Verdeca LLC; Availability of a Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Soybean Genetically Engineered for Increased Yield, 52873-52874 [2017-24634]

Download as PDF 52873 Notices Federal Register Vol. 82, No. 219 Wednesday, November 15, 2017 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–2017–0075] Verdeca LLC; Availability of a Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status of Soybean Genetically Engineered for Increased Yield Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has received a petition from Verdeca LLC seeking a determination of nonregulated status for the new plant variety HB4 soybean designated as IND–00410–5, which has been genetically engineered for increased yield. The petition has been submitted in accordance with our regulations concerning the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms and products. We are making the Verdeca LLC petition available for review and comment to help us identify potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before January 16, 2018. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2017-0075. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2017–0075, 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 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Nov 14, 2017 Jkt 244001 may be viewed at http:// www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D= APHIS-2017-0075 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. The petition is also available on the APHIS Web site at http:// www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/ petitions_table_pending.shtml under APHIS petition 17–223–01p. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. John Turner, Director, Biotechnology Risk Analysis Programs, BRS, 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 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. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of § 340.6 describe the form that a petition for a determination of nonregulated status must take and the information that must be included in the petition. APHIS has received a petition (APHIS Petition Number 17–223–01p) from Verdeca LLC (Verdeca), seeking a determination of nonregulated status for the new plant variety called HB4 soybean (Glycine max) designated as PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 event IND–00410–5 that has been genetically engineered for increased yield, stating 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. As described in the petition, soybean event IND–00410–5 has been genetically engineered to increase yield through the insertion of the HaHB4 transcription factor gene variant from the sunflower (Helianthus annuus). This gene improves plant fitness by reducing its sensitivity to ethylene, which would otherwise negatively impact growth, allowing the soybean to grow in a greater variety of environments with reduced negative impact on growth, development, and yield. Soybean event IND–00410–5 is currently regulated under 7 CFR part 340. Interstate movements and field tests of soybean event IND–00410–5 have been conducted under permits issued or notifications acknowledged by APHIS. Field tests conducted under APHIS oversight allowed for evaluation in a natural agricultural setting while imposing measures to minimize the risk of persistence in the environment after completion of the test. Data are gathered on multiple parameters and used by the applicant to evaluate agronomic characteristics and product performance. These and other data are used by APHIS to determine if the new variety poses a plant pest risk. In accordance with § 340.6(d) of the regulations, we are publishing this notice to inform the public that APHIS will accept written comments regarding the petition for a determination of nonregulated status from interested or affected persons for a period of 60 days from the date of this notice. The petition is available for public review, and copies are available as indicated under ADDRESSES and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above. We are interested in receiving comments regarding potential environmental and interrelated economic issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be considered in our evaluation of the petition. We are particularly interested in receiving comments regarding biological, cultural, or ecological issues, and we encourage the submission of scientific data, studies, or research to support your comments. We also request that, when possible, E:\FR\FM\15NON1.SGM 15NON1 52874 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 219 / Wednesday, November 15, 2017 / Notices commenters provide relevant information regarding specific localities or regions as soybean growth, crop management, and crop utilization may vary considerably by geographic region. After the comment period closes, APHIS will review all written comments received during the comment period and any other relevant information; any substantive issues identified by APHIS based on our review of the petition and our evaluation and analysis of comments will be considered in the development of our decisionmaking documents. As part of our decisionmaking process regarding a genetically engineered organism’s regulatory status, APHIS prepares a plant pest risk assessment (PPRA) to assess its plant pest risk and the appropriate environmental documentation—either an environmental assessment (EA) or an environmental impact statement (EIS)— in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to provide the Agency with a review and analysis of any potential environmental impacts associated with the petition request. For petitions for which APHIS prepares an EA, APHIS will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the EA and PPRA. Should we determine that an EIS is necessary, APHIS will complete the NEPA EIS process in accordance with Council on Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR part 1500–1508) and APHIS’ NEPA implementing regulations (7 CFR part 372). 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 8th day of November 2017. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2017–24634 Filed 11–14–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Farm Service Agency Information Collection Request, Volunteer Program Farm Service Agency, USDA. Notice; request for comments. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) is requesting comments from all interested individuals and organizations on an extension of a currently approved SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 19:58 Nov 14, 2017 Jkt 244001 information collection associated with the Volunteer Program. DATES: We will consider comments that we receive by January 16, 2018. ADDRESSES: We invite you to submit comments on this notice. In your comment, include the volume, date, and page number of this issue of the Federal Register. You may submit comments by any of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to: www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. • Mail, Hand-Delivery or Courier: Ms. Shannon (Logan) Morrison, USDA, FSA, Human Resources Division, HCSPIB, 355 E Street SW., 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20024. You may also send comments to the Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC 20503. Comments will be available for inspection online at http://www.regulations.gov. Copies of the information collection may be requested by contacting Shannon (Logan) Morrison at the above address. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communications should contact the USDA Target center at (202)720–2600 (voice). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For specific questions related to collection activities, Ms. Shannon (Logan) Morrison; (202) 401–0165. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Volunteer Program. OMB Control Number: 0560–0232. Expiration Date for Approval: January 31, 2018. Type of Request: Extension. Abstract: Section 1526 of the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981 (7 U.S.C. 2272) authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a program (‘‘the Volunteer Program’’) to use volunteers to perform a wide range of activities to carry out the programs of the Department of Agriculture. In addition, 5 U.S.C. 3111 grants agencies the authority to establish programs designed to provide educationally-related work assignments for students in non-pay status. For FSA’s volunteer program, each volunteer must follow the same responsibilities and guidelines for conduct that Federal government employees are expected to follow. The volunteers, who are mainly students participating in the sponsored volunteer program, must complete a service agreement, attendance records, and other forms, and provide the required supporting documents to FSA. The information will allow FSA to effectively recruit, train, and accept PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 volunteers to carry out programs supported by the Department of Agriculture, therefore benefitting volunteers, the Department of Agriculture, and the general public. Without the information, FSA will be unable to document the services provided by the volunteers. FSA will report the collected information to offices within the Department of Agriculture and the Office of Personnel Management that request information on the Volunteer Program. FSA continues to use forms AD–2022, AD–2023, AD–2024, and AD–2025 in the Volunteer Program. There is no change to the burden hours since the last OMB approval. Also, FSA will remove the FSA-related burden for form OF301 from the generic information collection request approved under OMB control number 0596–0080; FSA had previously used form OF301, but no longer uses that form. For the following estimated total annual burden on respondents, the formula used to calculate the total burden hours is the estimated average time per response multiplied by the estimated total annual responses. Estimate of Average Time to Respond: Public reporting burden for collecting information under this notice is estimated to average 15 minutes (0.25) per response for each of the 4 forms, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information for all respondent. Therefore, it would be an average 0.38 hours per response in this collection. Type of Respondents: Any individuals. Estimated Number of Respondents: 20. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 4. Estimated Total Annual Reponses: 80. Estimated Average Time per Response: 0.38 hours. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 30 hours. We are requesting comments on all aspects of this information to help us to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed 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 the agency’s estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; E:\FR\FM\15NON1.SGM 15NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 219 (Wednesday, November 15, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52873-52874]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-24634]


========================================================================
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. 82, No. 219 / Wednesday, November 15, 2017 / 
Notices

[[Page 52873]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2017-0075]


Verdeca LLC; Availability of a Petition for Determination of 
Nonregulated Status of Soybean Genetically Engineered for Increased 
Yield

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) has received a petition from Verdeca LLC 
seeking a determination of nonregulated status for the new plant 
variety HB4 soybean designated as IND-00410-5, which has been 
genetically engineered for increased yield. The petition has been 
submitted in accordance with our regulations concerning the 
introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms and products. 
We are making the Verdeca LLC petition available for review and comment 
to help us identify potential environmental and interrelated economic 
issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be considered in our 
evaluation of the petition.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
January 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0075.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2017-0075, 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-2017-
0075 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.
    The petition is also available on the APHIS Web site at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/biotechnology/petitions_table_pending.shtml under 
APHIS petition 17-223-01p.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. John Turner, Director, 
Biotechnology Risk Analysis Programs, BRS, 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 
organisms and products are considered ``regulated articles.''
    The regulations in Sec.  [thinsp]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. Paragraphs (b) and (c) of Sec.  [thinsp]340.6 
describe the form that a petition for a determination of nonregulated 
status must take and the information that must be included in the 
petition.
    APHIS has received a petition (APHIS Petition Number 17-223-01p) 
from Verdeca LLC (Verdeca), seeking a determination of nonregulated 
status for the new plant variety called HB4 soybean (Glycine max) 
designated as event IND-00410-5 that has been genetically engineered 
for increased yield, stating 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.
    As described in the petition, soybean event IND-00410-5 has been 
genetically engineered to increase yield through the insertion of the 
HaHB4 transcription factor gene variant from the sunflower (Helianthus 
annuus). This gene improves plant fitness by reducing its sensitivity 
to ethylene, which would otherwise negatively impact growth, allowing 
the soybean to grow in a greater variety of environments with reduced 
negative impact on growth, development, and yield. Soybean event IND-
00410-5 is currently regulated under 7 CFR part 340. Interstate 
movements and field tests of soybean event IND-00410-5 have been 
conducted under permits issued or notifications acknowledged by APHIS. 
Field tests conducted under APHIS oversight allowed for evaluation in a 
natural agricultural setting while imposing measures to minimize the 
risk of persistence in the environment after completion of the test. 
Data are gathered on multiple parameters and used by the applicant to 
evaluate agronomic characteristics and product performance. These and 
other data are used by APHIS to determine if the new variety poses a 
plant pest risk.
    In accordance with Sec.  [thinsp]340.6(d) of the regulations, we 
are publishing this notice to inform the public that APHIS will accept 
written comments regarding the petition for a determination of 
nonregulated status from interested or affected persons for a period of 
60 days from the date of this notice. The petition is available for 
public review, and copies are available as indicated under ADDRESSES 
and FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT above. We are interested in 
receiving comments regarding potential environmental and interrelated 
economic issues and impacts that APHIS may determine should be 
considered in our evaluation of the petition. We are particularly 
interested in receiving comments regarding biological, cultural, or 
ecological issues, and we encourage the submission of scientific data, 
studies, or research to support your comments. We also request that, 
when possible,

[[Page 52874]]

commenters provide relevant information regarding specific localities 
or regions as soybean growth, crop management, and crop utilization may 
vary considerably by geographic region.
    After the comment period closes, APHIS will review all written 
comments received during the comment period and any other relevant 
information; any substantive issues identified by APHIS based on our 
review of the petition and our evaluation and analysis of comments will 
be considered in the development of our decisionmaking documents.
    As part of our decisionmaking process regarding a genetically 
engineered organism's regulatory status, APHIS prepares a plant pest 
risk assessment (PPRA) to assess its plant pest risk and the 
appropriate environmental documentation--either an environmental 
assessment (EA) or an environmental impact statement (EIS)--in 
accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to 
provide the Agency with a review and analysis of any potential 
environmental impacts associated with the petition request. For 
petitions for which APHIS prepares an EA, APHIS will publish a separate 
notice in the Federal Register announcing the availability of the EA 
and PPRA. Should we determine that an EIS is necessary, APHIS will 
complete the NEPA EIS process in accordance with Council on 
Environmental Quality regulations (40 CFR part 1500-1508) and APHIS' 
NEPA implementing regulations (7 CFR part 372).

    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 8th day of November 2017.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2017-24634 Filed 11-14-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-34-P