[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 19 (Tuesday, January 29, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5086-5087]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-1531]



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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0129]


Mexican Fruit Fly; Removal 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 removing 
Willacy County, TX, from the list of quarantined areas and thus 
removing restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles 
from this area. This action is necessary to relieve restrictions that 
are no longer needed to prevent the spread of the Mexican fruit fly 
into noninfested areas of the United States. We have determined that 
the Mexican fruit fly no longer exists in Willacy County, TX, and that 
the quarantine and restrictions are no longer necessary.

DATES: This interim rule is effective January 29, 2008. We will 
consider all comments that we receive on or before March 31, 2008.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/
fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0129 to submit 
or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available 
electronically.
    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send two copies of your 
comment to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0129, 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-2007-0129.
    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 D. Burnett, Domestic 
Coordinator, Fruit Fly Exclusion and Detection Programs, 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 
quarantined areas. Willacy County, TX, has been listed as a quarantined 
area since the Mexican fruit fly regulations were established.
    Based on trapping surveys conducted by inspectors of the Texas 
Department of Agriculture and by inspectors of the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service, we have determined that the Mexican fruit 
fly has been eradicated from Willacy County. The last finding of 
Mexican fruit fly in this quarantined area was May 6, 2005.
    Since then, no evidence of Mexican fruit fly infestation has been 
found in this area. Based on our experience, we have determined that 
sufficient time has passed without finding additional flies or other 
evidence of infestation to conclude that the Mexican fruit fly no 
longer exists in Willacy County, TX. Therefore, we are amending the 
regulations in Sec.  301.64-3(c) by removing the entry for this county 
from the list of quarantined areas.

Immediate Action

    Immediate action is warranted to relieve restrictions that are no 
longer necessary. Willacy County, TX, was quarantined due to the 
possibility that the Mexican fruit fly could spread from this area to 
noninfested areas of the United States. Since we have concluded that 
the Mexican fruit fly no longer exists in Willacy County, immediate 
action is warranted to remove the quarantine and to relieve the 
restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from this 
area. 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. For this 
action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under 
Executive Order 12866.
    This action amends the Mexican fruit fly regulations by removing 
Willacy County, TX, from the list of quarantined areas.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the 
economic impact of their rules on small entities. We expect that any 
small entities located within the regulated 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 
likely to be minimal. The effect on any small entities that may move 
regulated articles interstate has been minimized during the quarantine 
period by the availability of various treatments that allow these small 
entities, in most cases, to move regulated articles interstate with 
very little additional cost. Thus, the lifting of the quarantine is 
expected to have little effect.
    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.

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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.

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

PART 301--DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

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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)..


Sec.  301.64-3  [Amended]

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2. In Sec.  301.64-3, paragraph (c) is amended by removing, under the 
heading ``TEXAS'', the entry for Willacy County.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of January 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
 [FR Doc. E8-1531 Filed 1-28-08; 8:45 am]
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