[Federal Register Volume 75, Number 203 (Thursday, October 21, 2010)]
[Pages 64984-64985]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2010-26467]

                                                Federal Register

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Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 203 / Thursday, October 21, 2010 / 

[[Page 64984]]


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2010-0078]

Availability of an Environmental Assessment for a Biological 
Control Agent for Hawkweeds

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.


SUMMARY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment relative to 
the control of hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.). The environmental assessment 
considers the effects of, and alternatives to, the release of the 
hawkweed gall wasp, Aulacidea subterminalis, into the continental 
United States as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of 
infestations of hawkweeds. We are making the environmental assessment 
available to the public for review and comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
November 22, 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-2010-0078 to submit or view comments and 
to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Please send one copy of 
your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2010-0078, 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-2010-0078.
    Reading Room: You may read any comments that we receive on the 
environmental assessment 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: Dr. Shirley A. Wager-Page, Chief, Pest 
Permitting Branch, Plant Health Programs, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road 
Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1237; (301) 734-8453.



    The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing 
to issue permits for the release of the hawkweed gall wasp, Aulacidea 
subterminalis, into the continental United States for the biological 
control of hawkweeds (Hieracium pilosella, H. aurantiacum, H. 
floribundum, and H. flagellare).
    Introduced hawkweeds are native to Europe and were probably 
introduced into the eastern United States during the 1800s. Introduced 
hawkweeds are highly competitive and relatively free of insects and 
pathogens in North America. These species outcompete native and 
desirable vegetation, limiting economic use of infested land and posing 
risks to threatened, endangered, and sensitive species.
    Hawkweeds can be controlled through the application of chemical 
herbicides, mowing, cultural control, and the use of biological control 
organisms. The use of herbicides, while effective, is limited to 
relatively accessible sites and control is only temporary. Broadcast 
applications of herbicides could also have adverse impacts on nontarget 
vegetation if not carefully applied. Mowing prevents seed production 
but encourages faster vegetative spread. Cultural control includes the 
use of fertilizers to increase the competitive ability of more 
desirable species, but has no effect on dense patches of hawkweed. 
Currently, no organisms for the biological control of hawkweeds have 
been released in North America. Gall wasps cause abnormal outgrowths 
(galls) to form on hawkweeds. Under certain conditions, these galls may 
stress the plant, reducing competitive ability, seed production, and 
long-distance spread, which may result in a long-term, non-damaging 
method to control hawkweed.
    Thus, a permit application has been submitted to APHIS for the 
purpose of releasing the hawkweed gall wasp, Aulacidea subterminalis, 
into the continental United States to control invasive hawkweeds. These 
permits would contain no special provisions or requirements concerning 
release procedures or mitigating measures.
    APHIS' review and analysis of the proposed action are documented in 
detail in a draft environmental assessment (EA) titled ``Field Release 
of the Gall Wasp, Aulacidea subterminalis (Hymenoptera: Cynipidae), for 
Biological Control of Invasive Hawkweeds (Hieracium spp.) in the 
Continental United States'' (March 2010). We are making the EA 
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 EA may be viewed on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our 
reading room (see ADDRESSES above for instructions for accessing 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room). You may request paper copies of the EA by calling or 
writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. 
Please refer to the title of the EA when requesting copies.
    The EA 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).

[[Page 64985]]

    Done in Washington, DC, this 5th day of October 2010.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2010-26467 Filed 10-20-10; 8:45 am]