[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 160 (Monday, August 18, 2008)]
[Notices]
[Pages 48189-48190]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-19093]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2008-0084]


Notice of Availability of a Pest Risk Analysis for Importation of 
Fresh White Asparagus From Senegal Into the Continental United States

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we have prepared a pest risk 
analysis that evaluates the risks associated with the importation into 
the continental United States of fresh white asparagus from Senegal. 
Based on that analysis, we believe that the application of one or more 
designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the 
risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via 
the importation of fresh white asparagus from Senegal. We are making 
the pest risk analysis available to the public for review and comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
October 17, 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-2008-0084 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-2008-0084, 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-2008-0084.
    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: Ms. Shirley Wager Pag[eacute], Branch 
Chief, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road, Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-8758.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Under the regulations in ``Subpart-Fruits and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 
319.56 through 319.56-47, referred to below as the regulations), the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. 
Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts the importation of 
fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the 
world to prevent plant pests from being introduced into and spread 
within the United States.
    Section 319.56-4 contains a performance-based process for approving 
the importation of commodities that, based on the findings of a pest 
risk analysis, can be safely imported subject to one or more of the 
designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph (b) of that 
section. These measures are:
     The fruits or vegetables are subject to inspection upon 
arrival in the United States and comply with all applicable provisions 
of Sec.  319.56-3;
     The fruits or vegetables are imported from a pest-free 
area in the country of origin that meets the requirements of Sec.  
319.56-5 for freedom from that pest and are accompanied by a 
phytosanitary certificate stating that the fruits or vegetables 
originated in a pest-free area in the country of origin;
     The fruits or vegetables are treated in accordance with 7 
CFR part 305;
     The fruits or vegetables are inspected in the country of 
origin by an inspector or an official of the national plant protection 
organization of the exporting country, and have been found free of one 
or more specific quarantine pests identified by the risk analysis as 
likely to follow the import pathway; and/or
     The fruits or vegetables are a commercial consignment.
    APHIS received a request from the Government of Senegal to allow 
the importation of fresh asparagus from Senegal into the continental 
United States. We have completed a pest risk assessment to identify 
pests of quarantine significance that could follow the pathway of 
importation into the United States and, based on that pest risk 
assessment, have prepared a risk management analysis to identify 
phytosanitary measures that could be applied to fresh white asparagus 
to mitigate the pest risk. We have concluded that fresh white asparagus 
can be safely imported into the

[[Page 48190]]

continental United States from Senegal using one or more of the five 
designated phytosanitary measures listed in Sec.  319.56-4(b). 
Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  319.56-4(c), we are announcing the 
availability of our pest risk analysis for public review and comment. 
The pest risk analysis may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or 
in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room). You may request paper copies of the pest risk analysis 
by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the subject of the pest risk 
analysis when requesting copies.
    After reviewing the comments we receive, we will announce our 
decision regarding the import status of fresh white asparagus from 
Senegal in a subsequent notice. If the overall conclusions of the 
analysis and the Administrator's determination of risk remain unchanged 
following our consideration of the comments, then we will begin issuing 
permits for importation of fresh white asparagus from Senegal into the 
continental United States subject to the requirements specified in the 
risk management analysis.

    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.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of August, 2008.
Cindy Smith,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-19093 Filed 8-15-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P