Determination of Pest-Free Areas in Australia, 51526-51527 [2014-20613]

Download as PDF 51526 Notices Federal Register Vol. 79, No. 168 Friday, August 29, 2014 This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency statements of organization and functions are examples of documents appearing in this section. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2011–0088] Determination of Pest-Free Areas in Australia Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: We are advising the public that we are recognizing the Australian States of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria as free of Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) and the State of Western Australia as free of Queensland fruit fly. Based on our evaluation of the survey protocols and other information provided by Australia’s national plant protection organization, which we made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice, the Administrator has determined that these areas meet the criteria in our regulations for recognition as pest-free areas for either Medfly or Queensland fruit fly. DATES: Effective Date: August 29, 2014. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. George Apgar Balady, Senior Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737–1236; (301) 851– 2240. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the regulations in ‘‘Subpart—Fruits and Vegetables’’ (7 CFR 319.56–1 through 319.56–69, referred to below as the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from certain parts of the world to prevent plant pests from being wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:25 Aug 28, 2014 Jkt 232001 introduced into and spread within the United States. Section 319.56–4 of the regulations contains a performance-based process for approving the importation of commodities that, based on the findings of a pest risk analysis, can be safely imported subject to one or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph (b) of that section. One of the designated phytosanitary measures is that the fruits or vegetables are imported from a pest-free area in the country of origin that meets the requirements of § 319.56–5 for freedom from that pest and are accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate stating that the fruits or vegetables originated in a pest-free area in the country of origin. Under the regulations in § 319.56–5, APHIS requires that determinations of pest-free areas be made in accordance with the criteria for establishing freedom from pests found in International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 4, ‘‘Requirements For the Establishment of Pest Free Areas.’’ The international standard was established by the International Plant Protection Convention of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and is incorporated by reference in our regulations in 7 CFR 300.5. In addition, APHIS must also approve the survey protocol used to determine and maintain pest-free status, as well as protocols for actions to be performed upon detection of a pest. Pest-free areas are subject to audit by APHIS to verify their status. In accordance with our process, we published a notice 1 in the Federal Register on September 14, 2011 (76 FR 56730–56731, Docket No. APHIS–2011– 0088), in which we announced the availability, for review and comment, of a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) that evaluates the information presented by Australia in support of its request to recognize new areas of that country as being free of Ceratitis capitata, the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), and to recognize other areas of the country as being free of Bactrocera tryoni, the Queensland fruit fly. Specifically, the Government of Australia asked that we recognize the States of New South Wales, Northern 1 To view the notice, the CIED, and the comment we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0088. PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria as free of Medfly and the State of Western Australia as free of Queensland fruit fly. We solicited comments on the notice for 60 days ending on November 14, 2011. We received one comment by that date, from a State agricultural official. The comment is discussed below. The commenter expressed concern about the expansion of fruit fly-free areas because the introduction of Medfly or Queensland fly into the commenter’s State could result in costly eradication programs and possible economic losses for producers due to quarantines and market disruptions. APHIS has recognized various areas of Australia as free of Medfly, Queensland fruit fly, and other fruit flies destructive to citrus for over 10 years, and no fruit fly problems have occurred as a result of commodities being imported into the United States from these areas. Populations of Medfly are restricted to a small part of the southwest of Western Australia and isolated communities in coastal towns in the north of the State. With the exception of the fruit fly exclusion zone consisting of parts of South Australia, northern Victoria, and southern New South Wales, populations of Queensland fruit fly are restricted to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and the Northern Territory. Freedom from Medfly outside the State of Western Australia has been established by results from ongoing monitoring with permanent Medfly traps, as part of the national trapping grid. Australia has not trapped a Medfly in an eastern Australian State since 1953 in Melbourne. After a single Medfly was detected in the Katherine area in Northwest Australia in 1994, eradication activities were initiated and no further detections have occurred. The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Australia has declared the whole State of Western Australia free of Queensland fruit fly, and although incursions have been reported, these have been successfully eradicated. The Queensland fruit fly was eradicated from the Perth metropolitan area in 1990. APHIS will continuously monitor commodities from Australia with port-of-entry inspections. We believe that this gives the United States robust protection from fruit flies. The commenter also stated that an area should not be declared free of only E:\FR\FM\29AUN1.SGM 29AUN1 wreier-aviles on DSK5TPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 168 / Friday, August 29, 2014 / Notices select fruit flies. The commenter suggested that the fruit-fly-free designation should be applied only to areas free from all fruit flies of economic importance because recognizing areas as free from one species but not another is inconsistent and confusing. Although APHIS is recognizing portions of Australia as free of Medfly and another portion of Australia as free of the Queensland fruit fly, host material (fruit) from these areas of Australia would still require mitigation, typically quarantine treatment, before importation into the United States. Commodities from the areas of Australia where Medfly is the only pest of concern would require only mitigations for Medfly. Likewise, commodities originating from areas in Australia where Queensland fruit fly is the only pest of concern would require only mitigations for Queensland fruit fly. The benefit of declaring these areas as free from only one of the fruit flies that may infest the commodity is that the treatment for either fruit fly is less stringent than the treatment that would be required for a commodity originating from an area where both species are present. For instance, cherries from Australia that are imported into the United States must undergo cold treatment for Queensland fruit fly and must be treated with methyl bromide for Medfly. However, with the recognition of fruit fly areas as described in this notice, no area of Australia is home to both Medfly and Queensland fruit fly. Therefore, cherries imported from Australia will only have to be treated with cold treatment if originating from an area where Queensland fruit fly is present or be treated with methyl bromide if originating from an area where Medfly is present. The commenter asked about the trap densities in Australia, stating that the 25,000 fruit fly traps maintained by the NPPO of Australia and the Australian State and territorial governments is low compared to the more than 55,000 fruit fly traps maintained in Florida. Australia maintains trap densities that are in line with International Atomic Energy Agency fruit fly trapping guidelines, the same guidelines that the United States follows. Australia’s trapping manual specifies that the traps be deployed on a 400 km grid in urban areas and 1 km grid in horticultural production areas. The fruit fly trapping programs in Australia are concentrated in fruit-growing regions in order to provide support for fruit fly freedom for specific areas, such as the districts of Riverland, Riverina, and Sunraysia. The climate in many parts of Australia does not support the presence of fruit fly VerDate Mar<15>2010 15:25 Aug 28, 2014 Jkt 232001 hosts or provide conditions suitable for fruit fly survival, and trapping is not required in these areas. In addition, Australia requires that their trapping systems, including trap density and placement, undergo annual audits to ensure their effectiveness. The commenter asked about the population dynamics of Medfly and Queensland fruit fly in the specified Australian States. The commenter also asked what types of onsite assessments have been done and whether future program audits are planned. In areas of Eastern Australia where the Queensland fruit fly can be found, it is most active in summer and fall. Cold and dry conditions, especially freezes, cause reductions in populations. The NPPO of Australia has declared the whole State of Western Australia free of Queensland fruit fly and, although incursions have been reported, these have been successfully eradicated. Medfly is active in the summer months in Western Australia, where sterile insect technique (SIT), biocontrol, and other suppression strategies are being used. Confirmation of Medfly distribution in Western Australia is obtained and verified through specific detection surveys. Freedom from Medfly in other Australian States has been established by results from ongoing monitoring with permanent Medfly traps as part of the national trapping grid. In South Australia, any detections of Medfly from the stringent surveillance networks are rapidly followed by eradication activities. In the Northern Territory, a number of trapping and detection systems have been maintained in both urban and horticultural areas for Medfly since 1985. While there have been some detections of small numbers of Medfly in South Australia and the Northern Territory, effective detection and eradication programs have successfully maintained both South Australia and the Northern Territory as free from Medfly. On-site assessments by APHIS were conducted for the pest-free areas in Riverland, Riverina, and Sunraysia when they were first established. Based on our experiences with the NPPO of Australia and with the importation of fruit fly host commodities from areas APHIS has previously recognized as free of fruit flies, we determined that no additional site visits were necessary here. We will inspect commodities imported from Australia for fruit flies at the port of entry and we will rely on the annual survey data from the NPPO of Australia to inform us if fruit flies are found in areas that we have recognized PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 51527 as free of fruit flies. We do not currently plan to conduct further site visits or formal program audits but reserve the right to do so in the future if necessary. The commenter also expressed concern about the adequacy, in his view, of opportunities for stakeholder involvement in the initial stages of the development of these types of program proposals. The commenter requested the opportunity to participate in site visits and initial program review discussions on issues that could directly impact his State. APHIS is committed to a transparent process and an inclusive role for stakeholders in our risk analysis process. To that end, we have put in place a stakeholder notification system 2 to provide opportunities for involvement during the initial stages of the development of pest risk assessments. However, since this comment relates to the structure of APHIS’s overall risk analysis process, and not to the determination of pest-free areas in Australia, it is outside the scope of the current action. Therefore, in accordance with § 319.56–5(c), we are announcing the Administrator’s determination that the States of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria meet the criteria of § 319.56–5(a) and (b) with respect to freedom from Medfly and the State of Western Australia meets the criteria of § 319.56–5(a) and (b) with respect to freedom from Queensland fruit fly. Accordingly, we are amending the list of pest-free areas to list the States of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria as free of Medfly and the State of Western Australia as free of Queensland fruit fly. A list of pest-free areas currently recognized by APHIS can be found at http:// www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/ plants/manuals/ports/downloads/ DesignatedPestFreeAreas.pdf. Done in Washington, DC, this 25th day of August 2014. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2014–20613 Filed 8–28–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P 2 Go to https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/ USDAAPHIS/subscriber/ new?preferences=true#tab1. E:\FR\FM\29AUN1.SGM 29AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 168 (Friday, August 29, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 51526-51527]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-20613]


========================================================================
Notices
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains documents other than rules 
or proposed rules that are applicable to the public. Notices of hearings 
and investigations, committee meetings, agency decisions and rulings, 
delegations of authority, filing of petitions and applications and agency 
statements of organization and functions are examples of documents 
appearing in this section.

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


Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 168 / Friday, August 29, 2014 / 
Notices

[[Page 51526]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2011-0088]


Determination of Pest-Free Areas in Australia

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we are recognizing the 
Australian States of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, 
South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria as free of Mediterranean fruit 
fly (Medfly) and the State of Western Australia as free of Queensland 
fruit fly. Based on our evaluation of the survey protocols and other 
information provided by Australia's national plant protection 
organization, which we made available to the public for review and 
comment through a previous notice, the Administrator has determined 
that these areas meet the criteria in our regulations for recognition 
as pest-free areas for either Medfly or Queensland fruit fly.

DATES: Effective Date: August 29, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. George Apgar Balady, Senior 
Regulatory Policy Specialist, Regulatory Coordination and Compliance, 
PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 
851-2240.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under the regulations in ``Subpart--Fruits 
and Vegetables'' (7 CFR 319.56-1 through 319.56-69, referred to below 
as the regulations), the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibits or restricts 
the importation of fruits and vegetables into the United States from 
certain parts of the world to prevent plant pests from being introduced 
into and spread within the United States.
    Section 319.56-4 of the regulations contains a performance-based 
process for approving the importation of commodities that, based on the 
findings of a pest risk analysis, can be safely imported subject to one 
or more of the designated phytosanitary measures listed in paragraph 
(b) of that section. One of the designated phytosanitary measures is 
that the fruits or vegetables are imported from a pest-free area in the 
country of origin that meets the requirements of Sec.  319.56-5 for 
freedom from that pest and are accompanied by a phytosanitary 
certificate stating that the fruits or vegetables originated in a pest-
free area in the country of origin.
    Under the regulations in Sec.  319.56-5, APHIS requires that 
determinations of pest-free areas be made in accordance with the 
criteria for establishing freedom from pests found in International 
Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) No. 4, ``Requirements For 
the Establishment of Pest Free Areas.'' The international standard was 
established by the International Plant Protection Convention of the 
United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization and is incorporated 
by reference in our regulations in 7 CFR 300.5. In addition, APHIS must 
also approve the survey protocol used to determine and maintain pest-
free status, as well as protocols for actions to be performed upon 
detection of a pest. Pest-free areas are subject to audit by APHIS to 
verify their status.
    In accordance with our process, we published a notice \1\ in the 
Federal Register on September 14, 2011 (76 FR 56730-56731, Docket No. 
APHIS-2011-0088), in which we announced the availability, for review 
and comment, of a commodity import evaluation document (CIED) that 
evaluates the information presented by Australia in support of its 
request to recognize new areas of that country as being free of 
Ceratitis capitata, the Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), and to 
recognize other areas of the country as being free of Bactrocera 
tryoni, the Queensland fruit fly. Specifically, the Government of 
Australia asked that we recognize the States of New South Wales, 
Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria 
as free of Medfly and the State of Western Australia as free of 
Queensland fruit fly.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the notice, the CIED, and the comment we received, 
go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0088.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We solicited comments on the notice for 60 days ending on November 
14, 2011. We received one comment by that date, from a State 
agricultural official. The comment is discussed below.
    The commenter expressed concern about the expansion of fruit fly-
free areas because the introduction of Medfly or Queensland fly into 
the commenter's State could result in costly eradication programs and 
possible economic losses for producers due to quarantines and market 
disruptions.
    APHIS has recognized various areas of Australia as free of Medfly, 
Queensland fruit fly, and other fruit flies destructive to citrus for 
over 10 years, and no fruit fly problems have occurred as a result of 
commodities being imported into the United States from these areas. 
Populations of Medfly are restricted to a small part of the southwest 
of Western Australia and isolated communities in coastal towns in the 
north of the State. With the exception of the fruit fly exclusion zone 
consisting of parts of South Australia, northern Victoria, and southern 
New South Wales, populations of Queensland fruit fly are restricted to 
Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and the Northern Territory.
    Freedom from Medfly outside the State of Western Australia has been 
established by results from ongoing monitoring with permanent Medfly 
traps, as part of the national trapping grid. Australia has not trapped 
a Medfly in an eastern Australian State since 1953 in Melbourne. After 
a single Medfly was detected in the Katherine area in Northwest 
Australia in 1994, eradication activities were initiated and no further 
detections have occurred.
    The national plant protection organization (NPPO) of Australia has 
declared the whole State of Western Australia free of Queensland fruit 
fly, and although incursions have been reported, these have been 
successfully eradicated. The Queensland fruit fly was eradicated from 
the Perth metropolitan area in 1990. APHIS will continuously monitor 
commodities from Australia with port-of-entry inspections. We believe 
that this gives the United States robust protection from fruit flies.
    The commenter also stated that an area should not be declared free 
of only

[[Page 51527]]

select fruit flies. The commenter suggested that the fruit-fly-free 
designation should be applied only to areas free from all fruit flies 
of economic importance because recognizing areas as free from one 
species but not another is inconsistent and confusing.
    Although APHIS is recognizing portions of Australia as free of 
Medfly and another portion of Australia as free of the Queensland fruit 
fly, host material (fruit) from these areas of Australia would still 
require mitigation, typically quarantine treatment, before importation 
into the United States. Commodities from the areas of Australia where 
Medfly is the only pest of concern would require only mitigations for 
Medfly. Likewise, commodities originating from areas in Australia where 
Queensland fruit fly is the only pest of concern would require only 
mitigations for Queensland fruit fly. The benefit of declaring these 
areas as free from only one of the fruit flies that may infest the 
commodity is that the treatment for either fruit fly is less stringent 
than the treatment that would be required for a commodity originating 
from an area where both species are present. For instance, cherries 
from Australia that are imported into the United States must undergo 
cold treatment for Queensland fruit fly and must be treated with methyl 
bromide for Medfly. However, with the recognition of fruit fly areas as 
described in this notice, no area of Australia is home to both Medfly 
and Queensland fruit fly. Therefore, cherries imported from Australia 
will only have to be treated with cold treatment if originating from an 
area where Queensland fruit fly is present or be treated with methyl 
bromide if originating from an area where Medfly is present.
    The commenter asked about the trap densities in Australia, stating 
that the 25,000 fruit fly traps maintained by the NPPO of Australia and 
the Australian State and territorial governments is low compared to the 
more than 55,000 fruit fly traps maintained in Florida.
    Australia maintains trap densities that are in line with 
International Atomic Energy Agency fruit fly trapping guidelines, the 
same guidelines that the United States follows. Australia's trapping 
manual specifies that the traps be deployed on a 400 km grid in urban 
areas and 1 km grid in horticultural production areas. The fruit fly 
trapping programs in Australia are concentrated in fruit-growing 
regions in order to provide support for fruit fly freedom for specific 
areas, such as the districts of Riverland, Riverina, and Sunraysia. The 
climate in many parts of Australia does not support the presence of 
fruit fly hosts or provide conditions suitable for fruit fly survival, 
and trapping is not required in these areas. In addition, Australia 
requires that their trapping systems, including trap density and 
placement, undergo annual audits to ensure their effectiveness.
    The commenter asked about the population dynamics of Medfly and 
Queensland fruit fly in the specified Australian States. The commenter 
also asked what types of onsite assessments have been done and whether 
future program audits are planned.
    In areas of Eastern Australia where the Queensland fruit fly can be 
found, it is most active in summer and fall. Cold and dry conditions, 
especially freezes, cause reductions in populations. The NPPO of 
Australia has declared the whole State of Western Australia free of 
Queensland fruit fly and, although incursions have been reported, these 
have been successfully eradicated.
    Medfly is active in the summer months in Western Australia, where 
sterile insect technique (SIT), biocontrol, and other suppression 
strategies are being used. Confirmation of Medfly distribution in 
Western Australia is obtained and verified through specific detection 
surveys. Freedom from Medfly in other Australian States has been 
established by results from ongoing monitoring with permanent Medfly 
traps as part of the national trapping grid. In South Australia, any 
detections of Medfly from the stringent surveillance networks are 
rapidly followed by eradication activities. In the Northern Territory, 
a number of trapping and detection systems have been maintained in both 
urban and horticultural areas for Medfly since 1985. While there have 
been some detections of small numbers of Medfly in South Australia and 
the Northern Territory, effective detection and eradication programs 
have successfully maintained both South Australia and the Northern 
Territory as free from Medfly.
    On-site assessments by APHIS were conducted for the pest-free areas 
in Riverland, Riverina, and Sunraysia when they were first established. 
Based on our experiences with the NPPO of Australia and with the 
importation of fruit fly host commodities from areas APHIS has 
previously recognized as free of fruit flies, we determined that no 
additional site visits were necessary here. We will inspect commodities 
imported from Australia for fruit flies at the port of entry and we 
will rely on the annual survey data from the NPPO of Australia to 
inform us if fruit flies are found in areas that we have recognized as 
free of fruit flies. We do not currently plan to conduct further site 
visits or formal program audits but reserve the right to do so in the 
future if necessary.
    The commenter also expressed concern about the adequacy, in his 
view, of opportunities for stakeholder involvement in the initial 
stages of the development of these types of program proposals. The 
commenter requested the opportunity to participate in site visits and 
initial program review discussions on issues that could directly impact 
his State.
    APHIS is committed to a transparent process and an inclusive role 
for stakeholders in our risk analysis process. To that end, we have put 
in place a stakeholder notification system \2\ to provide opportunities 
for involvement during the initial stages of the development of pest 
risk assessments. However, since this comment relates to the structure 
of APHIS's overall risk analysis process, and not to the determination 
of pest-free areas in Australia, it is outside the scope of the current 
action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Go to https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USDAAPHIS/subscriber/new?preferences=true#tab1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Therefore, in accordance with Sec.  319.56-5(c), we are announcing 
the Administrator's determination that the States of New South Wales, 
Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria 
meet the criteria of Sec.  319.56-5(a) and (b) with respect to freedom 
from Medfly and the State of Western Australia meets the criteria of 
Sec.  319.56-5(a) and (b) with respect to freedom from Queensland fruit 
fly. Accordingly, we are amending the list of pest-free areas to list 
the States of New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South 
Australia, Tasmania, and Victoria as free of Medfly and the State of 
Western Australia as free of Queensland fruit fly. A list of pest-free 
areas currently recognized by APHIS can be found at http://
www.aphis.usda.gov/importexport/plants/manuals/ports/
downloads/DesignatedPestFreeAreas.pdf.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 25th day of August 2014.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2014-20613 Filed 8-28-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P