J.R. Simplot Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Potato Genetically Engineered for Low Acrylamide Potential and Reduced Black Spot Bruise, 31080-31082 [2014-12555]

Download as PDF mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 31080 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 104 / Friday, May 30, 2014 / Notices 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. For this petition, we are using Approach 1. 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 new crop-trait GE organism or 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 a 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 the 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). As part of our decisionmaking process regarding a GE organism’s regulatory status, APHIS prepares a PPRA to assess the plant pest risk of the article. APHIS also prepares the appropriate environmental documentation—either an EA or an environmental impact statement—in accordance with NEPA, to provide the Agency and the public with a review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts that may result if the petition request is approved. APHIS has prepared a PPRA and has concluded that soybean event SYHTOH2 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 prepared an EA in which we present two alternatives based on our analysis of data submitted by Syngenta/BCS, a review of other scientific data, field tests conducted under APHIS oversight, and comments received on the petition. APHIS is considering the following alternatives: VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:23 May 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 (1) Take no action, i.e., APHIS would not change the regulatory status of soybean event SYHTOH2 and it would continue to be a regulated article, or (2) make a determination of nonregulated status of soybean event SYHTOH2. APHIS’ preferred alternative is to make a determination of nonregulated status of soybean event SYHTOH2. 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 and other pertinent scientific data, APHIS has reached a preliminary FONSI with regard to the preferred alternative identified in the EA. Based on APHIS’ analysis of field and laboratory data submitted by Syngenta/ BCS, references provided in the petition, peer-reviewed publications, information analyzed in the EA, the PPRA, comments provided by the public on the petition, and discussion of issues in the EA, APHIS has determined that soybean event SYHTOH2 is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk. We have therefore reached a preliminary decision to make a determination of nonregulated status of soybean event SYHTOH2, whereby soybean event SYHTOH2 would no longer be subject to our regulations governing the introduction of certain GE organisms. We are making available for a 30-day review period APHIS’ preliminary regulatory determination of soybean event SYHTOH2, along with our PPRA, EA, and preliminary FONSI for the preliminary determination of nonregulated status. The PPRA, EA, preliminary FONSI, and our preliminary determination for soybean event SYHTOH2, as well as the Syngenta/BCS petition and the comments received on the petition, are available as indicated under ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above. Copies of these documents may also be obtained from the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. After the 30-day review period closes, APHIS will review and evaluate any information received during the 30-day review period. If, after evaluating the information received, APHIS determines that we have not received substantive new information that would warrant APHIS altering our preliminary regulatory determination or FONSI, substantially changing the proposed action identified in the EA, or substantially changing the analysis of PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 impacts in the EA, APHIS will notify the public through an announcement on our Web site of our final regulatory determination. If, however, APHIS determines that we have received substantive new information that would warrant APHIS altering our preliminary regulatory determination or FONSI, substantially changing the proposed action identified in the EA, or substantially changing the analysis of impacts in the EA, then APHIS will notify the public of our intent to conduct additional analysis and to prepare an amended EA, a new FONSI, and/or a revised PPRA, which would be made available for public review through the publication of a notice of availability in the Federal Register. APHIS will also notify the petitioner. 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 23rd day of May 2014. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2014–12554 Filed 5–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2012–0067] J.R. Simplot Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Potato Genetically Engineered for Low Acrylamide Potential and Reduced Black Spot Bruise 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 the J.R. Simplot Company seeking a determination of nonregulated status of potatoes designated as InnateTM potatoes (events E12, E24, F10, F37, J3, J55, J78, G11, H37, and H50), which have been genetically engineered for low acrylamide potential (acrylamide is a human neurotoxicant and potential carcinogen that may form in potatoes and other starchy foods under certain cooking conditions) and reduced black spot bruise. We are soliciting comments SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 104 / Friday, May 30, 2014 / Notices on whether this genetically engineered potato is likely to pose a plant pest risk. DATES: We will consider any information that we receive on or before June 30, 2014. ADDRESSES: You may submit any information by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0067. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your information to Docket No. APHIS–2012–0067, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Supporting documents for this petition and any other information we receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0067 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) 7997039 before coming. Supporting documents for this petition are also available on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ biotechnology/petitions_table_ pending.shtml under APHIS Petition Number 13–022–01p. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. John Turner, Director, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737– 1236; (301) 851–3954, email: john.t.turner@aphis.usda.gov. To obtain copies of the petition, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851–3892, email: cynthia.a.eck@aphis.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:23 May 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 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 13–022–01p) from the J.R. Simplot Company (Simplot) of Boise, ID, seeking a determination of nonregulated status of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) designated as InnateTM potatoes (events E12, E24, F10, F37, J3, J55, J78, G11, H37, and H50), which have been genetically engineered for low acrylamide potential and reduced black spot bruise. Acrylamide is a human neurotoxicant and potential carcinogen that may form in potatoes and other starchy foods under certain cooking conditions. The petition states that these potatoes are 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 input 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 the Federal Register on May 3, 2013 (78 FR 25942–25943, Docket No. APHIS– 2012–0067), APHIS announced the availability of the Simplot petition for public comment. APHIS solicited comments on the petition for 60 days ending on July 2, 2013, 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 308 comments on the petition; one of these comments included electronic attachments consisting of a consolidated document of many identical or nearly identical letters, for a total of 41,475 comments. Some comments expressed support of a determination of nonregulated status because of potential health benefits and improvements to the potato industry. Issues raised during the comment period include concerns regarding effects on conventional potato production, export markets, and plant fitness. APHIS has evaluated the issues 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:// www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS2012-0067. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 31081 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 input 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. 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 new crop-trait GE organism or 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 a 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 the 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 InnateTM potatoes are 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 E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 31082 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 104 / Friday, May 30, 2014 / Notices 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 Simplot, 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 InnateTM potatoes and they would continue to be a regulated article, or (2) make a determination of nonregulated status of InnateTM potatoes. APHIS’ preferred alternative is to make a determination of nonregulated status of InnateTM potatoes. 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 draft EA and our PPRA 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 draft EA and the PPRA, as well as the previously published petition, are available as indicated under ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above. 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 the 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. VerDate Mar<15>2010 18:23 May 29, 2014 Jkt 232001 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 23rd day of May 2014. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2014–12555 Filed 5–29–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2013–0013] Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International; Availability of a Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Genetically Engineered Alfalfa 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 the Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International seeking a determination of nonregulated status of alfalfa designated as event KK179, which has been genetically engineered to express reduced levels of guaiacyl lignin. We are soliciting comments on whether this genetically engineered alfalfa is likely to pose a plant pest risk. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 30, 2014. SUMMARY: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0013. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2013–0013, 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-2013-0013 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 ADDRESSES: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 12–321–01p. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. John Turner, Director, Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737– 1236; (301) 851–3954, email: john.t.turner@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. 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 12–321–01p) from the Monsanto Company and Forage Genetics International seeking a determination of nonregulated status of alfalfa designated as event KK179, which has been genetically engineered to express reduced levels of guaiacyl lignin, a major subunit component of total lignin that slows the digestion of cellulose in livestock, as compared to conventional alfalfa at the same stage of growth. The petition states that this alfalfa event 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 input when SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 1 On March 6, 2012, APHIS published in the Federal Register (77 FR 13258–13260, Docket No. E:\FR\FM\30MYN1.SGM 30MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 104 (Friday, May 30, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31080-31082]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-12555]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2012-0067]


J.R. Simplot Co.; Availability of Plant Pest Risk Assessment and 
Environmental Assessment for Determination of Nonregulated Status of 
Potato Genetically Engineered for Low Acrylamide Potential and Reduced 
Black Spot Bruise

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 the J.R. Simplot Company seeking a determination of 
nonregulated status of potatoes designated as InnateTM 
potatoes (events E12, E24, F10, F37, J3, J55, J78, G11, H37, and H50), 
which have been genetically engineered for low acrylamide potential 
(acrylamide is a human neurotoxicant and potential carcinogen that may 
form in potatoes and other starchy foods under certain cooking 
conditions) and reduced black spot bruise. We are soliciting comments

[[Page 31081]]

on whether this genetically engineered potato is likely to pose a plant 
pest risk.

DATES: We will consider any information that we receive on or before 
June 30, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit any information by either of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0067.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your information to 
Docket No. APHIS-2012-0067, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    Supporting documents for this petition and any other information we 
receive on this docket may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0067 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) 7997039 before coming.
    Supporting documents for this petition are also available on the 
APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml under APHIS Petition Number 13-022-01p.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. John Turner, Director, 
Environmental Risk Analysis Programs, Biotechnology Regulatory 
Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road, Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; 
(301) 851-3954, email: john.t.turner@aphis.usda.gov. To obtain copies 
of the petition, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851-3892, email: 
cynthia.a.eck@aphis.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 13-022-01p) from the J.R. Simplot Company (Simplot) of Boise, 
ID, seeking a determination of nonregulated status of potatoes (Solanum 
tuberosum) designated as InnateTM potatoes (events E12, E24, 
F10, F37, J3, J55, J78, G11, H37, and H50), which have been genetically 
engineered for low acrylamide potential and reduced black spot bruise. 
Acrylamide is a human neurotoxicant and potential carcinogen that may 
form in potatoes and other starchy foods under certain cooking 
conditions. The petition states that these potatoes are 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 input 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 the Federal 
Register on May 3, 2013 (78 FR 25942-25943, Docket No. APHIS-2012-
0067), APHIS announced the availability of the Simplot petition for 
public comment. APHIS solicited comments on the petition for 60 days 
ending on July 2, 2013, 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-
2012-0067.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    APHIS received 308 comments on the petition; one of these comments 
included electronic attachments consisting of a consolidated document 
of many identical or nearly identical letters, for a total of 41,475 
comments. Some comments expressed support of a determination of 
nonregulated status because of potential health benefits and 
improvements to the potato industry. Issues raised during the comment 
period include concerns regarding effects on conventional potato 
production, export markets, and plant fitness. 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 input 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.
    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 new crop-
trait GE organism or 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 a 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 the 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 InnateTM 
potatoes are 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

[[Page 31082]]

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 Simplot, 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 InnateTM potatoes and they 
would continue to be a regulated article, or (2) make a determination 
of nonregulated status of InnateTM potatoes. APHIS' 
preferred alternative is to make a determination of nonregulated status 
of InnateTM potatoes.
    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 draft EA and our PPRA 
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 draft EA and the PPRA, as well as the 
previously published petition, are available as indicated under 
ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above.
    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 the 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 23rd day of May 2014.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-12555 Filed 5-29-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P