[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 19 (Tuesday, January 29, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 5085]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-1534]



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Rules and Regulations
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Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 19 / Tuesday, January 29, 2008 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 5085]]



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; reopening of comment period.

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SUMMARY: We are reopening the comment period for our interim rule that 
amended the citrus canker quarantine regulations to explicitly 
prohibit, with limited exceptions, the interstate movement of regulated 
nursery stock from a quarantined area. One of those exceptions was a 
provision that allows calamondin and kumquat plants, two types of 
citrus plants that have been considered to be highly resistant to 
citrus canker, to be moved interstate from a quarantined area under a 
protocol designed to ensure that they are free of citrus canker prior 
to movement. However, following publication of the interim rule, 
several samples from calamondin plants growing in a quarantined area 
were found to be infected with citrus canker. Based on that finding, it 
appears that it will be necessary to remove calamondin plants from the 
protocol when we publish an upcoming rule that will finalize the 
interim rule. Before we publish that final rule, however, we are 
reopening the comment period for the interim rule to provide interested 
persons with an opportunity to prepare and submit comments regarding 
calamondin plants and the interstate movement protocol.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
February 28, 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-2007-0032 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-2007-0032, 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Stephen Poe, Senior Operations 
Officer, Emergency and Domestic Programs, Plant Protection and 
Quarantine, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 137, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; 
(301) 734-4387.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    On March 22, 2007, we published in the Federal Register (72 FR 
13423-13428; Docket No. APHIS-2007-0032) an interim rule \1\ that 
amended the citrus canker quarantine regulations to explicitly 
prohibit, with certain limited exceptions, the interstate movement of 
regulated nursery stock from a quarantined area. The interim rule was 
effective on March 16, 2007. We took that action because 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. The interim rule included two exceptions to the 
prohibition. We continued to allow the interstate movement of regulated 
nursery stock for immediate export, under certain conditions. We also 
allowed calamondin and kumquat plants, two types of citrus plants that 
were considered to have a high degree of biological resistance to 
citrus canker, to be moved interstate from a quarantined area under a 
protocol designed to ensure that they are free of citrus canker prior 
to movement.
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    \1\ To view the interim rule, comments we received, and all 
related documents, go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/
component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0032.
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    In July 2007, officials from our Center for Plant Health Science 
and Technology (CPHST) confirmed that samples obtained from 15 
calamondin plants growing in an area quarantined for citrus canker were 
infected with the disease. Based on those findings, we now consider it 
probable that the interstate movement of calamondin plants from a 
quarantined area, even under the conditions of the protocol, presents a 
disease risk pathway for the spread of citrus canker. Therefore, we 
consider it prudent to amend the regulations to remove calamondin 
plants from the protocol.
    We would make that amendment in an upcoming rule that will finalize 
our March 2007 interim rule. Accordingly, we are reopening the comment 
period for the interim rule for an additional 30 days. This action will 
allow interested persons an opportunity to prepare and submit comments 
regarding calamondin plants and the interstate movement protocol.

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

    Section 301.75-15 is 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).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of January 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-1534 Filed 1-28-08; 8:45 am]
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