[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 81 (Thursday, April 25, 1996)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 18233-18235]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-10260]



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Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
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Federal Register / Vol. 61, No. 81 / Thursday, April 25, 1996 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 18233]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 301

[Docket No. 96-016-5]


Karnal Bunt

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Interim rule and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are amending the Karnal bunt regulations by adding Imperial 
County, CA, and a portion of Riverside County, CA, to the list of areas 
quarantined because of infestations of Karnal bunt. We are also adding 
Tilletia indica (Mitra) Mundkur, the organism that causes Karnal bunt, 
to the list of restricted articles. This action is necessary on an 
emergency basis to prevent the artificial spread of Karnal bunt, a 
serious fungal disease of wheat, durum wheat, and triticale, into 
noninfected areas of the United States.

DATES: Interim rule effective April 19, 1996. Consideration will be 
given only to comments received on or before June 24, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Please send an original and three copies of your comments to 
Docket No. 96-016-5, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, 
suite 3C03, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale MD 20737-1238. Please 
state that your comments refer to Docket No. 96-016-5. Comments 
received may be inspected at USDA, room 1141, South Building, 14th 
Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 
4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. Persons wishing to 
inspect comments are requested to call ahead on (202) 690-2817 to 
facilitate entry into the comment reading room.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:   Mr. Stephen Poe, Operations Officer, 
Domestic and Emergency Operations, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 
134, Riverdale, MD 20732, (301) 734-8247.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    Karnal bunt is a serious fungal disease of wheat (Triticum 
aestivum), durum wheat (Triticum durum), and triticale (Triticum 
aestivum X Seale cereals), a hybrid of wheat and rye. The disease is 
caused by the smut fungus Tilletia indica (Mitra) Mundkur and is spread 
by spores. Karnal bunt is a serious disease that affects both yield and 
grain quality. It adversely affects the color, odor, and palatability 
of flour and other foodstuffs made from affected grain. Grain 
containing any amount of bunted kernels is reduced in quality. Karnal 
bunt does not present a risk to human health.
    On March 20, 1996, the Secretary of Agriculture signed a 
``Declaration of Extraordinary Emergency'' authorizing the Secretary to 
take emergency action under 7 U.S.C. 150dd with regard to Karnal bunt 
within the States of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The ``Declaration 
of Extraordinary Emergency'' was published in the Federal Register on 
March 25, 1996 (61 FR 12058, Docket No. 96-016-1). On March 26, 1996, 
the Secretary of Agriculture signed a ``Declaration of Emergency'' 
authorizing the transfer and use of funds within the Department for a 
program to control Karnal bunt wherever it may be found in the United 
States. The ``Declaration of Emergency'' was published in the Federal 
Register on March 29, 1996 (61 FR 14046, Docket No. 96-016-2).
    In an interim rule effective March 25, 1996, and published in the 
Federal Register March 28, 1996 (61 FR 13649-13655, Docket No. 93-016-
3), we established the Karnal bunt regulations (7 CFR 301.89-1 through 
301.89-11) and quarantined the State of Arizona and a total of six 
counties in the States of New Mexico and Texas. The regulations impose 
restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles from 
quarantined areas in order to prevent the artificial spread of Karnal 
bunt to noninfested areas of the United States.

Additions to Quarantined Areas

    Recently, Karnal bunt was detected in lots of seed that were either 
planted or stored in California. On April 12, 1996, the Secretary of 
Agriculture signed a ``Declaration of Extraordinary Emergency'' 
authorizing the Secretary to take emergency action under 7 U.S.C. 150dd 
with regard to Karnal bunt within California.
    The regulations in Sec. 301.89-3 provide that the Administrator of 
APHIS will quarantine each State, or portion of a State, that is 
infected with Karnal bunt or that the Administrator considers necessary 
to regulate due to its proximity to an infestation or its 
inseparability from an infected locality for quarantine purposes.
    In accordance with these criteria and the recent detection of 
Karnal bunt in California, we are amending Sec. 301.89-3(e) by adding 
all of Imperial County and a portion of Riverside County, CA, to the 
list of quarantined areas.
    The quarantined area in Riverside County, CA, is that portion of 
the county in the Blythe and Ripley areas bounded by a line drawn as 
follows: Beginning at the intersection of State Highway 62 and the 
Riverside-San Bernardino County line, then east along the Riverside-San 
Bernardino County line to its intersection with the California-Arizona 
State line; then south along the California-Arizona State line to its 
intersection with the Riverside-Imperial County line; then west along 
the Riverside-Imperial County line to its intersection with Graham Pass 
Road; then northeast along Graham Pass Road to its intersection with 
Chuckwalla Valley Road; then west and northwest along Chuckwalla Valley 
Road to its intersection with Interstate Highway 10; then west along 
Interstate Highway 10 to its intersection with State Highway 177; then 
northeast and north along State Highway 177 to its intersection with 
State Highway 62; then northeast along State Highway 62 to the point of 
beginning.

Addition of Regulated Article

    Section 301.89-2 of the regulations lists articles whose movement 
from quarantined areas is restricted due to the risk of spreading 
Karnal bunt. In this interim rule, we are adding to the list of 
regulated articles ``Tilletia indica (Mitra) Mundkur,'' the organism 
that causes Karnal bunt.

[[Page 18234]]

Emergency Action

    The Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
has determined that an emergency exists that warrants publication of 
this interim rule without prior opportunity for public comment. 
Immediate action is necessary to prevent the artificial spread of 
Karnal bunt to noninfected areas of the United States.
    Because prior notice and other public procedures with respect to 
this action are impracticable and contrary to the public interest under 
these conditions, we find good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 to make it 
effective upon signature. We will consider comments that are received 
within 60 days of publication of this rule in the Federal Register. 
After the comment period closes, we will publish another document in 
the Federal Register. It will include a discussion of any comments we 
receive and any amendments we are making to the rule as a result of the 
comments.

Executive Order 12866 and Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this 
action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review 
process required by Executive Order 12866.
    This action quarantines one entire county and a portion of another 
county in California because of Karnal bunt and restricts the 
interstate movement of regulated articles from those quarantined areas. 
This action also adds Tilletia indica (Mitra) Mundkur to the list of 
regulated articles. This emergency situation makes compliance with 
section 603 and timely compliance with section 604 of the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 603 and 604) impracticable. This rule may 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. If we determine this is so, then we will discuss the issues 
raised by section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act in our Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Act 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 required intergovernmental consultation with State and local 
officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)

Executive Order 12778

    This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12778, Civil 
Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and 
regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no 
retroactive effect; and (3) only requires administrative proceedings 
before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule upon the 
cancellation of a certificate, limited permit, or compliance agreement.

National Environmental Policy Act

    An environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
have been prepared for this rule. The assessment provides a basis for 
the conclusion that the treatment of regulated articles, under the 
conditions specified in this rule, will not have a significant impact 
on the quality of the human environment. Based on the finding of no 
significant impact, the Administrator of the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service has determined that an environmental impact 
statement need not be prepared.
    The environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact 
were prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy 
Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C 4321 et seq.), (2) Regulations on 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).
    Copies of the environmental assessment and finding of no 
significant impact are available for public inspection at USDA, room 
1141, South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., 
Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, 
except holidays. Persons wishing to inspect copies are requested to 
call ahead on (202) 690-2817 to facilitate entry into the reading room. 
In addition, copies may be obtained by writing to the individual listed 
under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with section 3507(j) of the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the information collection and 
recordkeeping requirements included in this interim rule have been 
submitted for emergency approval to the Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB). OMB has assigned control number 0579-0121 to the information 
collection and recordkeeping requirements. Notwithstanding any other 
provision of the law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall 
any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a 
collection of information, subject to the requirements of the Paperwork 
Reduction Act, unless that collection of information displays a 
currently valid OMB Control Number. Please send written comments to the 
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk 
Officer for APHIS, Washington, DC 20503. Please state that your 
comments refer to Docket No. 96-016-5. Please send a copy of your 
comments to: (1) Docket No. 96-016-5, Regulatory Analysis and 
Development, PPD, APHIS, suite 3C03, 4700 River Road Unit 118, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1238, and (2) Clearance Officer, OIRM, USDA, room 
404-W, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.
    The paperwork associated with the Karnal bunt program will include 
the completion of compliance agreements, certificates, and limited 
permits. There will also be requests for inspections. We are soliciting 
comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our 
proposed information collection and recordkeeping requirements. We need 
this outside input to help us accomplish the following:
    (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of our agency's functions, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
    (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used;
    (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to 
be collected; and
    (4) Minimize the burden of the information collection on those who 
are to respond (such as through the use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic 
submission responses).
    Estimate of burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of 
information is estimated to average 20 minutes per response.
    Respondents: State plant regulatory officials, shippers, growers, 
and representatives of the plant industry.
    Estimated number of respondents: 1,915.
    Estimated number of responses per respondent: 3.824.
    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 2,410 hours.
    Copies of this information collection can be obtained from: 
Clearance Officer, OIRM, USDA, room 404-W, 14th Street and Independence 
Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250.

[[Page 18235]]

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 301

    Agricultural commodities, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

PART 301--DOMESTIC QUARANTINE NOTICES

    Accordingly, 7 CFR part 301 is amended as follows:
    1. The authority citation for part 301 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 150bb, 150dd, 150ee, 150ff, 161, 162, and 
164-167; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.2(c).

    2. In Sec. 301.89-2, paragraphs (e) through (n) are redesignated as 
paragraphs (f) through (o), respectively, and a new paragraph (e) is 
added, as follows:


Sec. 301.89-2  Regulated articles.

* * * * *
    (e) Tilletia indica (Mitra) Mundkur;
* * * * *
    3. In Sec. 301.89-3, paragraph (e), the designation of quarantined 
areas is amended by adding, in alphabetical order, entries for Imperial 
County and Riverside County in California, as follows:


Sec. 301.89-3  Quarantined areas.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
* * * * *

California

    Imperial County. The entire county.
    Riverside County. That portion of Riverside County in the Blythe 
and Ripley areas bounded by a line drawn as follows: Beginning at 
the intersection of State Highway 62 and the Riverside-San 
Bernardino County line, then east along the Riverside-San Bernardino 
County line to its intersection with the California-Arizona State 
line; then south along the California-Arizona State line to its 
intersection with the Riverside-Imperial County line; then west 
along the Riverside-Imperial County line to its intersection with 
Graham Pass Road; then northeast along Graham Pass Road to its 
intersection with Chuckwalla Valley Road; then west and northwest 
along Chuckwalla Valley Road to its intersection with Interstate 
Highway 10; then west along Interstate Highway 10 to its 
intersection with State Highway 177; then northeast and north along 
State Highway 177 to its intersection with State Highway 62; then 
northeast along State Highway 62 to the point of beginning.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 19th day of April, 1996.
Terry L. Medley,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 96-10260 Filed 4-24-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P