[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 244 (Thursday, December 18, 2008)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 76863]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E8-30077]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 319

[Docket No. APHIS-2007-0111]
RIN 0579-AC87


Importation of Ash Plants

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

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SUMMARY: We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim 
rule that amended the regulations governing the importation of nursery 
stock to prohibit or restrict the importation of ash (Fraxinus spp.) 
plants for planting, except seed, from all foreign countries except for 
certain areas in Canada that are not regulated areas for emerald ash 
borer. The interim rule was necessary to prevent further introductions 
of emerald ash borer into the United States and to prevent the 
artificial spread of this destructive plant pest.

DATES: Effective on December 18, 2008, we are adopting as a final rule 
the interim rule published at 73 FR 54665-54667 on September 23, 2008.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Arnold Tschanz, Senior Risk 
Manager, Commodity Import Analysis and Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 
River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-5306.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The emerald ash borer (EAB, Agrilus planipennis) is a highly 
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. We do not know the full 
extent of the distribution of EAB throughout Asia and in other regions, 
nor do we know if there are other serious plant pests affecting 
Fraxinus spp. plants for planting present elsewhere in the world.
    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 in the United States. In an interim rule \1\ 
effective and published in the Federal Register on September 23, 2008 
(73 FR 54665-54667, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0111), we amended the 
regulations in Sec.  319.37-2(a) to prohibit imports of ash (Fraxinus 
spp.) plants for planting, except seed, from all foreign countries, 
with the exception of areas of Canada that are not regulated for EAB. 
To reflect that prohibition, we also amended Sec.  319.37-7(a)(3) by 
removing Fraxinus spp. from the list of plants requiring postentry 
quarantine.
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    \1\ To view the interim rule and the comment we received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/
main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0111.
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    Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or 
before November 24, 2008. We received one comment by that date. The 
comment was from a State entomologist who expressed support for the 
interim rule. Therefore, for the reasons given in the interim rule, we 
are adopting the interim rule as a final rule without change.
    This action also affirms information contained in the interim rule 
concerning Executive Order 12866 and the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 
Executive Order 12988, and the Paperwork Reduction Act. Further, for 
this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review 
under Executive Order 12866.

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.

PART 319--FOREIGN QUARANTINE NOTICES

0
Accordingly, we are adopting as a final rule, without change, the 
interim rule that amended 7 CFR part 319 and that was published at 73 
FR 54665-54667 on September 23, 2008.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of December 2008.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. E8-30077 Filed 12-17-08; 8:45 am]
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