[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 44 (Wednesday, March 6, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 14510-14511]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05139]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0064]


Notice of Availability of a Treatment Evaluation Document and an 
Environmental Assessment for Pesticide Use in the Imported Fire Ant 
Program

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 we have determined that it is 
necessary to add and revise certain treatment schedules for the 
Imported Fire Ant Program in the Plant Protection and Quarantine 
Treatment Manual. Thus, we have prepared a treatment evaluation 
document that discusses the existing treatment schedules, describes the 
new treatment schedules, and explains why these changes are necessary. 
In addition, an environmental assessment has been prepared by the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service relative to pesticide use in 
the new and revised treatments in the imported fire ant program. The 
environmental assessment documents our review and analysis of 
environmental impacts associated with proposed new pesticides and new 
uses for previously approved pesticides. We are making this treatment 
evaluation document and environmental assessment available to the 
public for review and comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before May 
6, 2013.

[[Page 14511]]


ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0064-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2012-0064, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    The treatment evaluation document, environmental assessment, and 
any comments we receive may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0064 or in our reading room, which 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) 799-7039 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Charles Brown, Director, Emergency 
Management, Emergency and Domestic Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 135, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-2119.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren and Solenopsis 
richteri Forel, is an aggressive, stinging insect that, in large 
numbers, can seriously injure or even kill livestock, pets, and humans. 
The imported fire ant feeds on crops and builds large, hard mounds that 
damage farm and field machinery. Imported fire ants are notorious 
hitchhikers and are readily transported long distances when articles 
such as soil and nursery stock are shipped outside the infested area.
    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) works to 
prevent further imported fire ant spread by enforcing a Federal 
quarantine and cooperating with imported fire ant-infested States to 
mitigate the risks associated with the movement of regulated articles 
such as nursery stock and used soil-moving equipment.
    The regulations in ``Subpart--Imported Fire Ant'' (7 CFR 301.81 
through 301.81-11, referred to below as the regulations) are intended 
to prevent the imported fire ant from spreading throughout its 
ecological range within the country. The regulations quarantine 
infested States or infested areas within States and restricts 
interstate movement of regulated articles to prevent the artificial 
spread of the imported fire ant.
    Sections 301.81-4 and 301.81-5 of the regulations provide, among 
other things, that regulated articles requiring treatment prior to 
interstate movement must be treated in accordance with 7 CFR part 305, 
which contains our phytosanitary treatment regulations.
    In Sec.  305.2, paragraph (b) states that approved treatment 
schedules are set out in the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) 
Treatment Manual.\1\ Section 305.3 sets out a process for adding, 
revising, or removing treatment schedules in the PPQ Treatment Manual. 
In that section, paragraph (a) sets out the process for adding, 
revising, or removing treatment schedules when there is no immediate 
need to make a change. The circumstances in which an immediate need 
exists are described in Sec.  305.3(b)(1).
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    \1\ The Treatment Manual is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/index.shtml or by 
contacting the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant 
Protection and Quarantine, Manuals Unit, 92 Thomas Johnson Drive, 
Suite 200, Frederick, MD 21702.
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    In accordance with Sec.  305.3(a)(1), we are providing notice that 
we have determined that it is necessary to revise the list of 
insecticides and use patterns, already approved for use within the 
existing program, for the imported fire ant program in the PPQ 
Treatment Manual. As pesticide registrations change under the 
Environmental Protection Agency's regulations, the chemicals available 
for use to control imported fire ants also change. Specifically, we are 
adding a new immersion treatment using bifenthrin for balled-and-
burlapped nursery stock and a new broadcast treatment using bifenthrin 
for grass sod, and clarifying the application method for drench 
treatment of balled-and-burlapped nursery stock.
    The reasons for these revisions are described in a treatment 
evaluation document (TED) we have prepared to support this action. The 
TED may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading 
room. You may also request paper copies of the TED by calling or 
writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
    APHIS' review and analysis of the potential environmental impacts 
associated with the addition of insecticides and use patterns to the 
list of chemicals allowed in the imported fire ant quarantine are 
documented in detail in an environmental assessment entitled 
``Pesticide Use in the Imported Fire Ant Program'' (March 2012). We are 
making this environmental assessment available to the public for review 
and comment. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
the date listed under the heading DATES at the beginning of this 
notice.
    The environmental assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov 
Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room). You may request paper copies of the environmental 
assessment by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the environmental 
assessment when requesting copies.
    The environmental assessment has been 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).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 28th day of February 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-05139 Filed 3-5-13; 8:45 am]
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