Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops, 22089-22090 [E9-11053]

Download as PDF 22089 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 74, No. 90 Tuesday, May 12, 2009 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510. The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each week. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Commodity Credit Corporation RIN 0551–AA71 Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops AGENCY: Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), USDA. ACTION: Final rule. SUMMARY: This final rule amends the regulations to incorporate changes into three existing Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) provisions. First, it increases the funding cap on individual proposals from $250,000 to $500,000 per year. Second, it increases the maximum duration of an activity from 3 years to 5 years. Finally, it increases the number of approved projects that a TASC participant can have underway at any given time, from three to five. The rule also makes other minor administrative changes to two other provisions for clarity. DATE: Effective Date: June 11, 2009. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Slupek at (202) 720–1169, fax at (202) 720–9361, or by email at: podadmin@fas.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: erowe on PROD1PC64 with RULES Background This final rule amends the regulations at 7 CFR part 1487 applicable to the TASC program. The Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, which was reauthorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, directs CCC to establish a program to provide mandatory funding to assist U.S. organizations with funding for projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary, and technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of 13:58 May 11, 2009 Jkt 217001 Executive Order 12866 This rule is issued in conformance with Executive Order 12866. It has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 and has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). A costbenefit assessment of this rule was not completed. Executive Order 12988 This rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 12988. This rule would preempt State laws to the extent such laws are inconsistent with it. This rule would not be retroactive. 7 CFR Part 1487 VerDate Nov<24>2008 U.S. specialty crops. FAS, which administers the TASC program, provides grant funds as direct assistance to U.S. organizations. Executive Order 12372 This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. See the notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, published at 48 FR 29115 (June 24, 1983). Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply to this rule because CCC is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to the subject matter of this rule. Environmental Assessment CCC has determined that this rule does not constitute a major State or Federal action that would significantly affect the human or natural environment consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), 40 CFR 1502.4, major Federal actions requiring the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements, and Compliance with NEPA implementing the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality, 40 CFR parts 1500–1508. Therefore, no environmental assessment or environmental impact statement will be prepared. Unfunded Mandates Although CCC is publishing this as a final rule, Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) does not apply to this rule because CCC PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law to publish a final rulemaking for the subject of this rule. Further, this rule contains no unfunded mandates as defined in sections 202 and 205 of UMRA. Nor does this rule potentially affect small governments or contain significant Federal intergovernmental mandates. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, CCC has previously received approval from OMB with respect to the information collection required to support this program. The information collection is described below: Title: Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops. OMB Control Number: 0551–0038. E-Government Act Compliance CCC is committed to complying with the E-Government Act to promote the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services and for other purposes. The forms, regulations, and other information collection activities required to be utilized by a person subject to this rule are available at http://www.fas.usda.gov. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1487 Agricultural commodities, Exports, Specialty crops. Summary and Analysis of Comments CCC published a rule in the Federal Register (73 FR 73617, Dec. 3, 2008) proposing three changes to the regulations which govern the operations of the TASC program. That rule requested interested parties to submit comments by January 2, 2009. Following is a summary of the comments which specifically address the proposed rule and CCC’s responses to these comments. General comments relating to the value of the program, editorial suggestions, and nonsubstantive comments have been omitted. Increase the Funding Cap From $250,000 to $500,000 per Year CCC received six comments on this issue. One of the six opposed the increase. E:\FR\FM\12MYR1.SGM 12MYR1 22090 Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 90 / Tuesday, May 12, 2009 / Rules and Regulations Comment: We support amending the regulations used to administer the TASC program by increasing the amount of funding per proposal in any given year. The amendment to the TASC regulations will make the program more viable and relevant in addressing potential and existing trade barriers. Comment: CCC should reconsider the proposed funding limitation by either reducing the funding limitation of $500,000 per project to allow for longer maximum durations, or by creating a discretionary fund to be designated specifically for projects extending beyond the maximum duration. The assessment of these types of circumstances should be based on the effectiveness of the project’s activities by the measurement in reaching projected goals. Response: Given the increase in program funding authorized by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, CCC believes that increasing the project funding limitation will not constrict the number or duration of approved projects. Therefore, CCC is adopting the rule as proposed. erowe on PROD1PC64 with RULES Increase the Maximum Duration of an Activity From 3 Years to 5 Years CCC received six comments on this issue. One of the six opposed the 5-year limitation. Comment: The proposed rule change increasing the maximum duration of an activity from 3 years to 5 years should facilitate the efficient allocation of funding to the specialty crop industry and promote the design and implementation of projects that will benefit our industry. Comment: The proposed 5-year limitation, although appreciated, is an unrealistic timeline when mitigating phytosanitary concerns of international trade partners. A discretionary fund should be specifically created for those projects that extend beyond the maximum duration. Response: After 7 years of operating the TASC program, CCC believes that 3 years is not a sufficient length of time to complete certain projects. CCC believes that 5 years should be sufficient to complete all projects, and that making a provision to allow for projects to exceed 5 years in duration is unnecessary. Therefore, CCC is adopting the rule as proposed. Increase the Number of Approved Projects From Three to Five That a TASC Participant Can Have Underway at Any Given Time CCC received five comments on this issue, all of which favored the proposed change. VerDate Nov<24>2008 13:58 May 11, 2009 Jkt 217001 Comment: Allowing up to five approved projects for any one TASC participant at any given time should facilitate the efficient allocation of funding to the specialty crop industry and promote the design and implementation of projects that will benefit the industry. Response: CCC will adopt the rule as proposed. ■ For the reasons set out in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1487 is amended as follows: Title 7—Agriculture PART 1487—TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR SPECIALTY CROPS 1. The authority citation for part 1487 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: Sec. 3205 of Pub. L. 107–171. ■ 2. Revise § 1487.4 to read as follows: § 1487.4 Are there any limits on the scope of proposals? (a) Funding cap. Proposals which request more than $500,000 of CCC funding in a given year will not be considered. (b) Length of activities. Funding will not be provided for projects that have received TASC funding for 5 years. The 5 years do not need to be consecutive. (c) Target countries. Proposals may target all eligible export markets, including single countries or reasonable regional groupings of countries. (d) Multiple proposals. Applicants may submit multiple proposals, but no participant may have more than five approved projects underway at any given time. ■ 3. Amend § 1487.6 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows: § 1487.6 Administration. * * * * * (b) Evaluation process. FAS will review all proposals for eligibility and completeness and will evaluate each proposal against the factors described in paragraph (a) of this section. The purpose of this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an appropriate funding level for each proposal, and submit the proposals and funding recommendations to appropriate officials within FAS for decision. FAS may, when appropriate to the subject matter of the proposal, request the assistance of other U.S. government experts in evaluating the merits of a proposal. ■ 4. Amend § 1487.8 by revising paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows: § 1487.8 How are payments made? (a) * * * PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 (4) Participants shall maintain all records and documents relating to TASC projects, including the original documentation which supports reimbursement claims, for a period of 3 calendar years following the expiration or termination date of the program agreement. Such records and documents will be subject to verification by FAS and shall be made available upon request to authorized officials of the U.S. Government. FAS may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by acceptable documentation. * * * * * Signed at Washington, DC, on the 28th of April 2009. Patricia R. Sheikh, Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation. [FR Doc. E9–11053 Filed 5–11–09; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–10–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 9 CFR Part 93 [Docket No. APHIS–2007–0095] RIN 0579–AC63 Importation of Cattle From Mexico; Addition of Port at San Luis, AZ; Correction AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule; correction. SUMMARY: We are correcting an error in the amendatory language in our final rule that added the port of San Luis, AZ, as a port through which cattle that have been infested with fever ticks or exposed to fever ticks or tick-borne diseases may be imported into the United States and that removed provisions that limit the admission of cattle that have been infested with fever ticks or exposed to fever ticks or tickborne diseases to the State of Texas. The final rule was published in the Federal Register on January 2, 2009. DATES: Effective Date: The effective date of this correction to § 93.427(b)(2) introductory text is delayed indefinitely. This delay is consistent with the delayed effective date of the amendment to § 93.427(b)(2) introductory text published in the Federal Register on January 2, 2009, at 74 FR 5–6. APHIS will publish a document announcing an effective date for this correction in the Federal Register. E:\FR\FM\12MYR1.SGM 12MYR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 90 (Tuesday, May 12, 2009)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 22089-22090]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-11053]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains regulatory documents 
having general applicability and legal effect, most of which are keyed 
to and codified in the Code of Federal Regulations, which is published 
under 50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.

The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by the Superintendent of Documents. 
Prices of new books are listed in the first FEDERAL REGISTER issue of each 
week.

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


Federal Register / Vol. 74, No. 90 / Tuesday, May 12, 2009 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 22089]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Commodity Credit Corporation

7 CFR Part 1487

RIN 0551-AA71


Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops

AGENCY: Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Commodity Credit 
Corporation (CCC), USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule amends the regulations to incorporate changes 
into three existing Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC) 
provisions. First, it increases the funding cap on individual proposals 
from $250,000 to $500,000 per year. Second, it increases the maximum 
duration of an activity from 3 years to 5 years. Finally, it increases 
the number of approved projects that a TASC participant can have 
underway at any given time, from three to five. The rule also makes 
other minor administrative changes to two other provisions for clarity.

DATE: Effective Date: June 11, 2009.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mark Slupek at (202) 720-1169, fax at 
(202) 720-9361, or by email at: podadmin@fas.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    This final rule amends the regulations at 7 CFR part 1487 
applicable to the TASC program. The Farm Security and Rural Investment 
Act of 2002, which was reauthorized by the Food, Conservation, and 
Energy Act of 2008, directs CCC to establish a program to provide 
mandatory funding to assist U.S. organizations with funding for 
projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary, and technical barriers 
that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. FAS, 
which administers the TASC program, provides grant funds as direct 
assistance to U.S. organizations.

Executive Order 12866

    This rule is issued in conformance with Executive Order 12866. It 
has been determined to be not significant for the purposes of Executive 
Order 12866 and has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB). A cost-benefit assessment of this rule was not completed.

Executive Order 12988

    This rule has been reviewed in accordance with Executive Order 
12988. This rule would preempt State laws to the extent such laws are 
inconsistent with it. This rule would not be retroactive.

Executive Order 12372

    This program is not subject to Executive Order 12372, which 
requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. 
See the notice related to 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V, published at 48 
FR 29115 (June 24, 1983).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act does not apply to this rule because 
CCC is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law to publish a 
notice of proposed rulemaking with respect to the subject matter of 
this rule.

Environmental Assessment

    CCC has determined that this rule does not constitute a major State 
or Federal action that would significantly affect the human or natural 
environment consistent with the National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA), 40 CFR 1502.4, major Federal actions requiring the preparation 
of Environmental Impact Statements, and Compliance with NEPA 
implementing the regulations of the Council on Environmental Quality, 
40 CFR parts 1500-1508. Therefore, no environmental assessment or 
environmental impact statement will be prepared.

Unfunded Mandates

    Although CCC is publishing this as a final rule, Title II of the 
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) does not apply to this rule 
because CCC is not required by 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other law to publish 
a final rulemaking for the subject of this rule. Further, this rule 
contains no unfunded mandates as defined in sections 202 and 205 of 
UMRA. Nor does this rule potentially affect small governments or 
contain significant Federal intergovernmental mandates.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, CCC has 
previously received approval from OMB with respect to the information 
collection required to support this program. The information collection 
is described below:
    Title: Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops.
    OMB Control Number: 0551-0038.

E-Government Act Compliance

    CCC is committed to complying with the E-Government Act to promote 
the use of the Internet and other information technologies to provide 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services and for other purposes. The forms, regulations, and other 
information collection activities required to be utilized by a person 
subject to this rule are available at http://www.fas.usda.gov.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 1487

    Agricultural commodities, Exports, Specialty crops.

Summary and Analysis of Comments

    CCC published a rule in the Federal Register (73 FR 73617, Dec. 3, 
2008) proposing three changes to the regulations which govern the 
operations of the TASC program. That rule requested interested parties 
to submit comments by January 2, 2009.
    Following is a summary of the comments which specifically address 
the proposed rule and CCC's responses to these comments. General 
comments relating to the value of the program, editorial suggestions, 
and non-substantive comments have been omitted.

Increase the Funding Cap From $250,000 to $500,000 per Year

    CCC received six comments on this issue. One of the six opposed the 
increase.

[[Page 22090]]

    Comment: We support amending the regulations used to administer the 
TASC program by increasing the amount of funding per proposal in any 
given year. The amendment to the TASC regulations will make the program 
more viable and relevant in addressing potential and existing trade 
barriers.
    Comment: CCC should reconsider the proposed funding limitation by 
either reducing the funding limitation of $500,000 per project to allow 
for longer maximum durations, or by creating a discretionary fund to be 
designated specifically for projects extending beyond the maximum 
duration. The assessment of these types of circumstances should be 
based on the effectiveness of the project's activities by the 
measurement in reaching projected goals.
    Response: Given the increase in program funding authorized by the 
Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, CCC believes that 
increasing the project funding limitation will not constrict the number 
or duration of approved projects. Therefore, CCC is adopting the rule 
as proposed.

Increase the Maximum Duration of an Activity From 3 Years to 5 Years

    CCC received six comments on this issue. One of the six opposed the 
5-year limitation.
    Comment: The proposed rule change increasing the maximum duration 
of an activity from 3 years to 5 years should facilitate the efficient 
allocation of funding to the specialty crop industry and promote the 
design and implementation of projects that will benefit our industry.
    Comment: The proposed 5-year limitation, although appreciated, is 
an unrealistic timeline when mitigating phytosanitary concerns of 
international trade partners. A discretionary fund should be 
specifically created for those projects that extend beyond the maximum 
duration.
    Response: After 7 years of operating the TASC program, CCC believes 
that 3 years is not a sufficient length of time to complete certain 
projects. CCC believes that 5 years should be sufficient to complete 
all projects, and that making a provision to allow for projects to 
exceed 5 years in duration is unnecessary. Therefore, CCC is adopting 
the rule as proposed.

Increase the Number of Approved Projects From Three to Five That a TASC 
Participant Can Have Underway at Any Given Time

    CCC received five comments on this issue, all of which favored the 
proposed change.
    Comment: Allowing up to five approved projects for any one TASC 
participant at any given time should facilitate the efficient 
allocation of funding to the specialty crop industry and promote the 
design and implementation of projects that will benefit the industry.
    Response: CCC will adopt the rule as proposed.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, 7 CFR part 1487 is amended as 
follows:

Title 7--Agriculture

PART 1487--TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE FOR SPECIALTY CROPS

0
1. The authority citation for part 1487 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Sec. 3205 of Pub. L. 107-171.

0
2. Revise Sec.  1487.4 to read as follows:


Sec.  1487.4   Are there any limits on the scope of proposals?

    (a) Funding cap. Proposals which request more than $500,000 of CCC 
funding in a given year will not be considered.
    (b) Length of activities. Funding will not be provided for projects 
that have received TASC funding for 5 years. The 5 years do not need to 
be consecutive.
    (c) Target countries. Proposals may target all eligible export 
markets, including single countries or reasonable regional groupings of 
countries.
    (d) Multiple proposals. Applicants may submit multiple proposals, 
but no participant may have more than five approved projects underway 
at any given time.
0
3. Amend Sec.  1487.6 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:


Sec.  1487.6  Administration.

* * * * *
    (b) Evaluation process. FAS will review all proposals for 
eligibility and completeness and will evaluate each proposal against 
the factors described in paragraph (a) of this section. The purpose of 
this review is to identify meritorious proposals, recommend an 
appropriate funding level for each proposal, and submit the proposals 
and funding recommendations to appropriate officials within FAS for 
decision. FAS may, when appropriate to the subject matter of the 
proposal, request the assistance of other U.S. government experts in 
evaluating the merits of a proposal.

0
4. Amend Sec.  1487.8 by revising paragraph (a)(4) to read as follows:


Sec.  1487.8  How are payments made?

    (a) * * *
    (4) Participants shall maintain all records and documents relating 
to TASC projects, including the original documentation which supports 
reimbursement claims, for a period of 3 calendar years following the 
expiration or termination date of the program agreement. Such records 
and documents will be subject to verification by FAS and shall be made 
available upon request to authorized officials of the U.S. Government. 
FAS may deny a claim for reimbursement if the claim is not supported by 
acceptable documentation.
* * * * *

    Signed at Washington, DC, on the 28th of April 2009.
Patricia R. Sheikh,
Acting Administrator, Foreign Agricultural Service, and Vice President, 
Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. E9-11053 Filed 5-11-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-10-P