[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 49 (Monday, March 15, 2010)]
[Notices]
[Pages 12172-12173]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-5599]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2009-0101]


Notice of Availability of a Draft Response to Petitions for the 
Reclassification of Light Brown Apple Moth as a Non-Quarantine Pest

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service is making available, for public review and comment, 
a draft response to two petitions we received requesting the 
reclassification of light brown apple moth [Epiphyas postvittana 
(Walker)] as a non-quarantine pest. Following the review period, APHIS 
will consider the comments prior to the release of a final petition 
response.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 
14, 2010.

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-2009-0101) 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-2009-0101, 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-2009-0101.
    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. Andrea Simao, National Program 
Manager, Emergency and Domestic Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, 
Unit 26, Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 734-0930.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Light brown apple moth (Epiphyas postvittana [Walker]) (LBAM) is a 
plant pest with a broad host range of over 2,000 plant species, 
including stone fruit (peaches, plums, nectarines, cherries, and 
apricots), apples, pears, grapes, and citrus. LBAM larvae feed on the 
leaves and fruit of host plants and, under appropriate conditions, may 
result in significant damage. The pest can be very difficult to 
eradicate once it is established in an area. To date, natural enemies 
of leaf rollers have not impacted LBAM populations in the infested 
areas of California and few predators or parasites of LBAM have been 
observed.

[[Page 12173]]

    Although LBAM was first detected in the late 1800s in Hawaii, it is 
present only at elevations of 1,394 feet or above in the State. Because 
most agricultural production in Hawaii occurs in the coastal regions, 
at elevations below 1,394 feet, LBAM has not been considered a pest of 
concern within the State. However, the interstate movement from Hawaii 
of cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, plants, and portions of plants, 
including LBAM host material, is currently prohibited unless the 
articles are first inspected and found free of plant pests (including 
LBAM) or are treated for plant pests.
    Moths suspected of being LBAM were detected in Alameda and Contra 
Costa Counties, CA, in February 2007, and were subsequently confirmed 
as LBAM on March 16, 2007. Due to California's cooler climate and the 
potential impact of LBAM on a wide range of crops, an aggressive 
response program has been conducted by the State of California with 
support from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of 
the United States Department of Agriculture.
    On September 12, 2008, and February 4, 2009, petitions were 
submitted to the Secretary of Agriculture requesting that APHIS 
reclassify LBAM from an actionable, quarantine-significant pest to a 
non-actionable, non-quarantine pest and that APHIS relieve the Federal 
restrictions placed on the interstate movement of LBAM host articles 
from areas where the pest had been detected. The petitions also 
questioned APHIS' ability to eradicate LBAM, the appropriateness of 
technologies used to support an eradication program, the potential 
impacts of these technologies on the environment and to human health 
and safety, and the effectiveness of the communication strategies used 
to inform the public about the LBAM program.
    This document announces the availability of our draft response to 
those petitions, titled ``APHIS Draft Response to Petitions for the 
Reclassification of Light Brown Apple Moth [Epiphyas postvittana 
(Walker)] as a Non-Quarantine Pest.'' For the sake of clarity, the 
discussion in our response focused on the petitioners' request to 
reclassify LBAM. Questions raised by the petitions regarding regulatory 
and other actions are distinctly different discussions and are 
addressed separately in an accompanying document that provides 
additional information on the LBAM program in a frequently asked 
questions (FAQ) format.
    The text of the petitions, APHIS' draft petition response, and FAQ 
may be viewed on the Internet at the Regulations.gov Web site (see 
ADDRESSES above for instructions on accessing Regulations.gov). The 
draft response and FAQ may also be viewed on the APHIS Web site at 
(http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/plant_pest_info/lba_moth/index.shtml). You may request paper copies of the documents by calling 
or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 
Please refer to the title of the documents when requesting copies. The 
documents are also available for review in our reading room 
(information on the location and hours of the reading room is listed 
under the heading ADDRESSES at the beginning of this notice).
    After evaluating public comments we receive during the comment 
period (see DATES at the beginning of this notice), APHIS will 
determine whether or not to continue Federal enforcement of mandatory 
phytosanitary domestic quarantine regulations and the application of 
mandatory procedures for the official control of LBAM. We will then 
publish a document in the Federal Register announcing our 
determination.
    Done in Washington, DC, this 9\th\ day of March 2010.

Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-5599 Filed 3-12-10; 12:46 pm]
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