BASF Plant Science LP; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Soybean Genetically Engineered for Herbicide Resistance, 66892-66893 [2013-26701]

Download as PDF 66892 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices period on the draft EA and PPRA and other information, APHIS has prepared a final EA. The EA has been prepared to provide the public with documentation of APHIS’ review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the determination of nonregulated status of Monsanto’s MON 87712 soybean. The EA was prepared in accordance with: (1) 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). Based on our EA, the response to public comments, and other pertinent scientific data, APHIS has reached a FONSI with regard to the preferred alternative identified in the EA (to make a determination of nonregulated status of MON 87712 soybean). Determination Based on APHIS’ analysis of field and laboratory data submitted by Monsanto, references provided in the petition, peer-reviewed publications, information analyzed in the EA, the PPRA, comments provided by the public, and information provided in APHIS’ response to those public comments, APHIS has determined that Monsanto’s MON 87712 soybean is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and therefore is no longer subject to our regulations governing the introduction of certain GE organisms. Copies of the signed determination document, PPRA, final EA, FONSI, and response to comments, as well as the previously published petition and supporting documents, are available as indicated in the ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT sections of this notice. Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701–7772 and 7781– 7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Done in Washington, DC, this 1st day of November 2013. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2013–26703 Filed 11–6–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:27 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2012–0028] BASF Plant Science LP; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Soybean Genetically Engineered for Herbicide Resistance Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is making available for public comment our plant pest risk assessment and our draft environmental assessment regarding a request from BASF Plant Science LP seeking a determination of nonregulated status of soybean designated as event BPS– CV127–9, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to herbicides in the imidazolinone family. We are soliciting comments on whether this genetically engineered soybean is likely to pose a plant pest risk. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before December 9, 2013. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0028. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2012–0028, 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-2012-0028 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. Supporting documents are also available on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ biotechnology/petitions_table_ pending.shtml under APHIS Petition Number 09–015–01p. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Rebecca Stankiewicz Gabel, Chief, SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Biotechnology Environmental Analysis Branch, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737–1236; (301) 851–3927, email: rebecca.l.stankiewiczgabel@aphis.usda.gov. To obtain copies of the supporting documents for this petition, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851–3892, email: cynthia.a.eck@ aphis.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the regulations in 7 CFR part 340, ‘‘Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,’’ regulate, among other things, the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products are considered ‘‘regulated articles.’’ The regulations in § 340.6(a) provide that any person may submit a petition to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) seeking a determination that an article should not be regulated under 7 CFR part 340. APHIS has received a petition (APHIS Petition Number 09–015–01p) from BASF Plant Science LP (BASF) of Research Triangle Park, NC, seeking a determination of nonregulated status of soybean (Glycine max) designated as event BPS–CV127–9, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to herbicides in the imidazolinone family. The petition states that this soybean is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and, therefore, should not be a regulated article under APHIS’ regulations in 7 CFR part 340. According to our process 1 for soliciting public comment when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status of GE organisms, APHIS accepts written comments regarding a petition once APHIS deems it complete. In a notice 2 published in 1 On March 6, 2012, APHIS published in the Federal Register (77 FR 13258–13260, Docket No. APHIS–2011–0129) a notice describing our public review process for soliciting public comments and information when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status for GE organisms. To view the notice, go to http:// www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS2011-0129. 2 To view the notice, the petition, and the comments we received, go to http:// E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1 tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 216 / Thursday, November 7, 2013 / Notices the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41363–41364, Docket No. APHIS–2012–0028), APHIS announced the availability of the BASF petition for public comment. APHIS solicited comments on the petition for 60 days ending on September 11, 2012, in order to help identify potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition. APHIS received 75 comments on the petition. Several of these comments included electronic attachments consisting of a consolidated document of many identical or nearly identical letters, for a total of 4,676 comments. Issues raised during the comment period include the nature of agronomic inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticide applications, associated with this new trait; effects of herbicide use, including potential impacts to plants from offtarget herbicide drift, management of herbicide-resistant weeds, and human health considerations from exposure to herbicides; and domestic and international economic impacts associated with the development and marketing of a new herbicide-resistant product. APHIS has evaluated the issues raised during the comment period and, where appropriate, has provided a discussion of these issues in our environmental assessment (EA). After public comments are received on a completed petition, APHIS evaluates those comments and then provides a second opportunity for public involvement in our decisionmaking process. According to our public review process (see footnote 1), the second opportunity for public involvement follows one of two approaches, as described below. If APHIS decides, based on its review of the petition and its evaluation and analysis of comments received during the 60-day public comment period on the petition, that the petition involves a GE organism that raises no substantive new issues, APHIS will follow Approach 1 for public involvement. Under Approach 1, APHIS announces in the Federal Register the availability of APHIS’ preliminary regulatory determination along with its EA, preliminary finding of no significant impact (FONSI), and its plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) for a 30-day public review period. APHIS will evaluate any information received related to the petition and its supporting documents during the 30-day public review period. www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS2012-0028. VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:24 Nov 06, 2013 Jkt 232001 Alternatively, if APHIS decides, based on its review of the petition and its evaluation and analysis of comments received during the 60-day public comment period on the petition, that the petition involves a GE organism that raises substantive new issues, APHIS will follow Approach 2. Under Approach 2, APHIS first solicits written comments from the public on a draft EA and PPRA for a 30-day comment period through the publication of a Federal Register notice. Then, after reviewing and evaluating the comments on the draft EA and PPRA and other information, APHIS will revise the PPRA as necessary and prepare a final EA and, based on the final EA, a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision document (either a FONSI or a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement). For this petition, we are using Approach 2. APHIS has prepared a PPRA to determine if soybean event BPS– CV127–9 is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. In section 403 of the Plant Protection Act, ‘‘plant pest’’ is defined as any living stage of any of the following that can directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, or cause disease in any plant or plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman animal, a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an infectious agent or other pathogen, or any article similar to or allied with any of the foregoing. APHIS has also prepared a draft EA in which we present two alternatives based on our analysis of data submitted by BASF, a review of other scientific data, field tests conducted under APHIS oversight, and comments received on the petition. APHIS is considering the following alternatives: (1) Take no action, i.e., APHIS would not change the regulatory status of soybean event BPS– CV127–9 and it would continue to be a regulated article, or (2) make a determination of nonregulated status of soybean event BPS–CV127–9. The EA was prepared in accordance with (1) 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). In accordance with our process for soliciting public input when considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status for GE organisms, we are publishing this notice to inform the public that APHIS will accept written comments on our PPRA and PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 66893 draft EA regarding the petition for a determination of nonregulated status from interested or affected persons for a period of 30 days from the date of this notice. Copies of the PPRA and draft EA, as well as the previously published petition, are available as indicated in the ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT sections of this notice. As indicated previously, after the comment period closes, APHIS will review all written comments received during the comment period and any other relevant information. After reviewing and evaluating the comments on the draft EA and PPRA and other information, APHIS will revise the PPRA as necessary and prepare a final EA. Based on the final EA, APHIS will prepare a NEPA decision document (either a FONSI or a notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement). If a FONSI is reached, APHIS will furnish a response to the petitioner, either approving or denying the petition. APHIS will also publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing the regulatory status of the GE organism and the availability of APHIS’ final EA, PPRA, FONSI, and our regulatory determination. Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701–7772 and 7781– 7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3. Done in Washington, DC, this 1st day of November 2013. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2013–26701 Filed 11–6–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Sunshine Act Notice United States Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Notice of Business Meeting. AGENCY: Friday, November 15, 2013; 9:30 a.m. EST. PLACE: 1331 Pennsylvania Ave NW., Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425. DATE AND TIME: Meeting Agenda I. Approval of Agenda II. Office of General Counsel Ethics Training: Expiration of Appointments and Applicable Ethics Rules III. Program Planning • Review and Vote on the Proposed Eminent Domain Findings & Recommendations • Discussion and Vote on the ‘‘Civil E:\FR\FM\07NON1.SGM 07NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 216 (Thursday, November 7, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 66892-66893]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-26701]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0028]


BASF Plant Science LP; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment 
and Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status 
of Soybean Genetically Engineered for Herbicide Resistance

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service is making available for public comment our plant 
pest risk assessment and our draft environmental assessment regarding a 
request from BASF Plant Science LP seeking a determination of 
nonregulated status of soybean designated as event BPS-CV127-9, which 
has been genetically engineered for resistance to herbicides in the 
imidazolinone family. We are soliciting comments on whether this 
genetically engineered soybean is likely to pose a plant pest risk.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
December 9, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0028.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2012-0028, 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-2012-
0028 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.
    Supporting documents are also available on the APHIS Web site at 
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml 
under APHIS Petition Number 09-015-01p.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Rebecca Stankiewicz Gabel, Chief, 
Biotechnology Environmental Analysis Branch, Environmental Risk 
Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River 
Road Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-3927, email: 
rebecca.l.stankiewicz-gabel@aphis.usda.gov. To obtain copies of the 
supporting documents for this petition, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 
851-3892, email: cynthia.a.eck@aphis.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant 
Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 7701 et seq.), the regulations in 7 CFR part 
340, ``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced 
Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is 
Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,'' regulate, among other things, the 
introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the 
environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through 
genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to 
believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and 
products are considered ``regulated articles.''
    The regulations in Sec.  340.6(a) provide that any person may 
submit a petition to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) seeking a determination that an article should not be regulated 
under 7 CFR part 340. APHIS has received a petition (APHIS Petition 
Number 09-015-01p) from BASF Plant Science LP (BASF) of Research 
Triangle Park, NC, seeking a determination of nonregulated status of 
soybean (Glycine max) designated as event BPS-CV127-9, which has been 
genetically engineered for resistance to herbicides in the 
imidazolinone family. The petition states that this soybean is unlikely 
to pose a plant pest risk and, therefore, should not be a regulated 
article under APHIS' regulations in 7 CFR part 340.
    According to our process \1\ for soliciting public comment when 
considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status of GE 
organisms, APHIS accepts written comments regarding a petition once 
APHIS deems it complete. In a notice \2\ published in

[[Page 66893]]

the Federal Register on July 13, 2012, (77 FR 41363-41364, Docket No. 
APHIS-2012-0028), APHIS announced the availability of the BASF petition 
for public comment. APHIS solicited comments on the petition for 60 
days ending on September 11, 2012, in order to help identify potential 
environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that APHIS 
may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ On March 6, 2012, APHIS published in the Federal Register 
(77 FR 13258-13260, Docket No. APHIS-2011-0129) a notice describing 
our public review process for soliciting public comments and 
information when considering petitions for determinations of 
nonregulated status for GE organisms. To view the notice, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0129.
    \2\ To view the notice, the petition, and the comments we 
received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-
2012-0028.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    APHIS received 75 comments on the petition. Several of these 
comments included electronic attachments consisting of a consolidated 
document of many identical or nearly identical letters, for a total of 
4,676 comments. Issues raised during the comment period include the 
nature of agronomic inputs, such as fertilizer and pesticide 
applications, associated with this new trait; effects of herbicide use, 
including potential impacts to plants from off-target herbicide drift, 
management of herbicide-resistant weeds, and human health 
considerations from exposure to herbicides; and domestic and 
international economic impacts associated with the development and 
marketing of a new herbicide-resistant product. APHIS has evaluated the 
issues raised during the comment period and, where appropriate, has 
provided a discussion of these issues in our environmental assessment 
(EA).
    After public comments are received on a completed petition, APHIS 
evaluates those comments and then provides a second opportunity for 
public involvement in our decisionmaking process. According to our 
public review process (see footnote 1), the second opportunity for 
public involvement follows one of two approaches, as described below.
    If APHIS decides, based on its review of the petition and its 
evaluation and analysis of comments received during the 60-day public 
comment period on the petition, that the petition involves a GE 
organism that raises no substantive new issues, APHIS will follow 
Approach 1 for public involvement. Under Approach 1, APHIS announces in 
the Federal Register the availability of APHIS' preliminary regulatory 
determination along with its EA, preliminary finding of no significant 
impact (FONSI), and its plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) for a 30-day 
public review period. APHIS will evaluate any information received 
related to the petition and its supporting documents during the 30-day 
public review period.
    Alternatively, if APHIS decides, based on its review of the 
petition and its evaluation and analysis of comments received during 
the 60-day public comment period on the petition, that the petition 
involves a GE organism that raises substantive new issues, APHIS will 
follow Approach 2. Under Approach 2, APHIS first solicits written 
comments from the public on a draft EA and PPRA for a 30-day comment 
period through the publication of a Federal Register notice. Then, 
after reviewing and evaluating the comments on the draft EA and PPRA 
and other information, APHIS will revise the PPRA as necessary and 
prepare a final EA and, based on the final EA, a National Environmental 
Policy Act (NEPA) decision document (either a FONSI or a notice of 
intent to prepare an environmental impact statement). For this 
petition, we are using Approach 2.
    APHIS has prepared a PPRA to determine if soybean event BPS-CV127-9 
is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. In section 403 of the Plant 
Protection Act, ``plant pest'' is defined as any living stage of any of 
the following that can directly or indirectly injure, cause damage to, 
or cause disease in any plant or plant product: A protozoan, a nonhuman 
animal, a parasitic plant, a bacterium, a fungus, a virus or viroid, an 
infectious agent or other pathogen, or any article similar to or allied 
with any of the foregoing.
    APHIS has also prepared a draft EA in which we present two 
alternatives based on our analysis of data submitted by BASF, a review 
of other scientific data, field tests conducted under APHIS oversight, 
and comments received on the petition. APHIS is considering the 
following alternatives: (1) Take no action, i.e., APHIS would not 
change the regulatory status of soybean event BPS-CV127-9 and it would 
continue to be a regulated article, or (2) make a determination of 
nonregulated status of soybean event BPS-CV127-9.
    The EA was prepared in accordance with (1) 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).
    In accordance with our process for soliciting public input when 
considering petitions for determinations of nonregulated status for GE 
organisms, we are publishing this notice to inform the public that 
APHIS will accept written comments on our PPRA and draft EA regarding 
the petition for a determination of nonregulated status from interested 
or affected persons for a period of 30 days from the date of this 
notice. Copies of the PPRA and draft EA, as well as the previously 
published petition, are available as indicated in the ADDRESSES and FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT sections of this notice.
    As indicated previously, after the comment period closes, APHIS 
will review all written comments received during the comment period and 
any other relevant information. After reviewing and evaluating the 
comments on the draft EA and PPRA and other information, APHIS will 
revise the PPRA as necessary and prepare a final EA. Based on the final 
EA, APHIS will prepare a NEPA decision document (either a FONSI or a 
notice of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement). If a 
FONSI is reached, APHIS will furnish a response to the petitioner, 
either approving or denying the petition. APHIS will also publish a 
notice in the Federal Register announcing the regulatory status of the 
GE organism and the availability of APHIS' final EA, PPRA, FONSI, and 
our regulatory determination.

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 31 U.S.C. 9701; 7 
CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 1st day of November 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-26701 Filed 11-6-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P