Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed Cattle Fever Tick Control Barrier in South Texas, 44521-44522 [2013-17804]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 142 / Wednesday, July 24, 2013 / Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2013–0050] Notice of Request for Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Veterinary Services Customer Service Survey Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Extension of approval of an information collection; comment request. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s intention to request an extension of approval of an information collection to evaluate service delivery by Veterinary Services to the public. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before September 23, 2013. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2013-00500001. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2013–0050, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0050 or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799–7039 before coming. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For information on the Veterinary Services customer service survey, contact Mr. Randy Snyder, Administrative Officer, VS, APHIS, 920 Main Campus Drive, Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27606. For copies of more detailed information on the information collection, contact Mrs. Celeste Sickles, APHIS’ Information Collection Coordinator, at (301) 851– 2908. sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Veterinary Services Customer Service Survey. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:35 Jul 23, 2013 Jkt 229001 OMB Number: 0579–0334. Type of Request: Extension of approval of an information collection. Abstract: The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, among other things, regulates and provides services related to the importation, interstate movement, and exportation of animals, animal products, and other articles to prevent the spread of pests and diseases of livestock. APHIS’ Veterinary Services (VS) is the program unit that carries out these activities to protect animal health. After performing a service for an individual or business, VS conducts a survey to evaluate its customer service. The survey consists of a short questionnaire in which respondents are asked to identify the type of customer they are (e.g., pet owners, farm owners, animal/animal product producer, animal importer/exporter), and then to rate the services received in terms of courtesy, timeliness, helpfulness, etc. Respondents are also asked to rate and provide comments concerning their overall experience. Completion of the questionnaire is voluntary and responses do not identify the individual respondent. VS uses the information collected to identify areas in which VS can improve service delivery to the public and more efficiently meet the needs and expectations of customers. We are asking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to approve our use of this information collection activity for an additional 3 years. The purpose of this notice is to solicit comments from the public (as well as affected agencies) concerning our information collection. These comments will help us: (1) Evaluate whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through use, as appropriate, of automated, electronic, mechanical, and other collection technologies; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Estimate of burden: The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 0.083 hours per response. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 44521 Respondents: Members of the public who receive services from Veterinary Services. Estimated annual number of respondents: 2,500. Estimated annual number of responses per respondent: 1. Estimated annual number of responses: 2,500. Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 208 hours. (Due to averaging, the total annual burden hours may not equal the product of the annual number of responses multiplied by the reporting burden per response.) All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record. Done in Washington, DC, this 18th day of July 2013. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2013–17806 Filed 7–23–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2010–0100] Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed Cattle Fever Tick Control Barrier in South Texas Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of availability of a draft environmental impact statement; request for comments. AGENCY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) to analyze the effects that may result from installing game fencing as a barrier to keep animals that carry cattle fever ticks and southern cattle ticks out of areas which are free of them and which are beyond the permanent tick quarantine zone in South Texas. We are seeking public comment on the DEIS and our evaluation of the alternatives we have identified as they relate to potential effects on the human environment. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before August 30, 2013. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2010-01000001. SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\24JYN1.SGM 24JYN1 44522 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 142 / Wednesday, July 24, 2013 / Notices • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2010–0100, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2010-0100 or in our reading Room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799–7039 before coming. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions related to the Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program, contact Dr. Matthew T. Messenger, Staff Entomologist, Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program Manager, Ruminant Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851–3421. For questions related to the DEIS, contact Ms. Michelle Gray, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental and Risk Analysis Services, PPD, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 149, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851–3146. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: sroberts on DSK5SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Background The Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program is a cooperative effort between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Texas Animal Health Commission. The program was established to eliminate bovine babesiosis, a severe and often fatal cattle disease, from the U.S. cattle population. Cattle fever ticks Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus, and southern cattle ticks (R. (B.) microplus) (collectively referred to as ‘‘cattle fever ticks’’) carry protozoan parasites that cause babesiosis. The disease and the cattle fever ticks were officially eradicated from the continental United States in 1943, with the exception of a permanent tick quarantine zone extending more than 500 miles along the Rio Grande from Del Rio to Brownsville, TX. Efforts to control cattle fever ticks along the permanent tick quarantine zone include vigilant surveillance and inspection for tick-infested cattle and wildlife, acaricide dip or spray treatment of livestock (primarily cattle and horses), and pasture vacation (temporary removal of cattle from VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:35 Jul 23, 2013 Jkt 229001 infected pastures) to help protect cattle from potential exposure to the pathogen that can be transmitted by cattle fever ticks. However, an increasing number of cattle fever tick outbreaks have occurred outside the permanent tick quarantine zone in four of the eight Texas counties through which the zone passes: Maverick, Starr, Webb, and Zapata. The increase in outbreaks is attributed to numerous factors, including the free movement of deer and stray livestock carrying cattle fever ticks across the U.S.-Mexico border and an increase in the overall deer population, which serves as a reservoir for the disease. These outbreaks, which cause lengthy quarantine restrictions and increased herd management efforts and expenses to cattle producers within the tick-free zone, prompted us to explore additional control methods for cattle fever ticks. Subsequently, we determined that game fencing could help prevent the spread of cattle fever ticks to U.S. cattle populations from free-ranging tick hosts, thereby serving as another tool towards cattle fever tick eradication and control efforts. On February 15, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 8709– 8710, Docket No. APHIS–2010–0100) a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to examine the potential environmental and health effects of erecting such fencing. We solicited comments for 30 days ending on March 17, 2011. We used the comments we received to help us develop the scope, potential alternatives, and environmental impacts or issues that should be considered for further examination in the draft EIS (DEIS). The action being considered by APHIS is whether to contribute funding toward installation of game fencing, with landowner consent and cost-share agreement, on privately owned property to prevent the spread of cattle fever ticks via the free movement of deer and other tick hosts into the permanent tick quarantine zone. In the DEIS, APHIS considered potential significant environmental effects on the quality of the human environment caused by contributing funding toward the installation of game fencing by landowners in Maverick, Starr, Webb, and Zapata Counties along the Permanent Tick Quarantine Line. APHIS prepared this DEIS 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 PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 (7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS’ NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR part 372). We evaluated two alternatives in the DEIS: Take no action. Under this alternative, APHIS would provide no funding toward the installation of game fencing to close gaps existing in gamefenced areas in Maverick County, TX, or in rural areas of Starr, Webb, and Zapata Counties, TX, to prevent the spread of cattle fever ticks via the free movement of white-tailed deer and other tick hosts into the permanent tick quarantine zone. This alternative represents the baseline against which a proposed action may be compared and involves no changes to the current situation. Provide funding assistance to install game fencing in Maverick, Starr, Webb, and Zapata Counties, TX. Under this alternative, APHIS would contribute partial funding toward the installation of game fencing on privately owned property in rural locations in Maverick, Starr, Webb, and Zapata Counties, TX, only upon landowner agreement, where recurring cattle fever tick infestations are problematic. APHIS would be flexible and determine the most logical placement of game fencing on a landowner’s property based upon the facts and circumstances of the particular situation and location. APHIS would not contribute funding toward game fencing that would be located in wetlands or that would obstruct arroyos or streams, nor would APHIS contribute funding toward fencing that would obstruct public or private access roads or driveways. Any APHIS agreement providing funds to a landowner would require concurrence with these conditions. In the DEIS, we evaluated both alternatives for their impacts on soil, air quality, water quality, livestock health, human health and safety, vegetation, wildlife, and cultural, historic, and visual resources. We welcome comments on all of the issues presented in the DEIS and particularly on issues related to the alternatives outlined above. Done in Washington, DC, this 18th day of July 2013. Michael C. Gregoire, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2013–17804 Filed 7–23–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P E:\FR\FM\24JYN1.SGM 24JYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 142 (Wednesday, July 24, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 44521-44522]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-17804]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2010-0100]


Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed Cattle Fever Tick 
Control Barrier in South Texas

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability of a draft environmental impact 
statement; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service has prepared a draft environmental impact statement 
(DEIS) to analyze the effects that may result from installing game 
fencing as a barrier to keep animals that carry cattle fever ticks and 
southern cattle ticks out of areas which are free of them and which are 
beyond the permanent tick quarantine zone in South Texas. We are 
seeking public comment on the DEIS and our evaluation of the 
alternatives we have identified as they relate to potential effects on 
the human environment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
August 30, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2010-0100-0001.

[[Page 44522]]

     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2010-0100, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2010-
0100 or in our reading Room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA 
South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, 
DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through 
Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is there to help you, 
please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For questions related to the Cattle 
Fever Tick Eradication Program, contact Dr. Matthew T. Messenger, Staff 
Entomologist, Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program Manager, Ruminant 
Health Programs, VS, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 43, Riverdale, MD 
20737; (301) 851-3421. For questions related to the DEIS, contact Ms. 
Michelle Gray, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental and 
Risk Analysis Services, PPD, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 149, 
Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3146.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program is a cooperative effort 
between the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Texas Animal Health 
Commission. The program was established to eliminate bovine babesiosis, 
a severe and often fatal cattle disease, from the U.S. cattle 
population. Cattle fever ticks Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus, and 
southern cattle ticks (R. (B.) microplus) (collectively referred to as 
``cattle fever ticks'') carry protozoan parasites that cause 
babesiosis. The disease and the cattle fever ticks were officially 
eradicated from the continental United States in 1943, with the 
exception of a permanent tick quarantine zone extending more than 500 
miles along the Rio Grande from Del Rio to Brownsville, TX.
    Efforts to control cattle fever ticks along the permanent tick 
quarantine zone include vigilant surveillance and inspection for tick-
infested cattle and wildlife, acaricide dip or spray treatment of 
livestock (primarily cattle and horses), and pasture vacation 
(temporary removal of cattle from infected pastures) to help protect 
cattle from potential exposure to the pathogen that can be transmitted 
by cattle fever ticks. However, an increasing number of cattle fever 
tick outbreaks have occurred outside the permanent tick quarantine zone 
in four of the eight Texas counties through which the zone passes: 
Maverick, Starr, Webb, and Zapata. The increase in outbreaks is 
attributed to numerous factors, including the free movement of deer and 
stray livestock carrying cattle fever ticks across the U.S.-Mexico 
border and an increase in the overall deer population, which serves as 
a reservoir for the disease. These outbreaks, which cause lengthy 
quarantine restrictions and increased herd management efforts and 
expenses to cattle producers within the tick-free zone, prompted us to 
explore additional control methods for cattle fever ticks. 
Subsequently, we determined that game fencing could help prevent the 
spread of cattle fever ticks to U.S. cattle populations from free-
ranging tick hosts, thereby serving as another tool towards cattle 
fever tick eradication and control efforts.
    On February 15, 2011, we published in the Federal Register (76 FR 
8709-8710, Docket No. APHIS-2010-0100) a notice of intent to prepare an 
environmental impact statement (EIS) to examine the potential 
environmental and health effects of erecting such fencing. We solicited 
comments for 30 days ending on March 17, 2011. We used the comments we 
received to help us develop the scope, potential alternatives, and 
environmental impacts or issues that should be considered for further 
examination in the draft EIS (DEIS). The action being considered by 
APHIS is whether to contribute funding toward installation of game 
fencing, with landowner consent and cost-share agreement, on privately 
owned property to prevent the spread of cattle fever ticks via the free 
movement of deer and other tick hosts into the permanent tick 
quarantine zone. In the DEIS, APHIS considered potential significant 
environmental effects on the quality of the human environment caused by 
contributing funding toward the installation of game fencing by 
landowners in Maverick, Starr, Webb, and Zapata Counties along the 
Permanent Tick Quarantine Line.
    APHIS prepared this DEIS 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).
    We evaluated two alternatives in the DEIS:
    Take no action. Under this alternative, APHIS would provide no 
funding toward the installation of game fencing to close gaps existing 
in game-fenced areas in Maverick County, TX, or in rural areas of 
Starr, Webb, and Zapata Counties, TX, to prevent the spread of cattle 
fever ticks via the free movement of white-tailed deer and other tick 
hosts into the permanent tick quarantine zone. This alternative 
represents the baseline against which a proposed action may be compared 
and involves no changes to the current situation.
    Provide funding assistance to install game fencing in Maverick, 
Starr, Webb, and Zapata Counties, TX. Under this alternative, APHIS 
would contribute partial funding toward the installation of game 
fencing on privately owned property in rural locations in Maverick, 
Starr, Webb, and Zapata Counties, TX, only upon landowner agreement, 
where recurring cattle fever tick infestations are problematic. APHIS 
would be flexible and determine the most logical placement of game 
fencing on a landowner's property based upon the facts and 
circumstances of the particular situation and location. APHIS would not 
contribute funding toward game fencing that would be located in 
wetlands or that would obstruct arroyos or streams, nor would APHIS 
contribute funding toward fencing that would obstruct public or private 
access roads or driveways. Any APHIS agreement providing funds to a 
landowner would require concurrence with these conditions.
    In the DEIS, we evaluated both alternatives for their impacts on 
soil, air quality, water quality, livestock health, human health and 
safety, vegetation, wildlife, and cultural, historic, and visual 
resources.
    We welcome comments on all of the issues presented in the DEIS and 
particularly on issues related to the alternatives outlined above.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 18th day of July 2013.
Michael C. Gregoire,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-17804 Filed 7-23-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P