; Availability of a 
Finding of No Significant Impact

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we have prepared a finding of 
no significant impact relative to a new Federal order that restricts 
the interstate movement of regulated articles from areas quarantined 
for citrus greening disease and the Asian citrus psyllid. The finding 
of no significant impact is based on an environmental assessment that 
we prepared to document our review and analysis of the potential 
environmental impacts associated with the implementation of the new 
Federal order. In a notice published in the Federal Register on 
November 2, 2007, we made the environmental assessment available to the 
public for review and comment, but noted that we may have to begin an 
expanded citrus greening regulatory program in Florida immediately and 
issue a finding of no significant impact for the environmental 
assessment before the comment period on the environmental assessment 
concludes.

DATES: The finding of no significant impact was signed on November 2, 
2007.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Stephen R. Poe, Senior Operations 
Officer, Emergency and Domestic Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road 
Unit 134, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-8899.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Citrus greening, also known as huanglongbing, is considered to be 
one of the most serious citrus diseases in the world. Citrus greening 
is a bacterial disease that attacks the vascular system of plants. The 
bacteria are phloem-limited and cause yellow shoots, blotchy mottling 
and chlorosis, reduced foliage, and tip dieback of citrus plants. It 
greatly reduces production, destroys the economic value of the fruit, 
and can kill trees. Once infected, there is no cure for a tree with 
citrus greening disease. In areas of the world where citrus greening is 
endemic, citrus trees decline and die within a few years and may never 
produce usable fruit. Citrus greening is widespread in Asia, Africa, 
and the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. It has been reported in Sao Paulo, 
Brazil. It was first detected in the United States in Miami-Dade 
County, Florida, in 2005, and now has been confirmed in 28 counties in 
Florida.
    On November 2, 2007, we published a notice \1\ in the Federal 
Register (72 FR 62204-62205, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0135) in which we 
advised the public that an environmental assessment had been prepared 
by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) relative to a 
new Federal order that restricts the interstate movement of regulated 
articles from areas quarantined for citrus greening disease and the 
Asian citrus psyllid. The environmental assessment documents our review 
and analysis of the potential environmental impacts associated with the 
implementation of the new Federal order. We made the environmental 
assessment available to the public for review and solicited comments 
for 30 days ending on December 3, 2007.
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    \1\ You may view the environmental assessment and submit 
comments on that document by going to http://www.regulations.gov/
fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0135.
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    In our November 2, 2007, notice, we informed the public that due to 
the serious and destructive nature of citrus greening disease, we had 
found it necessary to expand the number of counties in Florida from 
which the movement of plants that are hosts of citrus greening is 
present in order to prevent the further spread and infestation of the 
disease and to expand the areas quarantined due to the presence of 
Asian citrus psyllid so that host plants can be treated and inspected 
before being moved interstate.
    That notice also stated that, because citrus greening is a highly 
injurious citrus disease and the Asian citrus psyllid is harmful both 
as the insect vector of the disease and as a significant citrus pest in 
its own right, we had determined that it may be necessary to 
immediately address both the disease and the associated insect pest. 
This, we explained, would be accomplished by restricting the movement 
of hosts of citrus greening from areas where the disease is present, 
and by regulating and treating plants that are hosts of the psyllid 
from those areas where the insect is present and may be spread through 
the movement of infested nursery stock.
    Based on those considerations, we advised the public that APHIS may 
have to begin the expanded citrus greening regulatory program in 
Florida immediately and issue a finding of no significant impact for 
the environmental assessment before the comment period on the 
environmental assessment concluded. We stated that if that were to 
occur, we would still evaluate and respond to all the comments we 
received on the environmental assessment after the comment period has 
ended.
    On November 2, 2007, APHIS issued the new Federal order 
quarantining 28 Florida counties for citrus greening and quarantining 
32 Texas counties and the entirety of the States of Florida and Hawaii, 
the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territory of Guam for Asian 
citrus psyllid. The Federal order restricts the movement of all live 
host plants and host plant parts from areas quarantined for citrus 
greening and requires Asian citrus psyllid host material to be 
inspected, treated, and the accompanied by a limited permit in order to 
be moved from a quarantined area. Because we have found it necessary to 
begin the expanded citrus greening regulatory program in Florida 
immediately, we have likewise found it necessary to issue a finding of 
no significant impact for the environmental assessment before the 
comment period on the environmental assessment has concluded.
    The finding of no significant impact may be viewed, along with the 
environmental assessment on which it is based, on the Regulations.gov 
Web

[[Page 67882]]

site \2\ or in our reading room.\3\ You may request paper copies of the 
environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact by 
calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the environmental assessment when 
requesting copies.
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    \2\ See footnote 1.
    \3\ 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.
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    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
have been 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 1), and (4) APHIS' NEPA 
Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 27th day of November 2007.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E7-23369 Filed 11-30-07; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P