[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 23 (Friday, February 3, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5385-5386]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2376]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 985

[Doc. Nos. AMS-FV-10-0094; FV11-985-1A FIR]


Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced 
in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment 
Percentage for Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil for 
the 2011-2012 Marketing Year

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Affirmation of interim rule as final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final 
rule, without change, an interim rule that revised the quantity of 
Class 1 (Scotch) and Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil that handlers may 
purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2011-2012 
marketing year. The interim rule increased the Scotch spearmint oil 
salable quantity from 693,141 pounds to 733,913 pounds, and the 
allotment percentage from 34 percent to 36 percent. In addition, the 
interim rule increased the Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 
1,012,949 pounds to 1,266,161 pounds, and the allotment percentage from 
44 percent to 55 percent. This change is expected to moderate extreme 
fluctuations in the supply and price of spearmint oil and to help 
maintain stability in the Far West spearmint oil market.

DATES: Effective June 1, 2011, through May 31, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry Broadbent, Marketing Specialist, 
or Gary Olson, Regional Manager, Northwest Marketing Field Office, 
Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, 
AMS, USDA; Telephone: (503) 326-2724, Fax: (503) 326-7440, or Email: 
Barry.Broadbent@ams.usda.gov or GaryD.Olson@ams.usda.gov.
    Small businesses may obtain information on complying with this and 
other marketing order regulations by viewing a guide at the following 
Web site: www.ams.usda.gov/MarketingOrdersSmallBusinessGuide; or by 
contacting Laurel May, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Fruit 
and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 
0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 
720-8938, or Email: Laurel.May@ams.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This rule is issued under Marketing Order 
No. 985 (7 CFR part 985), as amended, regulating the handling of 
spearmint oil produced in the Far West (Washington, Idaho, Oregon, and 
designated parts of Nevada and Utah), hereinafter referred to as the 
``order.'' The order is effective under the Agricultural Marketing 
Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter 
referred to as the ``Act.''
    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this rule in 
conformance with Executive Order 12866.
    The handling of spearmint oil produced in the Far West is regulated 
by 7 CFR part 985. Under the authority of the order, salable quantities 
and allotment percentages were established for both Scotch and Native 
spearmint oil for the 2011-2012 marketing year. However, early in the 
2011-2012 marketing year, it became evident to the Committee and the 
industry that demand for spearmint oil was greater than previously 
projected and that an intra-seasonal increase in the salable quantity 
and allotment percentage for each class of oil was warranted. 
Therefore, this rule continues in effect the action that increased the 
Scotch spearmint oil salable quantity from 693,141 pounds to 733,913 
pounds and allotment percentage from 34 percent to 36 percent. In 
addition, this rule continues in effect the action that increased the 
Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 1,012,949 pounds to 
1,266,161 pounds and allotment percentage from 44 percent to 55 
percent.
    In an interim rule published in the Federal Register on October 6, 
2011, and effective June 1, 2011 through May 31, 2012, (76 FR 61933, 
Doc. No. AMS-FV-10-0094, FV11-985-1 IR), Sec.  985.230 was amended to 
reflect the aforementioned increases in the salable quantities and 
allotment percentages for Scotch and Native spearmint oil for the 2011-
2012 marketing year.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility 
Act (RFA), the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has considered the 
economic impact of this action on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has 
prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act, and the rules issued thereunder, are unique in 
that they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf.
    There are 8 spearmint oil handlers subject to regulation under the 
order, and approximately 32 producers of Scotch spearmint oil and 
approximately 88 producers of Native spearmint oil in the regulated 
production area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the 
Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of 
less than $7,000,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as 
those having annual receipts of less than $750,000. (13 CFR 121.201)
    Based on the SBA's definition of small entities, the Committee 
estimates that two of the eight handlers regulated by the order could 
be considered small entities. Most of the handlers are large 
corporations involved in the international trading of essential oils 
and the products of essential oils. In addition, the Committee 
estimates that 8 of the 32 Scotch spearmint oil producers and 22 of the 
88 Native spearmint oil

[[Page 5386]]

producers could be classified as small entities under the SBA 
definition. Thus, a majority of handlers and producers of Far West 
spearmint oil may not be classified as small entities.
    The use of volume control regulation allows the industry to fully 
supply spearmint oil markets while avoiding the negative consequences 
of over-supplying these markets. Volume control is believed to have 
little or no effect on consumer prices of products containing spearmint 
oil and likely does not result in fewer retail sales of such products. 
Without volume control, producers would not be limited in the 
production and marketing of spearmint oil. Under those conditions, the 
spearmint oil market would likely fluctuate widely. Periods of 
oversupply could result in low producer prices and a large volume of 
oil stored and carried over to future crop years. Periods of 
undersupply could lead to excessive price spikes and could drive end 
users to source flavoring needs from other markets, potentially causing 
long term economic damage to the domestic spearmint oil industry. The 
order's volume control provisions have been successfully implemented in 
the domestic spearmint oil industry for nearly three decades and 
provide benefits for producers, handlers, manufacturers, and consumers.
    This rule continues in effect the action that increased the 
quantity of Scotch and Native spearmint oil that handlers may purchase 
from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2011-2012 marketing 
year, which ends on May 31, 2012. The Scotch spearmint oil salable 
quantity was increased from 693,141 pounds to 733,913 pounds and the 
allotment percentage from 34 percent to 36 percent. Additionally, the 
Native spearmint oil salable quantity was increased from 1,012,949 
pounds to 1,266,161 pounds and the allotment percentage from 44 percent 
to 55 percent.
    The Committee reached its recommendation to increase the salable 
quantity and allotment percentage for both Scotch and Native spearmint 
oil after careful consideration of all available information, and 
believes that the levels recommended will achieve the objectives 
sought. Without the increase, the Committee believes the industry would 
not be able to satisfactorily meet current market demand.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, (44 U.S.C. 
Chapter 35), the order's information collection requirements have been 
previously approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and 
assigned OMB No. 0581-0178, Vegetable and Specialty Crop Marketing 
Orders. No changes in those requirements as a result of this action are 
necessary. Should any changes become necessary, they would be submitted 
to OMB for approval.
    This rule will not impose any additional reporting or recordkeeping 
requirements on either small or large spearmint oil handlers. As with 
all Federal marketing order programs, reports and forms are 
periodically reviewed to reduce information requirements and 
duplication by industry and public sector agencies. In addition, USDA 
has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap 
or conflict with this rule.
    Further, the Committee's meeting was widely publicized throughout 
the spearmint oil industry and all interested persons were invited to 
attend the meeting and participate in Committee deliberations. Like all 
Committee meetings, the August 17, 2011, meeting was a public meeting 
and all entities, both large and small, were able to express their 
views on this issue.
    Comments on the interim rule were required to be received on or 
before December 5, 2011. No comments were received. Therefore, for the 
reasons given in the interim rule, we are adopting the interim rule as 
a final rule, without change.
    To view the interim rule, go to: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=AMS-FV-10-0094-0003.
    This action also affirms information contained in the interim rule 
concerning Executive Orders 12866 and 12988, the Paperwork Reduction 
Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), and the E-Gov Act (44 U.S.C. 101).
    After consideration of all relevant material presented, it is found 
that finalizing the interim rule, without change, as published in the 
Federal Register (76 FR 61933, October 6, 2011) will tend to effectuate 
the declared policy of the Act.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 985

    Marketing agreements, Oils and fats, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Spearmint oil.

    Accordingly, the interim rule that amended 7 CFR part 985 and that 
was published at 76 FR 61933 on October 6, 2011, is adopted as a final 
rule, without change.

    Dated: January 30, 2012.
Robert C. Keeney,
Acting Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-2376 Filed 2-2-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P