[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 124 (Tuesday, June 30, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 31201-31209]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-15508]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 124 / Tuesday, June 30, 2009 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 31201]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0023]
RIN 0579-AC96


Citrus Canker; Movement of Fruit From Quarantined Areas

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: We are proposing to amend the citrus canker regulations to 
modify the conditions under which fruit may be moved interstate from a 
quarantined area. Under this proposed rule, we would eliminate the 
requirement that each lot of finished fruit be inspected at the 
packinghouse and found to be free of visible symptoms of citrus canker, 
and we would remove the current prohibition on the movement of fruit 
from a quarantined area to commercial citrus-producing States. We would 
continue to require fruit moved interstate from a quarantined area to 
be treated with an approved disinfectant and to be packed in a 
commercial packinghouse that operates under a compliance agreement. 
These proposed changes would relieve some restrictions on the 
interstate movement of fresh citrus fruit from quarantined areas while 
maintaining conditions that would prevent the artificial spread of 
citrus canker.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
August 31, 2009.

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-2009-0023 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-2009-0023, 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-2009-0023.
    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. 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

    Citrus canker is a plant disease caused by the bacterium 
Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (referred to below as Xcc) that affects 
plants and plant parts, including fresh fruit, of citrus and citrus 
relatives (Family Rutaceae). Citrus canker can cause defoliation and 
other serious damage to the leaves and twigs of susceptible plants. It 
can also cause lesions on the fruit of infected plants, which render 
the fruit unmarketable, and cause infected fruit to drop from the trees 
before reaching maturity. The A (Asiatic) strain of citrus canker can 
infect susceptible plants rapidly and lead to extensive economic losses 
in commercial citrus-producing areas. Citrus canker is only known to be 
present in the United States in the State of Florida.
    The regulations to prevent the interstate spread of citrus canker 
are contained in ``Subpart--Citrus Canker'' (7 CFR 301.75-1 through 
301.75-14, referred to below as the regulations). The regulations 
restrict the interstate movement of regulated articles from and through 
areas quarantined because of citrus canker and provide, among other 
things, conditions under which regulated fruit may be moved into, 
through, and from quarantined areas for packing.
    The conditions for the interstate movement of regulated fruit 
produced in a quarantined area in Sec.  301.75-7(a) are currently as 
follows:
     Every lot of fruit to be moved interstate must be 
inspected by an Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) 
employee at a commercial packinghouse for symptoms of citrus canker. 
Any lot found to contain fruit with visible symptoms of citrus canker 
will be ineligible for interstate movement from the quarantined area. 
The number of fruit to be inspected will be the quantity that is 
sufficient to detect, with a 95 percent level of confidence, any lot of 
fruit containing 0.38 percent or more fruit with visible canker 
lesions. A lot of fruit that is inspected and found to be ineligible 
for interstate movement may not be reconditioned and submitted for 
reinspection.
     The owner or operator of any commercial packinghouse that 
wishes to move citrus fruit interstate from the quarantined area must 
enter into a compliance agreement with APHIS in accordance with Sec.  
301.75-13.
     The regulated fruit was treated with an approved 
disinfectant in accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(a).
     The regulated fruit is free of leaves, twigs, and other 
plant parts, except for stems that are less than 1 inch long and 
attached to the fruit.
     Each lot of regulated fruit found to be eligible for 
interstate movement must be accompanied by a limited permit issued in 
accordance with Sec.  301.75-12. Regulated fruit to be moved interstate 
must be packaged in boxes or other containers that are approved by 
APHIS and that are used exclusively for regulated fruit that is 
eligible for interstate movement. The boxes or other containers in 
which the fruit is packaged, and any shipping documents accompanying 
the boxes or other containers, must be clearly marked with a statement 
indicating that they may not be distributed in American Samoa, Arizona, 
California, Guam, Hawaii, Louisiana, Commonwealth of the Northern 
Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

[[Page 31202]]

(These are the commercial citrus-producing areas listed in Sec.  
301.75-5; we refer to them in this document as commercial citrus-
producing States.)
    In a final rule \1\ effective and published in the Federal Register 
on November 19, 2007 (72 FR 65172-65204, Docket No. APHIS-2007-0022), 
we amended the regulations governing the interstate movement of 
regulated fruit from a quarantined area to establish these conditions. 
That final rule eliminated a requirement that the groves in which fruit 
to be moved interstate is produced be inspected and found free of 
citrus canker. Instead, we added the packinghouse inspection 
requirement mentioned earlier. We retained the other requirements that 
had been in the regulations, including the requirement that the fruit 
be treated with a surface disinfectant and the prohibition on the 
movement of fruit from a quarantined area into commercial citrus-
producing States listed in Sec.  301.75-5.
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    \1\ To view the final rule, go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2007-0022.
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    We established those conditions based on the conclusions of a pest 
risk assessment (PRA) and risk management analysis (RMA) prepared for 
that rulemaking. The PRA concluded that asymptomatic, commercially 
produced citrus fruit, treated with a disinfectant and subject to other 
mitigations, is not epidemiologically significant as a pathway for the 
introduction and spread of citrus canker.
    The RMA examined the risks associated with both symptomatic and 
asymptomatic fruit and concluded that the introduction and spread of 
Xcc into other States through the movement of commercially packed fresh 
citrus fruit from quarantined areas is unlikely. In addition, the RMA 
concluded that a phytosanitary inspection would ensure, with high 
confidence, that few shipped fruit would have symptoms of citrus canker 
disease. However, the RMA also concluded that the evidence available at 
that time was not sufficient to support a determination that fresh 
citrus fruit produced in an Xcc-infested grove cannot serve as a 
pathway for the introduction of Xcc into new areas, thus necessitating 
the prohibition on movement of fruit into commercial citrus-producing 
States.
    In our responses to public comments in the Background section of 
the November 2007 final rule, we stated: ``If, in the future, evidence 
is developed to support a determination that commercially packed citrus 
fruit (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) is not an epidemiologically 
significant \2\ pathway for the introduction and spread of citrus 
canker, we would undertake rulemaking to amend our regulations 
accordingly.''
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    \2\ The term ``epidemiologically significant'' refers to the 
minimum conditions required for introduction of a disease into an 
unaffected area. Our judgment of whether fruit is an 
epidemiologically significant pathway for disease transmission is 
based on the likelihood that the fruit itself will be infected with 
the disease, that the infection will occur in a way or at a level 
sufficient for transmission of the disease, and that such an 
infected fruit will encounter the biological conditions required for 
transmission of the disease.
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New Evidence Regarding the Potential of the Movement of Fruit to Spread 
Citrus Canker

    Since the publication of the final rule, two publications have 
provided additional evidence regarding the potential of fruit to serve 
as a pathway for the introduction and spread of citrus canker. This new 
evidence addresses key uncertainties and caused us to revisit our 
previous findings. The first article, by Gottwald et al. (2009),\3\ 
documents research on the survival of Xcc on commercially produced and 
packed citrus fruit and the likelihood that such fruit could serve as a 
mechanism to spread the disease. The second article, by Shiotani et al. 
(2009),\4\ documents research on the survival of Xcc on commercially 
produced mandarin fruits and the likelihood of spread of Xcc to trees 
from harvested mandarins.
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    \3\ Gottwald, T., Graham, J., Bock, C., Bonn, G., Civerolo, E., 
Irey, M., Leite, R., L[oacute]pez, M. M., McCollum, G., Parker, P., 
Ramallo, J., Riley, T., Schubert, T., Stein, B., and Taylor, E. 
(2009). The epidemiological significance of post-packinghouse 
survival of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri for dissemination of 
Asiatic citrus canker via infected fruit. Crop Protection 28, 508-
524.
    \4\ Shiotani, H., Uematsu, H., Tsukamoto, T., Shimizu, Y., Ueda, 
K., Mizuno, A. & Sato, S. (2009). Survival and dispersal of 
Xanthomonas citri pv. citri from infected Satsuma mandarin fruit. 
Crop Protection 28, 19-23.
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    Accordingly, we have prepared updates to the PRA and RMA that 
accompanied the November 2007 final rule. These documents, and the 
November 2007 PRA and RMA that they update, are available on the 
Regulations.gov Web site and in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above) 
and may be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.
    The updated PRA, titled ``An Updated Evaluation of Citrus Fruit 
(Citrus spp.) as a Pathway for the Introduction of Citrus Canker 
Disease (Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri)'' (March 2009), examines the 
information presented in Gottwald et al. (2009) and Shiotani et al. 
(2009) in the context of the earlier PRA. Based on the evidence 
presented in both the November 2007 PRA and the two new publications, 
the updated PRA concludes that asymptomatic fruit (treated or 
untreated) is not epidemiologically significant as a pathway for 
introducing citrus canker. It further concludes that symptomatic fruit 
subjected to a packinghouse process that includes washing with 
disinfectants is also not epidemiologically significant as a pathway 
for introducing citrus canker.
    These conclusions led us to prepare a supplemental RMA, titled 
``Movement of Commercially Packed Citrus Fruit from Citrus Canker 
Disease Quarantine Area; Supplemental Risk Management Analysis'' (May 
2009). The supplemental RMA takes into account the conclusions of the 
updated PRA as well as the evidence and discussion presented in the 
November 2007 RMA. Like the November 2007 RMA, the supplemental RMA was 
submitted for peer review, in accordance with the Office of Management 
and Budget's bulletin on peer review. All the materials associated with 
the peer review on the supplemental RMA, including the peer reviewers' 
comments and our responses, are available at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/peer_review/peer_review_agenda.shtml. The peer reviewers' comments 
were considered in developing the supplemental RMA.
    The supplemental RMA examines key findings from the publications 
mentioned earlier. These include:
     Post-harvest treatments reduce the viability of bacteria 
on fruit;
     The viability of bacteria on fruit diminishes after it is 
harvested;
     The low potential for spread from fruit to suitable hosts 
has now been reported by several sources;
     Rinds of infected fruit are unlikely to provide inoculum 
for disease if they have been discarded in the field at least 8 days; 
and
     Fruit parts, even those that are in direct contact with 
susceptible trees, are unlikely to spread the disease.
    The supplemental RMA concludes that multiple lines of evidence, 
including, but not limited to, evidence from the two recent studies and 
the November 2007 RMA, indicate that commercially packed and 
disinfected fresh citrus fruit is not an epidemiologically significant 
pathway for the introduction and spread of Xcc, i.e.:
     Disease management practices in the grove reduce, but do 
not eliminate, Xcc populations.
     Commercially produced fruit harvested in areas where Xcc 
exists may be visibly infected or the fruit may carry

[[Page 31203]]

the pathogen either on its surface or in wounds.
     Citrus canker disease development between harvest and 
packinghouse, via wounding for example, is not likely.
     Procedures for cleaning and disinfecting fruit are 
routinely applied by packinghouses.
     The individual efficacy of these procedures for removing 
or destroying Xcc may not be known in detail, but the effect of 
packinghouse treatments reduces the prevalence of viable Xcc and 
therefore the level of inoculum associated with commercially packed 
fresh citrus fruit.
     Packinghouse processing that includes a disinfectant 
treatment further reduces amounts of Xcc inoculum on infected or 
contaminated fruit.
     The viability of bacteria on fruit and in lesions and 
wounds diminishes after the fruit is harvested.
     The viability of Xcc bacteria that survive the packing 
process will further diminish during shipping.
     Epiphytic populations of Xcc may aid in pathogen 
dispersal, but substantial evidence indicates that bacterial 
populations do not infect intact mature fruit.
     Evidence indicates that wounds on harvested fruit 
containing Xcc inoculum do not lead to citrus canker lesion 
development, and Xcc populations generally decline rapidly, although 
wounds might occasionally retain Xcc populations that decline more 
slowly.
     The cool temperatures at which citrus fruit are stored and 
shipped and the duration of storage reduce the ability of Xcc to 
reproduce and cause infection.
     As a condition for successful establishment, Xcc, in 
amounts sufficient to cause infection, must encounter not only an 
environment with a conducive temperature, relative humidity, moisture, 
and wind events for infection, but also must encounter host plant 
tissue that is either at a susceptible growth stage or is wounded and 
then must successfully enter this tissue.
     Despite substantial international trade between Xcc-
infected and noninfected countries, there is no authenticated record of 
movement of diseased fruit or seeds resulting in the introduction of 
Xcc to new areas.

Evaluation of Risk Management Options

    In light of this evidence, the supplemental RMA considers five risk 
management options for the interstate movement of commercially packed 
citrus fruit from areas quarantined for citrus canker:
     Option 1: Allow distribution of all types and varieties of 
commercially packed citrus fruit to all U.S. States, without 
packinghouse treatment with a disinfectant.
     Option 2: Allow distribution of all types and varieties of 
commercially packed citrus fruit to all U.S. States, subject to 
packinghouse treatment with an APHIS-approved disinfectant, but without 
the current inspection requirement.
     Option 3: Allow distribution of all types and varieties of 
commercially packed citrus fruit to all U.S. States except commercial 
citrus-producing States, subject to packinghouse treatment of citrus 
fruit with an APHIS-approved disinfectant treatment; and, allow 
distribution of all types and varieties of commercially packed citrus 
fruit to all U.S. States, including commercial citrus-producing States, 
subject to packinghouse treatment with an APHIS-approved disinfectant 
treatment and APHIS inspection for symptoms of citrus canker.
     Option 4: Allow distribution of all types and varieties of 
commercially packed citrus fruit to all U.S. States other than 
commercial citrus-producing States, subject to packinghouse treatment 
with an APHIS-approved disinfectant.
     Option 5: Leave the current regulations for the interstate 
movement of citrus fruit from areas quarantined for citrus canker 
unchanged.
    Each option was considered within the context of available 
scientific evidence. Option 1 would allow unrestricted distribution of 
all types and varieties of commercially packed citrus fruit to all U.S. 
States, without packinghouse treatment with a disinfectant. However, 
the updated PRA and the supplemental RMA limit their conclusion that 
fresh citrus fruit is not an epidemiologically significant pathway for 
the introduction and spread of Xcc to fruit that has been treated with 
a disinfectant. This conclusion is consistent with the Gottwald et al. 
(2009) article, which concludes that packinghouse-disinfested, citrus 
fruit with canker lesions are an unlikely pathway through which Xcc 
inoculum might lead to infection and Xcc establishment in new areas.
    In addition, both of the recent articles examined in the updated 
PRA and the supplemental RMA included research on the issue of 
transmission of Xcc from infected fruit to nearby citrus plants. All 
but one of the situations reported in these articles found no 
transmission of Xcc to citrus plants in circumstances designed to allow 
for such transmission. Gottwald et al. (2009) reported one transmission 
of citrus canker from untreated, highly infected fruit to susceptible 
plants in what the paper characterized as ``a highly contrived 
situation designed to provide every possible opportunity for dispersal 
of Xcc.'' The situation included fruit selected specifically for their 
high level of canker infection, subjected to no post-harvest treatment 
or processing, placed next to grapefruit seedlings (considered highly 
susceptible to Xcc infection), and subjected to artificial wind and 
rain conditions. An injured grapefruit seedling immediately adjacent to 
the infested fruit was infected under these conditions. It is highly 
improbable that the conditions under which Xcc was transmitted from the 
untreated fruit would occur in any area; however, the experiment 
demonstrates that the transmission of canker from untreated fruit is 
possible. Therefore, we determined that movement of fruit from 
quarantined areas without disinfectant treatment and with no other 
phytosanitary mitigations was not justified by the available scientific 
evidence. We welcome public comment on this determination.
    Option 5 is the most restrictive option that we considered. It 
would leave the current regulations in place and unchanged, including 
both the requirement for packinghouse inspection for symptoms of citrus 
canker and the prohibition on the movement of fruit to commercial 
citrus-producing States. This option would not take into account the 
evidence in the recent articles cited in the updated PRA and the 
supplemental RMA. This evidence establishes with a greater degree of 
certainty than was previously indicated that commercially packed fruit 
that is treated with an APHIS-approved disinfectant is not an 
epidemiologically significant pathway for the transmission of citrus 
canker, meaning that some phytosanitary mitigations currently included 
in the regulations are no longer necessary to prevent the spread of 
citrus canker from quarantined areas via the movement of fruit. 
Consequently, Options 2, 3, and 4 were evaluated and Options 1 and 5 
were no longer considered.
    Option 2 would allow commercially packed fruit treated with an 
APHIS-approved disinfectant to move from a quarantined area to any 
State, including commercial citrus-producing States, but would not 
include the current inspection requirement.
    Options 3 and 4 require disinfectant treatment and include 
additional phytosanitary measures to address any remaining uncertainty 
regarding the epidemiological significance of commercially packed fruit 
as a pathway for the transmission of citrus canker.

[[Page 31204]]

Option 3 would prohibit the distribution of fruit to commercial citrus-
producing States unless it is inspected for symptoms of citrus canker, 
using the same inspection process currently described in paragraph 
(a)(1) of Sec.  301.75-7. Option 4 would not include the inspection 
requirement but would continue to prohibit the distribution of all 
fruit to commercial citrus-producing States.
    After considering the evidence presented in the updated PRA and the 
supplemental RMA and the conclusions of those documents, we have 
determined that currently available scientific evidence provides 
additional certainty that commercially packed, treated fruit is not an 
epidemiologically significant pathway for the spread of citrus canker. 
Therefore, no mitigations beyond treatment with an APHIS-approved 
disinfectant are necessary. Accordingly, in this document, we are 
proposing to implement Option 2.

Pretreatment Detergent Wash

    We also considered whether to change our current fruit disinfection 
treatments in Sec.  301.75-11 in light of findings in Gottwald et al. 
(2009). Paragraph (a) of Sec.  301.75-11 currently requires fruit moved 
interstate from a quarantined area to be treated, in a commercial 
packinghouse operating under a compliance agreement, in at least one of 
the following ways:
     The regulated fruit must be thoroughly wetted for at least 
2 minutes with a solution containing 200 parts per million sodium 
hypochlorite, with the solution maintained at a pH of 6.0 to 7.5.
     The regulated fruit must be thoroughly wetted with a 
solution containing sodium o-phenyl phenate (SOPP) at a concentration 
of 1.86 to 2.0 percent of the total solution, for 45 seconds if the 
solution has sufficient soap or detergent to cause a visible foaming 
action or for 1 minute if the solution does not contain sufficient soap 
to cause a visible foaming action.
     The regulated fruit must be thoroughly wetted for at least 
1 minute with a solution containing 85 parts per million peroxyacetic 
acid.
    Gottwald et al. (2009) presents evidence that ``suggest[s] that 
effectiveness of packing line decontamination can be increased by using 
prewashing treatment that includes detergent, (such as SOPP) to remove 
dirt and debris that reduce the effectiveness of the disinfestants.'' 
(Shiotani et al. (2009) did not address this issue.) The supplemental 
RMA concludes, as noted earlier, that packinghouse processing that 
includes prewashing fruit with detergent over brushes followed by a 
disinfectant treatment further reduces already epidemiologically 
insignificant amounts of Xcc inoculum on infected or contaminated 
fruit. Accordingly, we considered whether to change our treatment 
requirements to incorporate a pretreatment detergent wash requirement 
in addition to the approved disinfectant treatments listed earlier.
    Various studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the 
currently approved disinfectants in reducing numbers of Xcc cells or 
similar bacteria to low or undetectable levels, as discussed in the 
November 2007 RMA. The overall results of the pretreatment detergent 
wash experiments in Gottwald et al. (2009) were inconclusive. In the 
experiment in which the pretreatment detergent wash increased the 
effectiveness of the chlorine treatment, the treatment used was not 
equivalent to any of the APHIS-approved treatments listed earlier. In 
the other experiment, the treatment was equivalent, but the 
pretreatment detergent wash did not significantly increase the 
effectiveness of the treatment.
    In addition, the updated PRA and supplemental RMA conclude that the 
viability of Xcc bacteria on fruit and in lesions and wounds diminishes 
after the fruit is harvested; the viability of Xcc bacteria that 
survive the packing process will further diminish during shipping; and 
evidence indicates that wounds on harvested fruit containing Xcc 
inoculum do not lead to citrus canker lesion development, and Xcc 
populations generally decline rapidly, although wounds might 
occasionally retain Xcc populations that decline more slowly. The risk 
associated with bacteria that survive treatment is additionally 
mitigated by other steps in the commercial packing and distribution 
process.
    Taking all the relevant evidence into account, we have determined 
that it is not necessary to amend the regulations to require a 
pretreatment detergent wash in addition to the disinfectant treatment. 
The current disinfectant treatments are an adequate mitigation to 
ensure that fruit is not an epidemiologically significant pathway for 
Xcc, especially when considering other aspects of the epidemiological 
significance of Xcc that are better characterized by the new evidence.

Proposed Changes to the Regulations Governing the Interstate Movement 
of Fruit

    As noted earlier, the regulations governing the interstate movement 
of regulated fruit produced in a quarantined area are set out in 
paragraph (a) of Sec.  301.75-7. Reflecting our choice of Option 2, we 
are proposing to remove the requirements in paragraphs (a)(1) and 
(a)(6), which respectively describe the current fruit inspection 
process and state that a lot of fruit that is determined to be 
ineligible for interstate movement through the inspection process may 
not be reconditioned and submitted for reinspection.
    We are also proposing to remove the requirements in paragraph 
(a)(5), which requires a limited permit and marking of the fruit's 
packaging to prevent its movement to commercial citrus-producing 
States. The current introductory text of paragraph (a) in Sec.  301.75-
7 refers to movement of fruit into any area of the United States except 
commercial citrus-producing areas. We would amend this introductory 
text to indicate that regulated fruit may move interstate with a 
certificate issued and attached in accordance with Sec.  301.75-12. 
Because we would remove the current distribution restrictions, a 
certificate, which allows unrestricted movement, would be the 
appropriate document to accompany regulated fruit moved interstate from 
the quarantined area under the proposed regulations.
    Paragraph (a)(2) requires the owner or operator of any commercial 
packinghouse that wishes to move citrus fruit interstate from the 
quarantined area to enter into a compliance agreement with APHIS in 
accordance with Sec.  301.75-13. We are proposing to move this 
requirement to paragraph (a)(1) and to restate it slightly to emphasize 
that the fruit must be packed in a commercial packinghouse. The 
emphasis on packing in a commercial packinghouse would ensure that the 
regulations are consistent with the conclusions of the updated PRA and 
the supplemental RMA, which evaluate the risk of spread of citrus 
canker via commercially packed fruit specifically. Under this proposal, 
paragraph (a)(1) of Sec.  301.75-7 would state that regulated fruit 
must be packed in a commercial packinghouse whose owner or operator has 
entered into a compliance agreement with APHIS in accordance with Sec.  
301.75-13.
    The term ``commercial packinghouse'' is defined in Sec.  301.75-1 
as an establishment in which space and equipment are maintained for the 
primary purpose of packing citrus fruit for commercial sale. The 
conclusions of the supplemental RMA refer specifically to disinfected 
fruit; accordingly, we are proposing to amend this definition to refer 
to equipment maintained for the

[[Page 31205]]

primary purpose of disinfecting and packing fruit.
    In addition, under the current definition of commercial 
packinghouse, a commercial packinghouse must be registered as a 
packinghouse with the State in which it operates or hold a business 
license for treating and packing fruit. However, part of this 
definition is in error; there is no business license available for 
treating and packing fruit in the citrus canker quarantined area. 
Rather, there are State licensing, registration, and certification 
provisions for commercial packinghouses, and each of these provisions 
includes requirements that the packinghouse must fulfill in order to be 
licensed, certified, or registered as a commercial packinghouse. 
Therefore, we are proposing to amend the commercial packinghouse 
definition to require that a commercial packinghouse be licensed, 
registered, or certified with the State in which it operates and meet 
all the requirements for the license, registration, or certification 
that it holds.
    Proposed paragraph (a)(2) of Sec.  301.75-7 would require the 
regulated fruit to be treated in accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(a). 
This requirement is currently contained in paragraph (a)(3).
    Proposed paragraph (a)(3) would require the regulated fruit to be 
free of leaves, twigs, and other plant parts, except for stems that are 
less than 1 inch long and attached to the fruit. This requirement is 
currently contained in paragraph (a)(4). We are proposing to retain 
this requirement, which is necessary because other plant parts pose 
different risks than fruit does; canker lesions on leaves, for example, 
typically have much higher bacterial populations than canker lesions on 
fruit.
    Under this proposed rule, APHIS inspectors would no longer be on 
site at packinghouses to enforce the requirements for treatment and 
removal of leaves, twigs, and other plant parts. We would require that 
these activities be conducted in accordance with the regulations in our 
compliance agreements with commercial packinghouses, and spot checks 
would be conducted to ensure that treatment is being performed properly 
and that no leaves, twigs, or other plant parts are being included in 
containers of fruit moved interstate.
    As noted earlier, we are proposing to remove the requirements 
related to packaging fruit moved interstate, under which only fruit 
that met the requirements of the regulations could be packaged in boxes 
or other containers bearing a statement prohibiting their distribution 
to commercial citrus-producing States, because we are proposing to 
remove the distribution restrictions that made those packaging 
requirements necessary. It is a common business practice in Florida for 
businesses to buy commercially packed and treated fruit and repackage 
it for interstate movement before the fruit is ultimately moved 
interstate from Florida. Under this proposed rule, the repackaged fruit 
would not be moved with its original certificate, which would have been 
attached to the container in which the fruit was originally packed or 
to the waybill originally accompanying the fruit in accordance with 
Sec.  301.75-12. However, fruit moved interstate would need to be moved 
with a certificate to allow us to verify that it was moved in 
accordance with the proposed regulations.
    To address this issue, we are proposing to include a new paragraph 
(a)(4). This paragraph would state that, if fruit is repackaged after 
being packed in a commercial packinghouse and before it is moved 
interstate from the quarantined area, the person that repackages the 
fruit must enter into a compliance agreement with APHIS in accordance 
with Sec.  301.75-13 and issue and attach a certificate for the 
interstate movement of the fruit in accordance with Sec.  301.75-12.
    In current Sec.  301.75-7, paragraph (c) contains requirements for 
the interstate movement of fruit from a quarantined area when that 
fruit was not produced in the quarantined area but was moved there for 
packing. Under paragraph (c)(1), such fruit may be moved to States 
other than commercial citrus-producing States, under conditions similar 
to those in current paragraph (a), or the fruit may be moved to any 
State (including commercial citrus-producing States) under the 
conditions specified in under paragraph (c)(2). These conditions 
include covering the fruit while it is in transit, keeping it separate 
from fruit that is produced in the quarantined area and packed in the 
packinghouse, and otherwise preventing its exposure to citrus canker. 
The fruit must also be treated in accordance with Sec.  301.75-11(a).
    We evaluated these conditions in light of the updated PRA and the 
supplemental RMA and the changes we are proposing. The supplemental RMA 
indicates that it is not necessary to separate fruit produced in a 
quarantined area from fruit not produced in a quarantined area, as 
substantial evidence indicates that bacterial populations of Xcc on 
harvested fruit do not infect intact mature fruit. Although paragraph 
(c)(2) does not require fruit moved to a quarantined area for packing 
and intended to be moved to commercial citrus-producing States to be 
packed in a commercial packinghouse, as would be required under 
proposed paragraph (a)(1) of Sec.  301.75-7, the provisions for 
separation of fruit, disinfection of equipment, and disposal of litter 
in paragraph (c)(2) effectively limit its applicability to fruit packed 
in commercial packinghouses. Paragraph (c)(2) currently contains a 
requirement for treating fruit moved interstate, as would be required 
under proposed paragraph (a)(2). In addition, removing leaves, twigs, 
and other plant material from packed fruit, as would be required in 
proposed paragraph (a)(3), is a typical packing practice in commercial 
packinghouses.
    Given these considerations, we believe that it is no longer 
necessary to provide separate conditions for the interstate movement of 
fruit produced in a quarantined area and fruit that is not produced in 
a quarantined area but is moved into a quarantined area for packing. 
Therefore, this proposal would remove paragraph (c) and amend the 
introductory text of paragraph (a) to indicate that paragraph (a) 
provides conditions for the interstate movement of all regulated fruit 
from citrus canker quarantined areas.
    Paragraph (b) in Sec.  301.75-7 states that regulated fruit 
produced in a quarantined area that is not eligible for movement under 
paragraph (a) may be moved interstate only for immediate export. We are 
proposing to amend this paragraph to indicate that any regulated fruit 
in a quarantined area, whether produced in the area or moved to the 
area for packing, that is not eligible for interstate movement could 
only be moved for immediate export.
    Section 301.75-4 of the regulations sets out the quarantined areas 
for citrus canker. Within Sec.  301.75-4, paragraph (d) sets out 
conditions for designating an area less than an entire State as a 
quarantined area. Some of these conditions concern the movement of 
fruit. We are proposing to retain most of the conditions for the 
intrastate movement of fruit in paragraphs (d)(2)(i) and (ii), as they 
contain requirements intended to prevent intrastate transmission of 
citrus canker via plant parts other than fruit and via equipment. The 
first sentence of paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(D), though, requires regulated 
fruit moved intrastate for packing to be stored separately from and 
have no contact with fruit eligible for movement to commercial citrus-
producing States. As discussed earlier, this provision is no longer 
necessary, and we are therefore proposing to remove it.

[[Page 31206]]

    We are also proposing to remove paragraph (d)(6), which requires 
that, in addition to meeting the conditions in Sec.  301.75-7(a), fruit 
moved interstate from a quarantined area less than an entire State 
originate from a grove in which no plant parts infected with citrus 
canker were found in the 2 years before interstate movement and in 
which any exposed plants in the grove at high risk for developing 
citrus canker have been destroyed. This provision is intended to reduce 
the prevalence of citrus canker in fruit to be moved interstate. 
Because we have determined that fruit that meets the requirements of 
proposed Sec.  301.75-7(a) is not an epidemiologically significant 
pathway for the transmission of citrus canker, this additional 
requirement is not necessary. Accordingly, we are proposing to remove 
paragraph (d)(6).
    Under Sec.  412(a) of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7712), the 
Secretary of Agriculture may prohibit or restrict the interstate 
movement of any plant or plant product if the Secretary determines that 
the prohibition or restriction is necessary to prevent the 
dissemination within the United States of a plant pest or noxious weed. 
Based on our supplemental RMA, APHIS has concluded that commercially 
packed citrus fruit treated with an APHIS-approved disinfectant is not 
an epidemiologically significant pathway for the dissemination of 
citrus canker within the United States. Accordingly, APHIS has 
determined that it is not necessary to prohibit the interstate movement 
of fruit from citrus canker quarantined areas that is commercially 
packed and treated with an APHIS-approved disinfectant in order to 
prevent the dissemination within the United States of a plant pest or 
noxious weed. This determination is based on the findings of the 
updated PRA and the supplemental RMA referred to earlier in this 
document and our judgment that the application of the measures that 
would be required under proposed Sec.  301.75-7(a) would prevent the 
dissemination of plant pests within the United States.
    Although this proposed rule would amend only the domestic citrus 
canker quarantine regulations, we would in the future consider the risk 
management strategy proposed here to be suitable to mitigate against 
citrus canker in fruit imported from foreign countries affected with 
citrus canker. However, the national plant protection organization of 
such a country would need to submit a request that we do so. A country 
requesting to be able to use this framework to export citrus to us 
would have to demonstrate the ability to perform the required 
treatments; it would also be required to have a bilateral workplan in 
place with APHIS. In addition, there may be other citrus pests in 
foreign citrus production areas whose risk would need to be mitigated 
separately from the risk posed by citrus canker; a request to export 
citrus from a canker-affected country would need to incorporate the 
risk management strategy for citrus canker that we propose here into a 
risk management approach that addresses the total citrus pest complex 
present in that country. For that reason, we would complete a separate 
pest risk analysis for such an action.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. 
The proposed rule has been determined to be significant for the 
purposes of Executive Order 12866 and, therefore, has been reviewed by 
the Office of Management and Budget.
    We have prepared an economic analysis for this rule. The economic 
analysis provides a cost-benefit analysis, as required by Executive 
Order 12866, and an initial regulatory flexibility analysis that 
examines the potential economic effects of this interim rule on small 
entities, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. The economic 
analysis is summarized below. Copies of the full analysis are available 
by contacting the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
or on the Regulations.gov Web site (see ADDRESSES above for 
instructions for accessing Regulations.gov).
    We are proposing to amend the citrus canker regulations to modify 
the conditions under which fruit may be moved interstate from a 
quarantined area. Under this proposed rule, we would eliminate the 
requirement that each lot of finished fruit be inspected at the 
packinghouse and found to be free of visible symptoms of citrus canker, 
and we would remove the current prohibition on the movement of fruit 
from a quarantined area to commercial citrus-producing States. We would 
continue to require fruit moved interstate from a quarantined area to 
be treated with an approved disinfectant and to be packed in a 
commercial packinghouse that operates under a compliance agreement. 
These proposed changes would relieve some restrictions on the 
interstate movement of fresh citrus fruit from quarantined areas while 
maintaining conditions that would prevent the artificial spread of 
citrus canker.
    In the November 2007 final rule, we amended the regulations 
governing the interstate movement of regulated fruit from a quarantined 
area. That final rule removed the grove inspection requirement whereby 
fresh citrus fruit to be moved interstate was to be inspected by APHIS 
and found to be free of citrus canker. Instead, we added a requirement 
for packinghouse inspection of fresh citrus for symptoms of citrus 
canker. We retained the other requirements that had been in the 
regulations, including the requirement that the fruit be treated with a 
surface disinfectant and the prohibition on the movement of fruit from 
a quarantined area into commercial citrus-producing States listed in 
Sec.  301.75-5. All components associated with the changes in 
regulations were based on scientific findings as outlined in the PRA 
and RMA prepared for that rulemaking.
    New scientific evidence has led APHIS to prepare an updated PRA and 
a supplemental RMA. These documents indicate that less stringent 
regulations would offer the same level of protection against the spread 
of citrus canker while lessening some of the economic burden associated 
with compliance under the current regulations. By removing the 
requirement that fruit to be moved interstate be inspected and found to 
be free of citrus canker symptoms, the proposed rule would allow for 
the long-term preservation of fresh citrus movement to the domestic 
market by Florida's commercial packinghouses and growers. (We use the 
term ``domestic market'' to mean all States except Florida.)
    Under the current regulations, approximately 4.7 percent of the 
lots of fresh grapefruit, 1.2 percent of the lots of fresh oranges and 
temples, and 0.2 percent of the lots of fresh tangerines and tangelos 
intended for the domestic market were rejected during the 2008-09 
season due to the presence of citrus canker, as found during APHIS 
inspection at the packinghouses. If APHIS inspectors find citrus canker 
on one piece of citrus fruit during their inspection, the entire lot is 
prohibited from interstate movement. Furthermore, it is also highly 
likely that some producers, after assessing whether the prevalence of 
citrus canker in their groves is low enough for their fruit to pass 
inspection after packinghouse grading and culling, may consider 
alternative markets for their citrus rather than risk costly packing 
charges associated with the rejected lots.
    While the rejected lots of the 2008-09 season were successfully 
diverted for processing or to fresh fruit markets within Florida or 
outside the United

[[Page 31207]]

States, affected citrus producers and commercial packinghouses do incur 
revenue losses due to the product diversion. The cost of producing 
citrus fruit intended for the fresh market is greater than the cost of 
production for the processed market, where the physical appearance of 
the fruit is not important; the value of citrus on the processed market 
is relatively low compared to the value of citrus sold on the fresh 
market.
    As citrus canker continues to spread throughout Florida, the 
proportion of fruit diverted to other markets because of rejected lots 
will increase. Citrus growers will only maintain self-surveys and best 
management field practices for citrus canker that are necessary to 
produce fruit for the domestic fresh citrus market as long as the 
expected net return from the fresh fruit sales is greater than the 
expected net return from sales for processing or from sales of fresh 
fruit within Florida or in foreign markets. The greater the likelihood 
that a lot may be rejected because of fruit found to have citrus canker 
symptoms, thereby resulting in elimination charges and price discounts, 
the less likely producers will choose to bear the higher costs of self-
surveys and best management practices.
    In an interim rule effective and published on August 1, 2006 (71 FR 
43345-43352, Docket No. APHIS-2006-0114), we amended the regulations to 
designate the entire State of Florida as a quarantined area for citrus 
canker. This action resulted in restrictions on the movement of all 
citrus fruit from the State of Florida, including a prohibition on 
distributing such fruit to commercial citrus-producing States. This 
proposed rule would also allow for the renewal of fresh citrus market 
access to other commercial citrus-producing States. Prior to 
implementation of the August 2006 interim rule, Florida shipped an 
average of 106,000 4/5-bushel cartons of fresh grapefruit, 209,000 4/5-
bushel cartons of fresh oranges and temples, and 1 million 4/5-bushel 
cartons of fresh tangerines and tangelos to other commercial citrus-
producing States.\5\ Approximately 5.7 percent of Florida domestic 
fresh fruit shipments (nearly 4 percent of all shipments, including 
exports) were transported to other commercial citrus-producing States 
during the 2004-05 season, the final season in which Florida fresh 
citrus was permitted movement into these States. California received 
about 3 percent of Florida's domestic fresh citrus shipments during the 
2004-05 season. While fresh citrus shipments to other commercial 
citrus-producing States generally accounted for less than 6 percent of 
Florida's domestic market supply, that State's producers and citrus 
packers of fresh tangerines and tangelos found lucrative markets for 
their products in California, Texas, and Louisiana, shipping between 12 
and 15 percent of total domestic fresh shipments to these States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ Based on 5-year averages of shipments during the 2003-04 
through 2007-08 seasons.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    U.S. consumers other than those in Florida would benefit from an 
increased supply of fresh citrus because of this rule, especially fresh 
grapefruit. Florida is the largest supplier of fresh grapefruit, with 
an average domestic fresh market supply of more than 6 million 4/5-
bushel cartons. As grapefruit are more likely to face rejection than 
other, less susceptible citrus, domestic consumers will have 
increasingly limited access to fresh grapefruit under the current 
regulations, particularly if Florida's bearing acreage continues to 
decline on average by 11 percent annually.
    According to APHIS estimates, Federal expenditures on commercial 
packinghouse inspections of fresh fruit intended for domestic markets 
range from $8.95 million to $9.85 million per season. Under the 
proposed rule, commercial citrus packinghouse inspections by APHIS of 
fresh citrus intended for the domestic market for symptoms of citrus 
canker would no longer be required, resulting in significant Federal 
savings.
    The proposed rule would also likely result in a lower supply of 
fresh citrus for Florida consumers. APHIS data indicate that nearly 30 
percent of rejected fresh citrus shipments originally intended for the 
domestic market were redirected to markets within Florida. However, 
this same fresh citrus fruit diverted to markets within Florida 
represented only about 2 percent of all fresh citrus shipped within the 
State. The benefits of long-term preservation of the domestic market 
for Florida fresh citrus, less restrictive market access, costs savings 
of foregone inspections of fresh fruit for symptoms of citrus canker, 
and savings on packinghouse charges are expected to outweigh the 
additional costs imposed by the proposed changes to the regulations. 
The science-based revisions to the regulations would continue to 
prevent the spread of citrus canker to other States, including 
commercial citrus-producing States.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act requires that agencies consider the 
economic impact of their rules on small businesses, organizations, and 
governmental jurisdictions. Section 603 of the Act requires agencies to 
prepare and make available for public comment an initial regulatory 
flexibility analysis (IRFA) describing the expected impact of proposed 
rules on small entities. Sections 603(b) and 603(c) of the Act specify 
the content of an IRFA. In this section, we address these IRFA 
requirements for this proposed rule.

Reasons for Action

    APHIS is taking these actions based on the determination that 
citrus fruit that has citrus canker symptoms and that has been treated 
using an APHIS-approved disinfectant is not an epidemiologically 
significant pathway for transmission of the disease. Citrus canker in 
Florida is pervasive, and eradication and quarantine zones within the 
State have not succeeded in controlling the spread of the disease 
within Florida. This action is being taken to relieve restrictions on 
the Florida citrus industry that we believe are no longer warranted 
while continuing to prevent the spread of citrus canker to other U.S. 
commercial citrus-producing States and territories.
    The current citrus canker regulations place several restrictions on 
the interstate movement of citrus fruit from areas quarantined due to 
citrus canker, including APHIS inspection of fresh citrus intended for 
the domestic market, treatments, and interstate movement only under 
limited permit to States that do not produce citrus commercially. APHIS 
is proposing to implement a new protocol under which specified 
treatments would be required for Florida citrus shippers to move 
regulated fresh fruit to all States without the currently required 
APHIS inspection. This action would apply less restrictive measures for 
movement of fresh citrus from Florida while continuing to prevent the 
spread of citrus canker to areas free from the pest.

Objectives and Legal Basis for Proposed Rule

    The objective of the proposed rule is to modify the current 
protocol contained in Sec.  301.75-7 that stipulates the conditions 
under which fresh citrus fruit may be moved interstate from quarantined 
areas. Under the provisions of this proposed rule, a new mitigation 
strategy would eliminate the required APHIS inspection of each lot of 
finished fruit.
    Under section 412(a) of the Plant Protection Act, the Secretary of 
Agriculture may prohibit or restrict the movement in interstate 
commerce of any plant or plant product if the Secretary determines that 
the

[[Page 31208]]

prohibition or restriction is necessary to prevent the dissemination of 
a plant pest or noxious weed within the United States. APHIS has 
determined that it is not necessary to prohibit the interstate movement 
of fruit from citrus canker quarantined areas that is commercially 
packed and treated with an APHIS-approved disinfectant in order to 
prevent the dissemination within the United States of a plant pest or 
noxious weed. This determination is based on the findings of the 
updated PRA and the supplemental RMA referred to earlier in this 
document and our judgment that the application of the measures that 
would be required under proposed Sec.  301.75-7(a) would prevent the 
dissemination of plant pests within the United States.

Description and Estimated Number of Small Entities Regulated

    Florida's citrus commercial packinghouses and fresh citrus 
producers comprise the industries that we expect to be directly 
affected by this proposed rule. The small business size standards for 
citrus fruit packing, as identified by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) based upon the North American Industry 
Classification System (NAICS) code 115114 (Postharvest Crop Activities) 
is $6.5 million or less in annual receipts. There are currently 174 
commercial packinghouses in Florida under an APHIS packinghouse 
compliance agreement, 56 of which are registered with the Florida 
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Division of Fruit and 
Vegetables. While the classification of all of these establishments by 
sales volume is not available, it is estimated that approximately 40 of 
the 56 registered commercial packinghouses are the top-grossing citrus 
commercial packinghouses. The remaining packinghouses are small 
establishments known primarily as gift packers. At least 95 percent of 
Florida fresh citrus shipments are packed by the top 40 (23 percent) 
commercial packinghouses in the State.\6\ The Fresh Shippers Report, as 
reported by the Citrus Administrative Committee, details quantities of 
fresh citrus shipped by the top 40 shippers each season.\7\ During the 
2007-08 season, annual sales for 14 of the top 40 shippers (35 percent) 
were below the SBA size standard of $6.5 million. It is estimated that 
at least 82 percent of Florida's citrus packers, including the small 
gift packers, would be considered small according to the SBA size 
standards.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ ``Fresh Shippers Report: 2007-08 Season Through July 31, 
2008,'' Citrus Administrative Committee, August 8, 2008. http://www.citrusadministrativecommittee.org/
    \7\ Ibid.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The proposed rule is also expected to positively affect producers 
of fresh citrus in Florida currently facing an increasing number of 
lots rejected at the packinghouse level each season. Packing and 
elimination charges for growers are higher for fruit diverted to the 
intrastate or export markets, or processing plants. In addition, fruit 
diverted to processing yields lower revenues for growers who have 
already borne the higher costs of producing fruit intended for the 
fresh market.
    A majority of the Florida citrus producers that would be affected 
by the proposed rule are small, based on 2007 Census of Agriculture 
data and SBA guidelines for entities classified within the farm 
categories Orange Groves (NAICS 111310) and Citrus (except Orange) 
Groves (NAICS 111320). SBA classifies producers in these categories 
with total annual sales of not more than $750,000 as small entities. 
According to 2007 Census data, there were a total of 6,061 citrus farms 
in Florida in 2007. Of this number, 90 percent had annual sales in 2007 
of less than $500,000, which is well below the SBA's small entity 
threshold of $750,000.\8\ Any costs associated with the proposed rule 
are expected to be minimal, especially given the producers' gains from 
fewer rejections of fresh citrus lots destined for the domestic market.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ Source: SBA and 2007 Census of Agriculture.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Producers of fresh fruit in other commercial citrus-producing 
States may also be impacted by the rule to the extent that the 
reintroduction of Florida fresh citrus changes the supply in these 
States. However, APHIS does not anticipate significant increases in 
fresh citrus supplies into these markets as a result of this proposed 
rule, as indicated by historic data on Florida fresh citrus shipments. 
According to 2007 Census data, there were a total of 15,658 citrus 
farms in the United States in 2007. Of this total, 329 were located in 
Arizona, 7,358 in California, 884 in Hawaii, 210 in Louisiana, and 750 
in Texas. In each State, at least 91 percent of all farms had annual 
sales in 2007 of less than $500,000 and would be classified as small 
entities according to SBA guidelines.

Description and Estimate of Compliance Requirements

    In general, this rule would not entail new reporting, 
recordkeeping, or other compliance requirements beyond those already 
required for shipment of Florida fresh citrus destined for domestic and 
export markets. The costs to packinghouses associated with certifying 
fruit for interstate movement are expected to be less than the costs 
associated with the current requirement that limited permits accompany 
shipments of fresh citrus from Florida that are moved interstate. In 
addition, under the current regulations, fresh citrus fruit from 
Florida destined for the domestic market must be packed in boxes with 
markings that indicate that fruit is prohibited from movement into 
other commercial citrus-producing States in order to obtain a limited 
permit. The proposed rule would eliminate the required limited permits 
and packaging requirements at a cost savings to packinghouses.
    The annual cost of obtaining a Citrus Fruit Dealer License is less 
than $25. There is no cost to register as a commercial packinghouse, 
but the Florida Department of Agriculture does charge inspection fees 
and box taxes where applicable. Of the 174 packinghouses currently 
operating under an APHIS compliance agreement, we estimate that fewer 
than 10 would need to obtain a license or registration in order to 
obtain a compliance agreement with APHIS and meet the requirements of 
the proposed regulations.

Duplication, Overlap, and Conflict With Existing Rules and Regulations

    APHIS has not identified any duplication, overlap, or conflict of 
the proposed rule with other Federal rules.

Regulatory Alternatives

    An in depth discussion of the alternatives we considered in 
preparing this proposed rule may be found earlier in this document 
under the heading ``Evaluation of Risk Management Options'' as well as 
in the accompanying full economic analysis.

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 proposed rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. If this proposed rule is adopted: (1) All State 
and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule 
will be preempted; (2) no retroactive effect will be given to this 
rule; and (3) administrative proceedings

[[Page 31209]]

will not be required before parties may file suit in court challenging 
this rule.

National Environmental Policy Act

    To provide the public with documentation of APHIS' review and 
analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the 
proposed amendments to the regulations providing for the interstate 
movement of regulated fruit from areas quarantined for citrus canker, 
we have prepared an environmental assessment. The environmental 
assessment was 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 1b), and (4) 
APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The environmental assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov 
Web site or in our reading room. (A link to Regulations.gov and 
information on the location and hours of the reading room are provided 
under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this proposed rule.) In 
addition, copies may be obtained by calling or writing to the 
individual listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This proposed rule contains no new 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.

    Accordingly, we propose to amend 7 CFR part 301 as follows:

PART 301--DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

    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).

    2. In Sec.  301.75-1, the definition of commercial packinghouse is 
revised to read as follows:


Sec.  301.75-1  Definitions.

* * * * *
    Commercial packinghouse. An establishment in which space and 
equipment are maintained for the primary purpose of disinfecting and 
packing citrus fruit for commercial sale. A commercial packinghouse 
must also be licensed, registered, or certified with the State in which 
it operates and meet all the requirements for the license, 
registration, or certification that it holds.
* * * * *


Sec.  301.75-4  [Amended]

    3. Section 301.75-4 is amended as follows:
    a. In paragraph (d)(2)(ii)(D), by removing the first sentence.
    b. By removing paragraph (d)(6).
    4. Section 301.75-7 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  301.75-7  Interstate movement of regulated fruit from a 
quarantined area.

    (a) Regulated fruit produced in a quarantined area or moved into a 
quarantined area for packing may be moved interstate with a certificate 
issued and attached in accordance with Sec.  301.75-12 if all of the 
following conditions are met:
    (1) The regulated fruit was packed in a commercial packinghouse 
whose owner or operator has entered into a compliance agreement with 
APHIS in accordance with Sec.  301.75-13.
    (2) The regulated fruit was treated in accordance with Sec.  
301.75-11(a).
    (3) The regulated fruit is free of leaves, twigs, and other plant 
parts, except for stems that are less than 1 inch long and attached to 
the fruit.
    (4) If the fruit is repackaged after being packed in a commercial 
packinghouse and before it is moved interstate from the quarantined 
area, the person that repackages the fruit must enter into a compliance 
agreement with APHIS in accordance with Sec.  301.75-13 and issue and 
attach a certificate for the interstate movement of the fruit in 
accordance with Sec.  301.75-12.
    (b) Regulated fruit that is not eligible for movement under 
paragraph (a) of this section may be moved interstate only for 
immediate export. The regulated fruit must be accompanied by a limited 
permit issued in accordance with Sec.  301.75-12 and must be moved in a 
container sealed by APHIS directly to the port of export in accordance 
with the conditions of the limited permit.


(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
number 0579-0325)
    Done in Washington, DC, this 26th day of June 2009.
Cindy Smith,
Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs.
[FR Doc. E9-15508 Filed 6-29-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P