Pistachios Grown in California; Hearing on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Order No. 983, 41298-41302 [08-1445]

Download as PDF 41298 Proposed Rules Federal Register Vol. 73, No. 139 Friday, July 18, 2008 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 983 [Docket No. AO–FV–08–0147; AMS–FV–08– 0051; FV08–983–1] Pistachios Grown in California; Hearing on Proposed Amendment of Marketing Order No. 983 Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of hearing on proposed rulemaking. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to receive evidence on proposed amendments to Marketing Order No. 983 (order), which regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California. The amendments are proposed by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios (Committee), which is responsible for local administration of the order. The proposed amendments would: Expand the production area covered under the order to include Arizona and New Mexico in addition to California; authorize the Committee to reimburse handlers for a portion of their inspection and certification costs in certain situations; authorize the Committee to recommend research projects; modify existing order authorities concerning aflatoxin and quality regulations; modify the authority for interhandler transfers of order obligations; redesignate several sections of the order; remove previously suspended order provisions, and make other related changes. In addition, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to make any such additional changes as may be necessary to the order to conform to any amendment that may result from the hearing. The proposals are intended to improve the operation and functioning of the marketing order program. DATES: The hearing will be held on July 29, 2008, in Fresno, California, VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:42 Jul 17, 2008 Jkt 214001 beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. The hearing will continue, if necessary, on July 30, 2008, at 8:30 a.m. ADDRESSES: The hearing location is: Fresno County Farm Bureau, 1247 West Hedges Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728, Telephone: (559) 237–0263. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin Engeler, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 2202 Monterey Street, Suite 102–B, Fresno, California 93721; Telephone: (559) 487– 5110, Fax: (559) 487–5906, or e-mail: Martin.Engeler@usda.gov; or Kathleen M. Finn, Marketing Order Administration Branch, 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 e-mail: Kathy.Finn@usda.gov. Small businesses may request information on this proceeding by contacting Jay Guerber, Marketing Order Administration Branch, 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 e-mail: Jay.Guerber@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This administrative action is instituted pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601–674), hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Act.’’ This action is governed by the provisions of sections 556 and 557 of title 5 of the United States Code and, therefore, is excluded from the requirements of Executive Order 12866. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612) seeks to ensure that within the statutory authority of a program, the regulatory and informational requirements are tailored to the size and nature of small businesses. Interested persons are invited to present evidence at the hearing on the possible regulatory and informational impacts of the proposals on small businesses. The amendments proposed herein have been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. They are not intended to have retroactive effect. If adopted, the proposed amendments would not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 irreconcilable conflict with the proposals. The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review the USDA’s ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling. The hearing is called pursuant to the provisions of the Act and the applicable rules of practice and procedure governing the formulation of marketing agreements and orders (7 CFR part 900). The proposed amendments were recommended by the Committee and submitted to USDA on June 10, 2008. After reviewing the proposals and other information submitted by the Committee, USDA made a determination to schedule this matter for hearing. The proposed amendments include addition of new sections to the order which would result in numerical redesignation of several sections of the order. The proposed amendments recommended by the Committee are summarized below. 1. Amend the order to expand the production area to include the States of Arizona and New Mexico. The production area covered under the order is currently limited to the State of California. This proposal would revise existing § 983.26, Production area, and redesignate it as § 983.25. It would also result in conforming changes being made to existing § 983.11, Districts; § 983.21, Part and subpart; and existing § 983.32, Establishment and membership. Existing sections 983.21 and 983.32 would also be redesignated as § 983.20 and § 983.41, respectively. 2. Amend the order to authorize the Committee to reimburse handlers for travel and shipping costs related to aflatoxin inspection, under certain E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 139 / Friday, July 18, 2008 / Proposed Rules circumstances. This proposal would amend existing § 983.44, Inspection, certification and identification, and redesignate it as § 983.56. 3. Amend the order to add a new § 983.46, Research, that would authorize the Committee to engage in research projects with the approval of USDA. This proposed amendment would also require conforming changes to existing § 983.34, Procedure, to establish voting requirements for Committee recommendations concerning research. It would also require conforming changes to existing § 983.46, Modification or suspension of regulations, and § 983.54, Contributions. The existing § 983.34, § 983.46, and § 983.54 would also be redesignated as § 983.43, § 983.59, and § 983.72, respectively. 4. This proposal would amend the order to provide broad authority for aflatoxin regulations by revising existing § 983.38, Aflatoxin levels, and redesignating it as § 983.50. This proposal would also require conforming changes to existing § 983.40, and redesignating that section as § 983.52. It would also require conforming changes to § 983.1, Accredited laboratory. 5. This proposal would amend the order to provide broad authority for quality regulations by revising existing § 983.39, Minimum quality levels, and redesignating it as § 983.51. It would also remove provisions from that section concerning specific quality regulations that are currently suspended. This amendment would also require conforming changes by removing currently suspended language in § 983.6, Assessed weight; revising § 983.7, Certified pistachios; removing existing § 982.19, Minimum quality requirements and § 983.20, Minimum quality certificate; revising existing § 983.31, Shelled pistachios; revising existing § 983.41, Testing of minimal quantities, and removing currently suspended language in that section; revising existing § 983.42, Commingling; and revising existing § 983.45, Substandard pistachios. Sections 983.31, 983.41, 983.42, and 983.45 would be redesignated as sections 983.30, 983.53, 983.54, and 983.57, respectively. 6. This proposal would also amend the order to add a new § 983.58, Interhandler Transfers. This proposal would modify existing authority under the order by expanding the range of marketing order obligations that may be transferred between handlers when pistachios are transferred between handlers. This proposal would require a conforming change to existing § 983.53, VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:42 Jul 17, 2008 Jkt 214001 Assessments, and would redesignate § 983.53 as § 983.71. 7. As a result of the proposed amendments and conforming changes to the order summarized above, numerous administrative changes to the order would also be required. Such changes include numerical redesignations to several sections of the order, changes to cross references of section numbers in regulatory text as a result of the numerical redesignations, and removal of obsolete provisions. In addition, a change would be made to amend existing § 983.70 and redesignate it as § 983.92. In addition to the proposed amendments to the order, AMS proposes to make any such additional changes as may be necessary to the order to conform to any amendment that may result from the hearing. The public hearing is held for the purpose of: (i) Receiving evidence about the economic and marketing conditions which relate to the proposed amendments of the order; (ii) determining whether there is a need for the proposed amendments to the order; and (iii) determining whether the proposed amendments or appropriate modifications thereof will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. Testimony is invited at the hearing on all the proposals and recommendations contained in this notice, as well as any appropriate modifications or alternatives. All persons wishing to submit written material as evidence at the hearing should be prepared to submit four copies of such material at the hearing and should have prepared testimony available for presentation at the hearing. From the time the notice of hearing is issued and until the issuance of a final decision in this proceeding, USDA employees involved in the decisional process are prohibited from discussing the merits of the hearing issues on an ex parte basis with any person having an interest in the proceeding. The prohibition applies to employees in the following organizational units: Office of the Secretary of Agriculture; Office of the Administrator, AMS; Office of the General Counsel, except any designated employee of the General Counsel assigned to represent the Committee in this proceeding; and the Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS. Procedural matters are not subject to the above prohibition and may be discussed at any time. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 983 Pistachios, Marketing agreements and orders, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 41299 PART 983—PISTACHIOS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA 1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 983 continues to read as follows: Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601–674. 2. Testimony is invited on the following proposals or appropriate alternatives or modifications to such proposals. Proposals submitted by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios: Proposal Number 1 3. Revise § 983.11 (a) by adding a paragraph (4) following paragraph (3): § 983.11 Districts. (a) * * * (4) District 4 consists of the States of Arizona and New Mexico. * * * * * 4. In § 983.20, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, remove § 983.20, redesignate existing § 983.21 as § 983.20, and revise it to read as follows: § 983.20 Part and subpart. Part means the order regulating the handling of pistachios grown in the States of California, Arizona and New Mexico, and all the rules, regulations and supplementary orders issued thereunder. The aforesaid order regulating the handling of pistachios grown in California, Arizona and New Mexico shall be a subpart of such part. 5. Redesignate § 983.26 as § 983.25 and revise it to read as follows: § 983.25 Production area. Production Area means the States of California, Arizona, and New Mexico. 6. Redesignate § 983.32 as § 983.41, remove the words ‘‘eleven (11)’’ from the introductory paragraph and add in their place the words ‘‘twelve (12),’’ and revise paragraph (b) to read as follows: § 983.41 Establishment and membership. (a) * * * (b) Producers. Nine members shall represent producers. Producers within the respective districts shall nominate four producers from District 1, three producers from District 2, one producer from District 3, and one producer from District 4. The Secretary, upon recommendation of the committee, may reapportion producer representation among the districts to ensure proper representation. * * * * * Proposal Number 2 7. Redesignate § 983.44 as § 983.56 and revise it to read as follows: E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 41300 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 139 / Friday, July 18, 2008 / Proposed Rules § 983.56 Inspection, certification and identification. Upon recommendation of the committee and approval of the Secretary, all pistachios that are required to be inspected and certified in accordance with this part, shall be identified by appropriate seals, stamps, tags, or other identification to be affixed to the containers by the handler. All inspections shall be at the expense of the handler, Provided, That for handlers making shipments from facilities located in an area where inspection costs for inspector travel and shipment of samples for aflatoxin testing would otherwise exceed the average of those same inspection costs for comparable handling operations located in Districts 1 and 2, such handlers may be compensated by the committee for the difference between their respective inspection costs and such average, or as otherwise recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary. Proposal Number 3 8. Redesignate § 983.34 as § 983.43 and revise paragraph (a) to read as follows: § 983.43 Procedure. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS (a) Quorum. A quorum of the committee shall be any seven voting committee members. The vote of a majority of members present at a meeting at which there is a quorum shall constitute the act of the committee: Provided, That actions of the committee with respect to the following issues shall require twelve (12) concurring votes of the voting members regarding any recommendation to the Secretary for adoption or change in: (1) Quality levels; (2) Aflatoxin levels; (3) Research under § 983.46; and Provided further, That actions of the committee with respect to the following issues shall require eight (8) concurring votes of the voting members regarding recommendation to the Secretary for adoption or change in: (4) Inspection programs; (5) The establishment of the committee. * * * * * 9. Redesignate existing § 983.46 as § 983.59, add a new § 983.46, and revise § 983.59 to read as follows: § 983.46 Research. The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish or provide for the establishment of projects involving research designed to assist or improve the efficient production and postharvest handling of quality VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:42 Jul 17, 2008 Jkt 214001 pistachios. The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may also establish or provide for the establishment of projects designed to determine the effects of pistachio consumption on human health and nutrition. Pursuant to § 983.43(a), such research projects may only be established with 12 concurring votes of the voting members of the committee. The expenses of such projects shall be paid from funds collected pursuant to §§ 983.71 and 983.72. * * * * * § 983.59 Modification or suspension of regulations. aflatoxin sampling, analysis, and inspection requirements applicable to pistachios to be shipped for domestic human consumption as will contribute to orderly marketing or be in the public interest. No handler shall ship, for human consumption, pistachios that exceed an aflatoxin level established by the committee and approved by the Secretary. All domestic shipments must be covered by an aflatoxin inspection certificate. 13. In § 983.40, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, redesignate § 983.40 as § 983.52, and revise it to read as follows: (a) In the event that the committee, at any time, finds that by reason of changed conditions, any regulations issued pursuant to §§ 983.50 through 983.58 should be modified or suspended, it shall, pursuant to § 983.43, so recommend to the Secretary. (b) Whenever the Secretary finds from the recommendations and information submitted by the committee or from other available information, that a regulation should be modified, suspended, or terminated with respect to any or all shipments of pistachios in order to effectuate the declared policy of the Act, the Secretary shall modify or suspend such provisions. If the Secretary finds that a regulation obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act, the Secretary shall suspend or terminate such regulation. (c) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may issue rules and regulations implementing §§ 983.50 through 983.58. 10. Redesignate § 983.54 as § 983.72 and revise it to read as follows: § 983.52 § 983.72 § 983.6 Contributions. The committee may accept voluntary contributions but these shall only be used to pay for committee expenses unless specified in support of research under § 983.46. Furthermore, research contributions shall be free of additional encumbrances by the donor and the committee shall retain complete control of their use. Proposal Number 4 11. In § 983.1, remove the words ‘‘for testing aflatoxin.’’ 12. In § 983.38, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, redesignate § 983.38 as § 983.50, and revise it to read as follows: § 983.50 Aflatoxin regulations. The committee shall establish, with the approval of the Secretary, such PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Failed lots/rework procedure. (a) Substandard pistachios. Each lot of substandard pistachios may be reworked to meet aflatoxin or quality requirements. The committee shall designate, with the Secretary’s approval, appropriate rework procedures. (b) Failed lot reporting. If a lot fails to meet the aflatoxin and/or the quality requirements of this part, a failed lot notification report shall be completed and sent to the committee within 10 working days of the test failure. This form must be completed and submitted to the committee each time a lot fails either aflatoxin or quality testing. The accredited laboratories shall send the failed lot notification reports for aflatoxin tests to the committee, and the handler, under the supervision of an inspector, shall send the failed lot notification reports for the lots that do not meet the quality requirements to the committee. Proposal Number 5 14. In § 983.6, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, and revise the section to read as follows: Assessed weight. Assessed weight means pounds of inshell pistachios, with the weight computed at 5 percent moisture, received for processing by a handler within each production year: Provided, That for loose kernels, the actual weight shall be multiplied by two to obtain an inshell weight; Provided further, That the assessed weight may be based upon quality requirements for inshell pistachios that may be recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary. 15. In § 983.7, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, and revise the section to read as follows: § 983.7 Certified pistachios. Certified pistachios are those that meet the inspection and certification requirements under this part. E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 139 / Friday, July 18, 2008 / Proposed Rules 16. In § 983.19, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, and remove the section. 17. In § 983.31, remove the suspension of December 10, 2007, redesignate § 983.31 as § 983.30, and revise it to read as follows: § 983.30 Substandard pistachios. Substandard pistachios means pistachios, inshell or shelled, which do not meet regulations established pursuant to §§ 983.50 and 983.51. 18. In § 983.39, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, redesignate § 983.39 as § 983.51, and revise it to read as follows: § 983.51 Quality regulations. For any production year, the committee may establish, with the approval of the Secretary, such quality and inspection requirements applicable to pistachios to be shipped for domestic human consumption as will contribute to orderly marketing or be in the public interest. In such production year, no handler shall ship pistachios for domestic human consumption unless they meet the applicable requirements as evidenced by certification acceptable to the committee. 19. In § 983.41, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, redesignate § 983.41 as § 983.53, and revise it to read as follows: rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS § 983.53 Testing of minimal quantities. (a) Aflatoxin. Handlers who handle less than 1 million pounds of assessed weight per year, have the option of utilizing both of the following methods for testing for aflatoxin: (1) The handler may have an inspector sample and test his or her entire inventory of hulled and dried pistachios for the aflatoxin certification before further processing. (2) The handler may segregate receipts into various lots at the handler’s discretion and have an inspector sample and test each specific lot. Any lots that have less than 15 ppb aflatoxin can be certified by an inspector to be negative as to aflatoxin. Any lots that are found to be above 15 ppb may be tested after reworking in the same manner as specified in § 983.50. (b) Quality. The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, establish regulations regarding the testing of minimal quantities of pistachios for quality. 20. In § 983.42, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, redesignate § 983.42 as § 983.54, and revise it to read as follows: VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:42 Jul 17, 2008 Jkt 214001 § 983.54 Commingling. Certified lots may be commingled with other certified lots, but the commingling of certified and uncertified lots shall cause the loss of certification for the commingled lots. 21. In § 983.45, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, redesignate § 983.45 as § 983.57, and revise it to read as follows: § 983.57 Substandard pistachios. The committee shall, with the approval of the Secretary, establish such reporting and disposition procedures as it deems necessary to ensure that pistachios which do not meet the aflatoxin and quality requirements established pursuant to §§ 983.50 and 983.51 shall not be shipped for domestic human consumption. Proposal Number 6 22. Redesignate § 983.53 as § 983.71 and revise paragraph (a) to read as follows: § 983.71 Assessments. (a) Each handler who receives pistachios for processing in each production year, except as provided in § 983.58, shall pay the committee on demand, an assessment based on the pro rata share of the expenses authorized by the Secretary for that year attributable to the assessed weight of pistachios received by that handler in that year. * * * * * 23. Redesignate existing § 983.58 as § 983.80 and add a new § 983.58 as follows: § 983.58 Interhandler transfers. Within the production area, any handler may transfer pistachios to another handler for additional handling, and any assessments, inspection requirements, aflatoxin testing requirements, and any other marketing order requirements with respect to pistachios so transferred may be assumed by the receiving handler. The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish methods and procedures, including necessary reports, to maintain accurate records for such transfers. ‘‘grower’’ and adding in its place the word ‘‘producer’’ in paragraph (a), removing the reference to ‘‘§ 983.32’’ and adding in its place the ‘‘§ 983.41’’ in paragraph (j), and by removing the reference to ‘‘§§ 983.32, 983.33, and 983.34’’ and adding in its place ‘‘§§ 983.41, 983.42, and 983.43’’ in paragraph (n). 26. Redesignate § 983.56 as § 983.74 and revise it by removing the reference to ‘‘§ 983.53’’ and adding in its place ‘‘§ 983.71’’ in paragraph (a)(1). 27. Redesignate § 983.57 as § 983.75 and revise it to read as follows: § 983.75 § 983.87 § 983.92 Committee. Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Exemption. Any handler may handle pistachios within the production area free of the requirements in §§ 983.50 through 983.58 and 983.71 if such pistachios are handled in quantities not exceeding 5,000 dried pounds during any production year. This section may be changed as recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary. 30. Redesignate the following sections as follows: Committee means the Administrative Committee for Pistachios established pursuant to § 983.41. 25. Redesignate § 983.33 as § 983.42 and revise it by removing the word Frm 00004 Effective time. The provisions of this part, as well as any amendments, shall become effective at such time as the Secretary may declare, and shall continue in force until terminated or suspended in one of the ways specified in § 983.88 or 983.89. 29. Redesignate § 983.70 as 983.92 and revise it to read as follows: 24. § 983.8 is revised to read as follows: PO 00000 Implementation and amendments. The Secretary, upon the recommendation of a majority of the committee, may issue rules and regulations implementing or modifying §§ 983.64 through 983.74 inclusive. 28. Redesignate § 983.65 as § 983.87 and revise it to read as follows: Proposal Number 7—Administrative Changes § 983.8 41301 E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM Old section New section 983.22 983.23 983.24 983.25 983.27 983.28 983.29 983.30 983.35 983.36 983.37 983.43 983.47 983.48 983.49 983.50 983.51 983.52 983.55 983.59 983.60 983.21 983.22 983.23 983.24 983.26 983.27 983.28 983.29 983.44 983.45 983.47 983.55 983.64 983.65 983.66 983.67 983.68 983.70 983.73 983.81 983.82 18JYP1 41302 Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 139 / Friday, July 18, 2008 / Proposed Rules Old section New section 983.61 983.62 983.63 983.64 983.66 983.67 983.68 983.69 983.83 983.84 983.85 983.86 983.88 983.89 983.90 983.91 Proposal Number 8 Make such changes as may be necessary to the order to conform with any amendment that may result from the hearing. Dated: July 15, 2008. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 08–1445 Filed 7–15–08; 4:25 pm] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 989 [Docket No. AMS–FV–08–0042; FV08–989– 2 PR] Raisins Produced From Grapes Grown in California; Use of Estimated Trade Demand To Compute Volume Regulation Percentages Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Proposed rule. rwilkins on PROD1PC63 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: This rule invites comments on using an estimated trade demand figure to compute volume regulation percentages for 2008–09 crop Natural (sun-dried) Seedless (NS) raisins covered under the Federal marketing order for California raisins (order). The order regulates the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California and is administered locally by the Raisin Administrative Committee (Committee). This rule would provide parameters for implementing volume regulation for 2008–09 crop NS raisins, if supplies are short, for the purposes of maintaining a portion of the industry’s export markets and stabilizing the domestic market. DATES: Comments must be received by August 4, 2008. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposal. Comments must be sent to the Docket Clerk, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 0237, Washington, VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:42 Jul 17, 2008 Jkt 214001 DC 20250–0237; Fax: (202) 720–8938; or Internet: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be made available for public inspection in the Office of the Docket Clerk during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: http:// www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rose M. Aguayo, Marketing Specialist, or Kurt J. Kimmel, Regional Manager, California Marketing Field Office, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA; Telephone: (559) 487– 5901, Fax: (559) 487–5906, or e-mail: Rose.Aguayo@usda.gov or Kurt.Kimmel@usda.gov. Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Jay Guerber, Marketing Order Administration Branch, 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 e-mail: Jay.Guerber@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposal is issued under Marketing Agreement and Order No. 989 (7 CFR part 989), both as amended, regulating the handling of raisins produced from grapes grown in California, 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. This proposal has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule is not intended to have retroactive effect. This proposal will not preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this rule. The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA’s ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling. This proposal invites comments on using an estimated trade demand figure to compute volume regulation percentages for 2008–09 crop NS raisins covered under the order. This rule would provide parameters for implementing volume regulation for 2008–09 crop NS raisins, if supplies are short, for the purposes of maintaining a portion of the industry’s export markets and stabilizing the domestic market. This action was unanimously recommended by the Committee at a meeting on April 3, 2008. Volume Regulation Authority The order provides authority for volume regulation designed to promote orderly marketing conditions, stabilize prices and supplies, and improve producer returns. When volume regulation is in effect, a certain percentage of the California raisin crop may be sold by handlers to any market (free tonnage), while the remaining percentage must be held by handlers in a reserve pool (reserve) for the account of the Committee. Reserve raisins are disposed of through certain programs authorized under the order. For instance, reserve raisins may be sold by the Committee to handlers for free use or to replace part of the free tonnage raisins they exported; used in diversion programs; carried over as a hedge against a short crop the following year; or disposed of in other outlets not competitive with those for free tonnage raisins, such as government purchase, distilleries, or animal feed. Net proceeds from sales of reserve raisins are distributed to the reserve pool’s equity holders, primarily producers. Section 989.54 of the order prescribes procedures and time frames to be followed in establishing volume regulation for each crop year, which runs from August 1 through July 31. The Committee must meet by August 15 to review data regarding raisin supplies. At that time, the Committee computes a trade demand for each varietal type of raisins for which a free tonnage percentage might be recommended. Trade demand is equal to 90 percent of the prior year’s domestic and export shipments, adjusted by subtracting carryin inventory from the prior year and adding a desirable carryout inventory for the end of the current year. E:\FR\FM\18JYP1.SGM 18JYP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 73, Number 139 (Friday, July 18, 2008)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 41298-41302]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 08-1445]


========================================================================
Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 73, No. 139 / Friday, July 18, 2008 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 41298]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 983

[Docket No. AO-FV-08-0147; AMS-FV-08-0051; FV08-983-1]


Pistachios Grown in California; Hearing on Proposed Amendment of 
Marketing Order No. 983

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of hearing on proposed rulemaking.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given of a public hearing to receive evidence 
on proposed amendments to Marketing Order No. 983 (order), which 
regulates the handling of pistachios grown in California. The 
amendments are proposed by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios 
(Committee), which is responsible for local administration of the 
order. The proposed amendments would: Expand the production area 
covered under the order to include Arizona and New Mexico in addition 
to California; authorize the Committee to reimburse handlers for a 
portion of their inspection and certification costs in certain 
situations; authorize the Committee to recommend research projects; 
modify existing order authorities concerning aflatoxin and quality 
regulations; modify the authority for interhandler transfers of order 
obligations; redesignate several sections of the order; remove 
previously suspended order provisions, and make other related changes.
    In addition, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposes to 
make any such additional changes as may be necessary to the order to 
conform to any amendment that may result from the hearing. The 
proposals are intended to improve the operation and functioning of the 
marketing order program.

DATES: The hearing will be held on July 29, 2008, in Fresno, 
California, beginning at 8:30 a.m. and ending at 4:30 p.m. The hearing 
will continue, if necessary, on July 30, 2008, at 8:30 a.m.

ADDRESSES: The hearing location is: Fresno County Farm Bureau, 1247 
West Hedges Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728, Telephone: (559) 237-0263.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Martin Engeler, Marketing Order 
Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, 2202 
Monterey Street, Suite 102-B, Fresno, California 93721; Telephone: 
(559) 487-5110, Fax: (559) 487-5906, or e-mail: 
Martin.Engeler@usda.gov; or Kathleen M. Finn, Marketing Order 
Administration Branch, 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 e-mail: 
Kathy.Finn@usda.gov.
    Small businesses may request information on this proceeding by 
contacting Jay Guerber, Marketing Order Administration Branch, 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 e-mail: Jay.Guerber@usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This administrative action is instituted 
pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the ``Act.'' 
This action is governed by the provisions of sections 556 and 557 of 
title 5 of the United States Code and, therefore, is excluded from the 
requirements of Executive Order 12866.
    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-612) seeks to ensure 
that within the statutory authority of a program, the regulatory and 
informational requirements are tailored to the size and nature of small 
businesses. Interested persons are invited to present evidence at the 
hearing on the possible regulatory and informational impacts of the 
proposals on small businesses.
    The amendments proposed herein have been reviewed under Executive 
Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. They are not intended to have 
retroactive effect. If adopted, the proposed amendments would not 
preempt any State or local laws, regulations, or policies, unless they 
present an irreconcilable conflict with the proposals.
    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted 
before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the 
Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition 
stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation 
imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and 
request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A 
handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. The 
Act provides that the district court of the United States in any 
district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her 
principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review the USDA's 
ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 
days after the date of the entry of the ruling.
    The hearing is called pursuant to the provisions of the Act and the 
applicable rules of practice and procedure governing the formulation of 
marketing agreements and orders (7 CFR part 900).
    The proposed amendments were recommended by the Committee and 
submitted to USDA on June 10, 2008. After reviewing the proposals and 
other information submitted by the Committee, USDA made a determination 
to schedule this matter for hearing.
    The proposed amendments include addition of new sections to the 
order which would result in numerical redesignation of several sections 
of the order. The proposed amendments recommended by the Committee are 
summarized below.
    1. Amend the order to expand the production area to include the 
States of Arizona and New Mexico. The production area covered under the 
order is currently limited to the State of California. This proposal 
would revise existing Sec.  983.26, Production area, and redesignate it 
as Sec.  983.25. It would also result in conforming changes being made 
to existing Sec.  983.11, Districts; Sec.  983.21, Part and subpart; 
and existing Sec.  983.32, Establishment and membership. Existing 
sections 983.21 and 983.32 would also be redesignated as Sec.  983.20 
and Sec.  983.41, respectively.
    2. Amend the order to authorize the Committee to reimburse handlers 
for travel and shipping costs related to aflatoxin inspection, under 
certain

[[Page 41299]]

circumstances. This proposal would amend existing Sec.  983.44, 
Inspection, certification and identification, and redesignate it as 
Sec.  983.56.
    3. Amend the order to add a new Sec.  983.46, Research, that would 
authorize the Committee to engage in research projects with the 
approval of USDA. This proposed amendment would also require conforming 
changes to existing Sec.  983.34, Procedure, to establish voting 
requirements for Committee recommendations concerning research. It 
would also require conforming changes to existing Sec.  983.46, 
Modification or suspension of regulations, and Sec.  983.54, 
Contributions. The existing Sec.  983.34, Sec.  983.46, and Sec.  
983.54 would also be redesignated as Sec.  983.43, Sec.  983.59, and 
Sec.  983.72, respectively.
    4. This proposal would amend the order to provide broad authority 
for aflatoxin regulations by revising existing Sec.  983.38, Aflatoxin 
levels, and redesignating it as Sec.  983.50. This proposal would also 
require conforming changes to existing Sec.  983.40, and redesignating 
that section as Sec.  983.52. It would also require conforming changes 
to Sec.  983.1, Accredited laboratory.
    5. This proposal would amend the order to provide broad authority 
for quality regulations by revising existing Sec.  983.39, Minimum 
quality levels, and redesignating it as Sec.  983.51. It would also 
remove provisions from that section concerning specific quality 
regulations that are currently suspended. This amendment would also 
require conforming changes by removing currently suspended language in 
Sec.  983.6, Assessed weight; revising Sec.  983.7, Certified 
pistachios; removing existing Sec.  982.19, Minimum quality 
requirements and Sec.  983.20, Minimum quality certificate; revising 
existing Sec.  983.31, Shelled pistachios; revising existing Sec.  
983.41, Testing of minimal quantities, and removing currently suspended 
language in that section; revising existing Sec.  983.42, Commingling; 
and revising existing Sec.  983.45, Substandard pistachios. Sections 
983.31, 983.41, 983.42, and 983.45 would be redesignated as sections 
983.30, 983.53, 983.54, and 983.57, respectively.
    6. This proposal would also amend the order to add a new Sec.  
983.58, Interhandler Transfers. This proposal would modify existing 
authority under the order by expanding the range of marketing order 
obligations that may be transferred between handlers when pistachios 
are transferred between handlers. This proposal would require a 
conforming change to existing Sec.  983.53, Assessments, and would 
redesignate Sec.  983.53 as Sec.  983.71.
    7. As a result of the proposed amendments and conforming changes to 
the order summarized above, numerous administrative changes to the 
order would also be required. Such changes include numerical 
redesignations to several sections of the order, changes to cross 
references of section numbers in regulatory text as a result of the 
numerical redesignations, and removal of obsolete provisions. In 
addition, a change would be made to amend existing Sec.  983.70 and 
redesignate it as Sec.  983.92.
    In addition to the proposed amendments to the order, AMS proposes 
to make any such additional changes as may be necessary to the order to 
conform to any amendment that may result from the hearing.
    The public hearing is held for the purpose of: (i) Receiving 
evidence about the economic and marketing conditions which relate to 
the proposed amendments of the order; (ii) determining whether there is 
a need for the proposed amendments to the order; and (iii) determining 
whether the proposed amendments or appropriate modifications thereof 
will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.
    Testimony is invited at the hearing on all the proposals and 
recommendations contained in this notice, as well as any appropriate 
modifications or alternatives.
    All persons wishing to submit written material as evidence at the 
hearing should be prepared to submit four copies of such material at 
the hearing and should have prepared testimony available for 
presentation at the hearing.
    From the time the notice of hearing is issued and until the 
issuance of a final decision in this proceeding, USDA employees 
involved in the decisional process are prohibited from discussing the 
merits of the hearing issues on an ex parte basis with any person 
having an interest in the proceeding. The prohibition applies to 
employees in the following organizational units: Office of the 
Secretary of Agriculture; Office of the Administrator, AMS; Office of 
the General Counsel, except any designated employee of the General 
Counsel assigned to represent the Committee in this proceeding; and the 
Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS.
    Procedural matters are not subject to the above prohibition and may 
be discussed at any time.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 983

    Pistachios, Marketing agreements and orders, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements.

PART 983--PISTACHIOS GROWN IN CALIFORNIA

    1. The authority citation for 7 CFR part 983 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    2. Testimony is invited on the following proposals or appropriate 
alternatives or modifications to such proposals.
    Proposals submitted by the Administrative Committee for Pistachios:

Proposal Number 1

    3. Revise Sec.  983.11 (a) by adding a paragraph (4) following 
paragraph (3):


Sec.  983.11  Districts.

    (a) * * *
    (4) District 4 consists of the States of Arizona and New Mexico.
* * * * *
    4. In Sec.  983.20, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, 
remove Sec.  983.20, redesignate existing Sec.  983.21 as Sec.  983.20, 
and revise it to read as follows:


Sec.  983.20  Part and subpart.

    Part means the order regulating the handling of pistachios grown in 
the States of California, Arizona and New Mexico, and all the rules, 
regulations and supplementary orders issued thereunder. The aforesaid 
order regulating the handling of pistachios grown in California, 
Arizona and New Mexico shall be a subpart of such part.
    5. Redesignate Sec.  983.26 as Sec.  983.25 and revise it to read 
as follows:


Sec.  983.25  Production area.

    Production Area means the States of California, Arizona, and New 
Mexico.
    6. Redesignate Sec.  983.32 as Sec.  983.41, remove the words 
``eleven (11)'' from the introductory paragraph and add in their place 
the words ``twelve (12),'' and revise paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  983.41  Establishment and membership.

    (a) * * *
    (b) Producers. Nine members shall represent producers. Producers 
within the respective districts shall nominate four producers from 
District 1, three producers from District 2, one producer from District 
3, and one producer from District 4. The Secretary, upon recommendation 
of the committee, may reapportion producer representation among the 
districts to ensure proper representation.
* * * * *

Proposal Number 2

    7. Redesignate Sec.  983.44 as Sec.  983.56 and revise it to read 
as follows:

[[Page 41300]]

Sec.  983.56  Inspection, certification and identification.

    Upon recommendation of the committee and approval of the Secretary, 
all pistachios that are required to be inspected and certified in 
accordance with this part, shall be identified by appropriate seals, 
stamps, tags, or other identification to be affixed to the containers 
by the handler. All inspections shall be at the expense of the handler, 
Provided, That for handlers making shipments from facilities located in 
an area where inspection costs for inspector travel and shipment of 
samples for aflatoxin testing would otherwise exceed the average of 
those same inspection costs for comparable handling operations located 
in Districts 1 and 2, such handlers may be compensated by the committee 
for the difference between their respective inspection costs and such 
average, or as otherwise recommended by the committee and approved by 
the Secretary.

Proposal Number 3

    8. Redesignate Sec.  983.34 as Sec.  983.43 and revise paragraph 
(a) to read as follows:


Sec.  983.43  Procedure.

    (a) Quorum. A quorum of the committee shall be any seven voting 
committee members. The vote of a majority of members present at a 
meeting at which there is a quorum shall constitute the act of the 
committee: Provided, That actions of the committee with respect to the 
following issues shall require twelve (12) concurring votes of the 
voting members regarding any recommendation to the Secretary for 
adoption or change in:
    (1) Quality levels;
    (2) Aflatoxin levels;
    (3) Research under Sec.  983.46; and


Provided further, That actions of the committee with respect to the 
following issues shall require eight (8) concurring votes of the voting 
members regarding recommendation to the Secretary for adoption or 
change in:
    (4) Inspection programs;
    (5) The establishment of the committee.
* * * * *
    9. Redesignate existing Sec.  983.46 as Sec.  983.59, add a new 
Sec.  983.46, and revise Sec.  983.59 to read as follows:


Sec.  983.46  Research.

    The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may establish or 
provide for the establishment of projects involving research designed 
to assist or improve the efficient production and postharvest handling 
of quality pistachios. The committee, with the approval of the 
Secretary, may also establish or provide for the establishment of 
projects designed to determine the effects of pistachio consumption on 
human health and nutrition. Pursuant to Sec.  983.43(a), such research 
projects may only be established with 12 concurring votes of the voting 
members of the committee. The expenses of such projects shall be paid 
from funds collected pursuant to Sec. Sec.  983.71 and 983.72.
* * * * *


Sec.  983.59  Modification or suspension of regulations.

    (a) In the event that the committee, at any time, finds that by 
reason of changed conditions, any regulations issued pursuant to 
Sec. Sec.  983.50 through 983.58 should be modified or suspended, it 
shall, pursuant to Sec.  983.43, so recommend to the Secretary.
    (b) Whenever the Secretary finds from the recommendations and 
information submitted by the committee or from other available 
information, that a regulation should be modified, suspended, or 
terminated with respect to any or all shipments of pistachios in order 
to effectuate the declared policy of the Act, the Secretary shall 
modify or suspend such provisions. If the Secretary finds that a 
regulation obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy 
of the Act, the Secretary shall suspend or terminate such regulation.
    (c) The committee, with the approval of the Secretary, may issue 
rules and regulations implementing Sec. Sec.  983.50 through 983.58.
    10. Redesignate Sec.  983.54 as Sec.  983.72 and revise it to read 
as follows:


Sec.  983.72  Contributions.

    The committee may accept voluntary contributions but these shall 
only be used to pay for committee expenses unless specified in support 
of research under Sec.  983.46. Furthermore, research contributions 
shall be free of additional encumbrances by the donor and the committee 
shall retain complete control of their use.

Proposal Number 4

    11. In Sec.  983.1, remove the words ``for testing aflatoxin.''
    12. In Sec.  983.38, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, 
redesignate Sec.  983.38 as Sec.  983.50, and revise it to read as 
follows:


Sec.  983.50  Aflatoxin regulations.

    The committee shall establish, with the approval of the Secretary, 
such aflatoxin sampling, analysis, and inspection requirements 
applicable to pistachios to be shipped for domestic human consumption 
as will contribute to orderly marketing or be in the public interest. 
No handler shall ship, for human consumption, pistachios that exceed an 
aflatoxin level established by the committee and approved by the 
Secretary. All domestic shipments must be covered by an aflatoxin 
inspection certificate.
    13. In Sec.  983.40, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, 
redesignate Sec.  983.40 as Sec.  983.52, and revise it to read as 
follows:


Sec.  983.52  Failed lots/rework procedure.

    (a) Substandard pistachios. Each lot of substandard pistachios may 
be reworked to meet aflatoxin or quality requirements. The committee 
shall designate, with the Secretary's approval, appropriate rework 
procedures.
    (b) Failed lot reporting. If a lot fails to meet the aflatoxin and/
or the quality requirements of this part, a failed lot notification 
report shall be completed and sent to the committee within 10 working 
days of the test failure. This form must be completed and submitted to 
the committee each time a lot fails either aflatoxin or quality 
testing. The accredited laboratories shall send the failed lot 
notification reports for aflatoxin tests to the committee, and the 
handler, under the supervision of an inspector, shall send the failed 
lot notification reports for the lots that do not meet the quality 
requirements to the committee.

Proposal Number 5

    14. In Sec.  983.6, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, and 
revise the section to read as follows:


Sec.  983.6  Assessed weight.

    Assessed weight means pounds of inshell pistachios, with the weight 
computed at 5 percent moisture, received for processing by a handler 
within each production year: Provided, That for loose kernels, the 
actual weight shall be multiplied by two to obtain an inshell weight; 
Provided further, That the assessed weight may be based upon quality 
requirements for inshell pistachios that may be recommended by the 
committee and approved by the Secretary.
    15. In Sec.  983.7, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, and 
revise the section to read as follows:


Sec.  983.7  Certified pistachios.

    Certified pistachios are those that meet the inspection and 
certification requirements under this part.

[[Page 41301]]

    16. In Sec.  983.19, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, and 
remove the section.
    17. In Sec.  983.31, remove the suspension of December 10, 2007, 
redesignate Sec.  983.31 as Sec.  983.30, and revise it to read as 
follows:


Sec.  983.30  Substandard pistachios.

    Substandard pistachios means pistachios, inshell or shelled, which 
do not meet regulations established pursuant to Sec. Sec.  983.50 and 
983.51.
    18. In Sec.  983.39, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, 
redesignate Sec.  983.39 as Sec.  983.51, and revise it to read as 
follows:


Sec.  983.51  Quality regulations.

    For any production year, the committee may establish, with the 
approval of the Secretary, such quality and inspection requirements 
applicable to pistachios to be shipped for domestic human consumption 
as will contribute to orderly marketing or be in the public interest. 
In such production year, no handler shall ship pistachios for domestic 
human consumption unless they meet the applicable requirements as 
evidenced by certification acceptable to the committee.
    19. In Sec.  983.41, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, 
redesignate Sec.  983.41 as Sec.  983.53, and revise it to read as 
follows:


Sec.  983.53  Testing of minimal quantities.

    (a) Aflatoxin. Handlers who handle less than 1 million pounds of 
assessed weight per year, have the option of utilizing both of the 
following methods for testing for aflatoxin:
    (1) The handler may have an inspector sample and test his or her 
entire inventory of hulled and dried pistachios for the aflatoxin 
certification before further processing.
    (2) The handler may segregate receipts into various lots at the 
handler's discretion and have an inspector sample and test each 
specific lot. Any lots that have less than 15 ppb aflatoxin can be 
certified by an inspector to be negative as to aflatoxin. Any lots that 
are found to be above 15 ppb may be tested after reworking in the same 
manner as specified in Sec.  983.50.
    (b) Quality. The committee may, with the approval of the Secretary, 
establish regulations regarding the testing of minimal quantities of 
pistachios for quality.
    20. In Sec.  983.42, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, 
redesignate Sec.  983.42 as Sec.  983.54, and revise it to read as 
follows:


Sec.  983.54  Commingling.

    Certified lots may be commingled with other certified lots, but the 
commingling of certified and uncertified lots shall cause the loss of 
certification for the commingled lots.
    21. In Sec.  983.45, lift the suspension of December 10, 2007, 
redesignate Sec.  983.45 as Sec.  983.57, and revise it to read as 
follows:


Sec.  983.57  Substandard pistachios.

    The committee shall, with the approval of the Secretary, establish 
such reporting and disposition procedures as it deems necessary to 
ensure that pistachios which do not meet the aflatoxin and quality 
requirements established pursuant to Sec. Sec.  983.50 and 983.51 shall 
not be shipped for domestic human consumption.

Proposal Number 6

    22. Redesignate Sec.  983.53 as Sec.  983.71 and revise paragraph 
(a) to read as follows:


Sec.  983.71  Assessments.

    (a) Each handler who receives pistachios for processing in each 
production year, except as provided in Sec.  983.58, shall pay the 
committee on demand, an assessment based on the pro rata share of the 
expenses authorized by the Secretary for that year attributable to the 
assessed weight of pistachios received by that handler in that year.
* * * * *
    23. Redesignate existing Sec.  983.58 as Sec.  983.80 and add a new 
Sec.  983.58 as follows:


Sec.  983.58  Interhandler transfers.

    Within the production area, any handler may transfer pistachios to 
another handler for additional handling, and any assessments, 
inspection requirements, aflatoxin testing requirements, and any other 
marketing order requirements with respect to pistachios so transferred 
may be assumed by the receiving handler. The committee, with the 
approval of the Secretary, may establish methods and procedures, 
including necessary reports, to maintain accurate records for such 
transfers.

Proposal Number 7--Administrative Changes

    24. Sec.  983.8 is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  983.8  Committee.

    Committee means the Administrative Committee for Pistachios 
established pursuant to Sec.  983.41.
    25. Redesignate Sec.  983.33 as Sec.  983.42 and revise it by 
removing the word ``grower'' and adding in its place the word 
``producer'' in paragraph (a), removing the reference to ``Sec.  
983.32'' and adding in its place the ``Sec.  983.41'' in paragraph (j), 
and by removing the reference to ``Sec. Sec.  983.32, 983.33, and 
983.34'' and adding in its place ``Sec. Sec.  983.41, 983.42, and 
983.43'' in paragraph (n).
    26. Redesignate Sec.  983.56 as Sec.  983.74 and revise it by 
removing the reference to ``Sec.  983.53'' and adding in its place 
``Sec.  983.71'' in paragraph (a)(1).
    27. Redesignate Sec.  983.57 as Sec.  983.75 and revise it to read 
as follows:


Sec.  983.75  Implementation and amendments.

    The Secretary, upon the recommendation of a majority of the 
committee, may issue rules and regulations implementing or modifying 
Sec. Sec.  983.64 through 983.74 inclusive.
    28. Redesignate Sec.  983.65 as Sec.  983.87 and revise it to read 
as follows:


Sec.  983.87  Effective time.

    The provisions of this part, as well as any amendments, shall 
become effective at such time as the Secretary may declare, and shall 
continue in force until terminated or suspended in one of the ways 
specified in Sec.  983.88 or 983.89.
    29. Redesignate Sec.  983.70 as 983.92 and revise it to read as 
follows:


Sec.  983.92  Exemption.

    Any handler may handle pistachios within the production area free 
of the requirements in Sec. Sec.  983.50 through 983.58 and 983.71 if 
such pistachios are handled in quantities not exceeding 5,000 dried 
pounds during any production year. This section may be changed as 
recommended by the committee and approved by the Secretary.
    30. Redesignate the following sections as follows:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Old section                          New section
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  983.22                               983.21
                  983.23                               983.22
                  983.24                               983.23
                  983.25                               983.24
                  983.27                               983.26
                  983.28                               983.27
                  983.29                               983.28
                  983.30                               983.29
                  983.35                               983.44
                  983.36                               983.45
                  983.37                               983.47
                  983.43                               983.55
                  983.47                               983.64
                  983.48                               983.65
                  983.49                               983.66
                  983.50                               983.67
                  983.51                               983.68
                  983.52                               983.70
                  983.55                               983.73
                  983.59                               983.81
                  983.60                               983.82

[[Page 41302]]

 
                  983.61                               983.83
                  983.62                               983.84
                  983.63                               983.85
                  983.64                               983.86
                  983.66                               983.88
                  983.67                               983.89
                  983.68                               983.90
                  983.69                               983.91
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Proposal Number 8

    Make such changes as may be necessary to the order to conform with 
any amendment that may result from the hearing.

    Dated: July 15, 2008.
Lloyd C. Day,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 08-1445 Filed 7-15-08; 4:25 pm]
BILLING CODE 3410-02-P