Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States; Termination of Marketing Order 953, 4681-4683 [2019-02581]

Download as PDF tkelley on DSKBCP9HB2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations return unused benefits to the household through a refund, transfer, or other means. (6) If, at the time the household leaves, no benefits have been spent on behalf of that individual household, the facility must return the full value of any benefits already debited from the household’s current monthly allotment back into the household’s EBT account. These procedures are applicable at any time during the month. However, if the facility has already debited benefits and spent any portion of them on behalf of the individual, the facility shall do the following: (i) If the household leaves the GLA prior to the 16th day of the month, the facility shall provide the household with its EBT card (if applicable) and one-half of its monthly benefit allotment. Where a group of residents has been certified as one household and a member of the household leaves the center: (A) The facility shall return a pro rata share of one-half of the household’s benefit allotment to the EBT account and advise the State agency that the individual is entitled to that pro rata share; and (B) The State agency shall create a new EBT account for the individual, issue a new EBT card and transfer the pro rata share from the original household’s EBT account to the departing individual’s EBT account. The facility will instruct the individual on how to obtain the new EBT card based on the State agency’s card issuance procedures. (ii) If the household or an individual member of the group household leaves on or after the 16th day of the month and the benefits have already been debited and used, the household or individual does not receive any benefits. (iii) The GLA shall return to the State agency any EBT cards not provided to departing residents at the end of each month. Also, if the household has already left the facility and as a result, the facility is unable to perform the refund or transfer in accordance with this paragraph (f)(5), the facility must advise the State agency, and the State agency must effect the return or transfer instead. (iv) Once the resident leaves, the GLA no longer acts as his/her authorized representative. The GLA, if possible, shall provide the household with a change report form to report to the State agency the individual’s new address and other circumstances after leaving the GLA and shall advise the household to return the form to the appropriate VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Feb 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 office of the State agency within 10 days. * * * * * (8) If the residents are certified on their own behalf, the benefits may either be debited by the GLA to be used to purchase meals served either communally or individually to eligible residents or retained by the residents and used to purchase and prepare food for their own consumption. * * * * * * * * Dated: February 12, 2019. Brandon Lipps, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services. [FR Doc. 2019–02551 Filed 2–15–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–30–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Marketing Service 7 CFR Part 953 [Doc. No. AMS–SC–18–0037; SC18–953–1 FR] Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States; Termination of Marketing Order 953 Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA. ACTION: Final rule; termination of order. AGENCY: This final rule terminates the Federal marketing order regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states (Order). The Order has been suspended, at the industry’s recommendation, since 2011. Because the industry has not petitioned to have the Order reactivated in accordance with the terms of the suspension, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is terminating the Order. DATES: Effective March 21, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Geronimo Quinones, Marketing Specialist, or Patty Bennett, Director, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Telephone: (202) 720– 2491, Fax: (202) 720–8938, or Email: Geronimo.Quinones@usda.gov or Patty.Bennett@usda.gov. Small businesses may request information on complying with this regulation by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250–0237; Telephone: (202) 720– SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 4681 2491, Fax: (202) 720–8938, or Email: Richard.Lower@usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This action is governed by section 608c(16)(A) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as amended (7 U.S.C. 601–674), hereinafter referred to as the ‘‘Act,’’ and Marketing Agreement 104 and Marketing Order 953 (7 CFR part 953), referred to as the ‘‘Order,’’ effective under the Act. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this final rule in conformance with Executive Orders 13563 and 13175. This action falls within a category of regulatory actions that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. Additionally, because this final rule does not meet the definition of a significant regulatory action, it does not trigger the requirements contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB’s Memorandum titled ‘‘Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of January 30, 2017, titled ‘Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs’ ’’ (February 2, 2017). This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This final rule is not intended to have retroactive effect. The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of business, has jurisdiction to review USDA’s ruling on the petition, provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of the entry of the ruling. This final rule terminates the Order that authorizes regulation of the handling of Irish potatoes grown in designated counties of Virginia and North Carolina. The Order has been suspended for approximately seven years, at the industry’s recommendation, and the industry has not expressed interest in reactivating the Order. Section 953.66 provides, in pertinent part, that USDA terminate or suspend any or all provisions of the Order when E:\FR\FM\19FER1.SGM 19FER1 tkelley on DSKBCP9HB2PROD with RULES 4682 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations a finding is made that the Order or any provision thereof does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. In addition, section 608c(16)(A) of the Act provides that USDA terminate or suspend the operation of any order or any provision thereof whenever they obstruct or do not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. USDA is required to notify Congress not later than 60 days before the date an order would be terminated. The Order has been in effect since 1948 and provides for the establishment of grade, size, quality, maturity, and inspection requirements for Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states. The Order also authorizes reporting and recordkeeping functions required for the operation of the Order. The Order, when in effect, is locally administered by the Southeastern Potato Committee (Committee) and is funded by assessments imposed on handlers. Based on the Committee’s unanimous recommendation in 2011, USDA suspended the Order for a three-year period ending March 1, 2014. The Committee recommended the suspension to eliminate the expense of administering the Order while determining the effects of not having the Order in place. When the Committee made the recommendation to suspend the Order, it wanted the industry to have the option of reactivating the Order, if deemed appropriate. The final rule adopting an interim rule that implemented that action was published in the Federal Register on October 21, 2011 (76 FR 65360). Upon suspension of the Order in 2011, the Committee ceased to function. In anticipation of the expiration of the suspension on March 1, 2014, USDA sent a letter to members of the industry, most of whom were former Committee members, in late 2013. The letter stated that suspension of the Order would soon be ending and that members of the industry would need to recommend an action to USDA. On December 18, 2013, representatives of the Virginia and North Carolina Irish potato industry met and requested that the suspension of all provisions of the Order be continued through March 1, 2017. The extension of the suspension would allow the industry further opportunity to study changes and evaluate new developments in the industry that could affect the need for the Order. The final rule adopting the interim rule that implemented that action was published in the Federal Register on August 19, 2015 (80 FR 50191). Under the terms of the suspension, if the industry did not petition USDA to have the Order reactivated by March 1, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Feb 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 2017, AMS would propose termination of the Order. To date, the industry has not filed a petition to have the Order reactivated. Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601–612), AMS has considered the economic impact of this rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis. The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued pursuant to the Act are unique in that they are brought about through group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf. There are approximately ten handlers of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states who are subject to regulation under the Order and approximately 20 potato producers in the regulated area. Small agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than $7,500,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those whose annual receipts are less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201). Using prices reported by AMS’ Market News Service, the average free on board (f.o.b.) price for Southeastern potatoes for the 2017 marketing season was about $50 per hundredweight. Based on information from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), estimated total production in Virginia and North Carolina for the 2017 season was 4,666,000 hundredweight of potatoes. Multiplying the f.o.b. price by the estimated production results in an estimated handler value of $233,300,000. Dividing this figure by the number of handlers (ten) yields an estimated average annual handler receipt of $23,330,000. Using the average price and shipment information, the number of handlers, and assuming a normal distribution, the majority of handlers have average annual receipts of more than $7,500,000. Based on information from NASS, during the 2017 season, there were 19,600 total acres harvested in Virginia and North Carolina with a total value of production at $59,038,000 for the season. The average producer prices for Virginia and North Carolina Irish potatoes in 2017 were $16.30 and $11.40 per hundredweight, respectively, for an average price of $13.85. Dividing the 2017 total production value by the average of the two states’ producer PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 prices and using a normal distribution, the average gross annual revenue for each of the 20 producers would be about $213,134, which is below the SBA threshold of $750,000. Therefore, based on the above handler and producer revenue estimates, the majority of Southeastern potato handlers may be classified as large entities, while a majority of producers may be classified as small entities. This final rule terminates the Order for Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states and the rules and regulations issued thereunder. The Order authorizes regulation of the handling of Irish potatoes grown in designated counties of Virginia and North Carolina. The Order was initially suspended in 2011, at the recommendation of the Committee, to eliminate the expense of administering the Order while the industry determined the effects of not having regulations in place. At the request of the industry in 2013, the suspension was extended through March 1, 2017, to provide the industry with more time to consider changes and evaluate new developments that could affect the future need for the Order. The final rule that extended the suspension through March 1, 2017, stated that AMS would proceed with a notice to propose termination absent an industry recommendation to reactivate the Order. The results of the suspension and the industry’s failure to petition USDA to have the Order reactivated by the end of the suspension period support termination of the Order. Section 953.66 provides that USDA terminate or suspend any or all provisions of the Order when a finding is made that the Order does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. Furthermore, section 608c(16)(A) of the Act provides that USDA terminate or suspend the operation of any order whenever the order or any provision thereof obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. An additional provision requires that Congress be notified not later than 60 days before the date an order would be terminated. Termination of the Order will reduce costs to both handlers and producers (while marketing order requirements are applied to handlers, the costs of such requirements are often passed on to producers). Furthermore, following a period of over seven years of regulatory suspension, AMS has determined that termination of the Order will not adversely impact the Virginia and North Carolina Irish potato industry. As an alternative to this action, AMS considered not terminating the Order. In that case, the industry could have E:\FR\FM\19FER1.SGM 19FER1 tkelley on DSKBCP9HB2PROD with RULES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 33 / Tuesday, February 19, 2019 / Rules and Regulations recommended further refinements to the Order and the handling regulations to better meet current marketing needs. However, the industry did not petition to have the Order reactivated by the end of the suspension period. Therefore, this alternative was rejected, and AMS is terminating the Order. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the information collection requirements being terminated were previously approved by OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581–0178, Fruit, Vegetable and Specialty Crops. Termination of the reporting requirements under the Order will reduce the reporting and recordkeeping burden on Irish potato handlers in Southeastern states and should further reduce industry expenses. USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, overlap, or conflict with this rule. AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information and services, and for other purposes. A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: https:// www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/ moa/small-businesses. Any questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. A proposed rule inviting comments regarding the termination of the Order was published in the Federal Register on July 25, 2018 (83 FR 35151). USDA distributed the rule to Virginia and North Carolina potato associations and other Southeastern potato industry members. In addition, the rule was made available on the internet by USDA and the Office of the Federal Register. The rule provided a 60-day comment period, which ended on September 24, 2018. One comment was received in support of the termination. Based on the foregoing, and pursuant to § 608c(16)(A) of the Act and § 953.66 of the Order, it is hereby found that Federal Marketing Order 953 regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act and is therefore terminated. Section 608c(16)(A) of the Act requires USDA to notify Congress at least 60 days before terminating a Federal marketing order. Congress was so notified on October 24, 2018. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:01 Feb 15, 2019 Jkt 247001 List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 953 Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements. PART 953—[REMOVED] For the reasons set forth in the preamble, under the authority of 7 U.S.C. 601–674, 7 CFR part 953 is removed. ■ Dated: February 12, 2019. Bruce Summers, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. 2019–02581 Filed 2–15–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 72 [NRC–2018–0220] RIN 3150–AK17 List of Approved Spent Fuel Storage Casks: NAC International MultiPurpose Canister Storage System, Certificate of Compliance No. 1025, Amendment Nos. 7 and 8 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Direct final rule; confirmation of effective date. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is confirming the effective date of March 4, 2019, for the direct final rule that was published in the Federal Register on December 18, 2018. This direct final rule amended the NRC’s spent fuel storage regulations by revising the ‘‘List of approved spent fuel storage casks’’ to include Amendment Nos. 7 and 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1025 for the NAC International Multi-Purpose Canister (NAC–MPC) Storage System. DATES: Effective Date: The effective date of March 4, 2019, for the direct final rule published December 18, 2018 (83 FR 64729), is confirmed. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2018–0220 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Website: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2018–0220. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 4683 technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301– 415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@ nrc.gov. The proposed amendment to the certificate, the proposed changes to the technical specifications, and the preliminary safety evaluation report are available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML18255A021. The final amendments to the certificate, final changes to the technical specifications, and final safety evaluation reports can be viewed in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML19038A249 for Amendment No. 7 and ML19039A088 for Amendment No. 8. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bernard H. White, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301–415–6577; email: Bernard.White@nrc.gov or Gregory Trussell, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards; telephone: 301– 415–6244; email: Gregory.Trussell@ nrc.gov. Both are staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555–0001. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On December 18, 2018 (83 FR 64729), the NRC published a direct final rule amending its regulations in part 72 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations by revising the ‘‘List of approved spent fuel storage casks’’ to include Amendment Nos. 7 and 8 to Certificate of Compliance No. 1025 for the NAC–MPC Storage System. Amendment No. 7 revises the technical specifications to eliminate the requirements for the heat removal system to be operable for La Crosse Boiling Water Reactor spent fuel stored in the NAC–MPC because convective cooling is not required, and to eliminate duplicative requirements. In addition, Amendment No. 8 removes duplicative surveillance requirements in the technical specifications because these requirements are already required by the revised Technical Specification A 3.1.6, E:\FR\FM\19FER1.SGM 19FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 33 (Tuesday, February 19, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4681-4683]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-02581]


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

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 953

[Doc. No. AMS-SC-18-0037; SC18-953-1 FR]


Irish Potatoes Grown in Southeastern States; Termination of 
Marketing Order 953

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule; termination of order.

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

SUMMARY: This final rule terminates the Federal marketing order 
regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states 
(Order). The Order has been suspended, at the industry's 
recommendation, since 2011. Because the industry has not petitioned to 
have the Order reactivated in accordance with the terms of the 
suspension, the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is terminating the 
Order.

DATES: Effective March 21, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Geronimo Quinones, Marketing 
Specialist, or Patty Bennett, Director, Marketing Order and Agreement 
Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA; 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW, Stop 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, 
Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: Geronimo.Quinones@usda.gov or 
Patty.Bennett@usda.gov.
    Small businesses may request information on complying with this 
regulation by contacting Richard Lower, Marketing Order and Agreement 
Division, Specialty Crops Program, AMS, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW, STOP 0237, Washington, DC 20250-0237; Telephone: (202) 720-2491, 
Fax: (202) 720-8938, or Email: Richard.Lower@usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This action is governed by section 
608c(16)(A) of the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, as 
amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), hereinafter referred to as the ``Act,'' and 
Marketing Agreement 104 and Marketing Order 953 (7 CFR part 953), 
referred to as the ``Order,'' effective under the Act.
    The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is issuing this final rule in 
conformance with Executive Orders 13563 and 13175. This action falls 
within a category of regulatory actions that the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) exempted from Executive Order 12866 review. 
Additionally, because this final rule does not meet the definition of a 
significant regulatory action, it does not trigger the requirements 
contained in Executive Order 13771. See OMB's Memorandum titled 
``Interim Guidance Implementing Section 2 of the Executive Order of 
January 30, 2017, titled `Reducing Regulation and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs' '' (February 2, 2017).
    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, 
Civil Justice Reform. This final rule is not intended to have 
retroactive effect.
    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted 
before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the 
Act, any handler subject to an order may file with USDA a petition 
stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any obligation 
imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance with law and 
request a modification of the order or to be exempted therefrom. A 
handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on the petition. 
After the hearing, USDA would rule on the petition. The Act provides 
that the district court of the United States in any district in which 
the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or her principal place of 
business, has jurisdiction to review USDA's ruling on the petition, 
provided an action is filed not later than 20 days after the date of 
the entry of the ruling.
    This final rule terminates the Order that authorizes regulation of 
the handling of Irish potatoes grown in designated counties of Virginia 
and North Carolina. The Order has been suspended for approximately 
seven years, at the industry's recommendation, and the industry has not 
expressed interest in reactivating the Order.
    Section 953.66 provides, in pertinent part, that USDA terminate or 
suspend any or all provisions of the Order when

[[Page 4682]]

a finding is made that the Order or any provision thereof does not tend 
to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. In addition, section 
608c(16)(A) of the Act provides that USDA terminate or suspend the 
operation of any order or any provision thereof whenever they obstruct 
or do not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. USDA is 
required to notify Congress not later than 60 days before the date an 
order would be terminated.
    The Order has been in effect since 1948 and provides for the 
establishment of grade, size, quality, maturity, and inspection 
requirements for Irish potatoes grown in Southeastern states. The Order 
also authorizes reporting and recordkeeping functions required for the 
operation of the Order. The Order, when in effect, is locally 
administered by the Southeastern Potato Committee (Committee) and is 
funded by assessments imposed on handlers.
    Based on the Committee's unanimous recommendation in 2011, USDA 
suspended the Order for a three-year period ending March 1, 2014. The 
Committee recommended the suspension to eliminate the expense of 
administering the Order while determining the effects of not having the 
Order in place. When the Committee made the recommendation to suspend 
the Order, it wanted the industry to have the option of reactivating 
the Order, if deemed appropriate. The final rule adopting an interim 
rule that implemented that action was published in the Federal Register 
on October 21, 2011 (76 FR 65360). Upon suspension of the Order in 
2011, the Committee ceased to function.
    In anticipation of the expiration of the suspension on March 1, 
2014, USDA sent a letter to members of the industry, most of whom were 
former Committee members, in late 2013. The letter stated that 
suspension of the Order would soon be ending and that members of the 
industry would need to recommend an action to USDA. On December 18, 
2013, representatives of the Virginia and North Carolina Irish potato 
industry met and requested that the suspension of all provisions of the 
Order be continued through March 1, 2017. The extension of the 
suspension would allow the industry further opportunity to study 
changes and evaluate new developments in the industry that could affect 
the need for the Order. The final rule adopting the interim rule that 
implemented that action was published in the Federal Register on August 
19, 2015 (80 FR 50191).
    Under the terms of the suspension, if the industry did not petition 
USDA to have the Order reactivated by March 1, 2017, AMS would propose 
termination of the Order. To date, the industry has not filed a 
petition to have the Order reactivated.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA) (5 U.S.C. 601-612), AMS has considered the 
economic impact of this rule on small entities. Accordingly, AMS has 
prepared this final regulatory flexibility analysis.
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
businesses subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act are unique in that they are brought about through 
group action of essentially small entities acting on their own behalf.
    There are approximately ten handlers of Irish potatoes grown in 
Southeastern states who are subject to regulation under the Order and 
approximately 20 potato producers in the regulated area. Small 
agricultural service firms are defined by the Small Business 
Administration (SBA) as those having annual receipts of less than 
$7,500,000, and small agricultural producers are defined as those whose 
annual receipts are less than $750,000 (13 CFR 121.201).
    Using prices reported by AMS' Market News Service, the average free 
on board (f.o.b.) price for Southeastern potatoes for the 2017 
marketing season was about $50 per hundredweight. Based on information 
from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), estimated 
total production in Virginia and North Carolina for the 2017 season was 
4,666,000 hundredweight of potatoes. Multiplying the f.o.b. price by 
the estimated production results in an estimated handler value of 
$233,300,000. Dividing this figure by the number of handlers (ten) 
yields an estimated average annual handler receipt of $23,330,000. 
Using the average price and shipment information, the number of 
handlers, and assuming a normal distribution, the majority of handlers 
have average annual receipts of more than $7,500,000.
    Based on information from NASS, during the 2017 season, there were 
19,600 total acres harvested in Virginia and North Carolina with a 
total value of production at $59,038,000 for the season. The average 
producer prices for Virginia and North Carolina Irish potatoes in 2017 
were $16.30 and $11.40 per hundredweight, respectively, for an average 
price of $13.85. Dividing the 2017 total production value by the 
average of the two states' producer prices and using a normal 
distribution, the average gross annual revenue for each of the 20 
producers would be about $213,134, which is below the SBA threshold of 
$750,000.
    Therefore, based on the above handler and producer revenue 
estimates, the majority of Southeastern potato handlers may be 
classified as large entities, while a majority of producers may be 
classified as small entities.
    This final rule terminates the Order for Irish potatoes grown in 
Southeastern states and the rules and regulations issued thereunder. 
The Order authorizes regulation of the handling of Irish potatoes grown 
in designated counties of Virginia and North Carolina. The Order was 
initially suspended in 2011, at the recommendation of the Committee, to 
eliminate the expense of administering the Order while the industry 
determined the effects of not having regulations in place. At the 
request of the industry in 2013, the suspension was extended through 
March 1, 2017, to provide the industry with more time to consider 
changes and evaluate new developments that could affect the future need 
for the Order. The final rule that extended the suspension through 
March 1, 2017, stated that AMS would proceed with a notice to propose 
termination absent an industry recommendation to reactivate the Order. 
The results of the suspension and the industry's failure to petition 
USDA to have the Order reactivated by the end of the suspension period 
support termination of the Order.
    Section 953.66 provides that USDA terminate or suspend any or all 
provisions of the Order when a finding is made that the Order does not 
tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act. Furthermore, section 
608c(16)(A) of the Act provides that USDA terminate or suspend the 
operation of any order whenever the order or any provision thereof 
obstructs or does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of the 
Act. An additional provision requires that Congress be notified not 
later than 60 days before the date an order would be terminated.
    Termination of the Order will reduce costs to both handlers and 
producers (while marketing order requirements are applied to handlers, 
the costs of such requirements are often passed on to producers). 
Furthermore, following a period of over seven years of regulatory 
suspension, AMS has determined that termination of the Order will not 
adversely impact the Virginia and North Carolina Irish potato industry.
    As an alternative to this action, AMS considered not terminating 
the Order. In that case, the industry could have

[[Page 4683]]

recommended further refinements to the Order and the handling 
regulations to better meet current marketing needs. However, the 
industry did not petition to have the Order reactivated by the end of 
the suspension period. Therefore, this alternative was rejected, and 
AMS is terminating the Order.
    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
chapter 35), the information collection requirements being terminated 
were previously approved by OMB and assigned OMB No. 0581-0178, Fruit, 
Vegetable and Specialty Crops. Termination of the reporting 
requirements under the Order will reduce the reporting and 
recordkeeping burden on Irish potato handlers in Southeastern states 
and should further reduce industry expenses.
    USDA has not identified any relevant Federal rules that duplicate, 
overlap, or conflict with this rule.
    AMS is committed to complying with the E-Government Act, to promote 
the use of the internet and other information technologies to provide 
increased opportunities for citizen access to Government information 
and services, and for other purposes.
    A small business guide on complying with fruit, vegetable, and 
specialty crop marketing agreements and orders may be viewed at: 
https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/moa/small-businesses. Any 
questions about the compliance guide should be sent to Richard Lower at 
the previously mentioned address in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section.
    A proposed rule inviting comments regarding the termination of the 
Order was published in the Federal Register on July 25, 2018 (83 FR 
35151). USDA distributed the rule to Virginia and North Carolina potato 
associations and other Southeastern potato industry members. In 
addition, the rule was made available on the internet by USDA and the 
Office of the Federal Register. The rule provided a 60-day comment 
period, which ended on September 24, 2018. One comment was received in 
support of the termination.
    Based on the foregoing, and pursuant to Sec.  608c(16)(A) of the 
Act and Sec.  953.66 of the Order, it is hereby found that Federal 
Marketing Order 953 regulating the handling of Irish potatoes grown in 
Southeastern states does not tend to effectuate the declared policy of 
the Act and is therefore terminated.
    Section 608c(16)(A) of the Act requires USDA to notify Congress at 
least 60 days before terminating a Federal marketing order. Congress 
was so notified on October 24, 2018.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 953

    Marketing agreements, Potatoes, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements.

PART 953--[REMOVED]

0
For the reasons set forth in the preamble, under the authority of 7 
U.S.C. 601-674, 7 CFR part 953 is removed.

    Dated: February 12, 2019.
Bruce Summers,
Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-02581 Filed 2-15-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-02-P