Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Preliminary Pest Risk Assessment for Permit for Release of Genetically Engineered Citrus Tristeza Virus, 15174-15175 [2019-07439]

Download as PDF 15174 Notices Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 72 Monday, April 15, 2019 Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of availability; reopening of comment period. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http:// www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2017-0018 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. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Margaret Jones, Senior Biotechnologist, Plant Pests, and Protectants Branch, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238; (301) 851– 3916, email: Margaret.J.Jones@ .usda.gov. To obtain copies of the documents, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851–3892, email: Cynthia.A.Eck@ .usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: We are reopening the comment period for our notice that made available a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and preliminary pest risk assessment (PRA) regarding the potential environmental impacts and plant pest risk associated with the proposed environmental release of genetically engineered Citrus tristeza virus. We have updated the EIS and PRA in light of recently published scientific research regarding the vectoring of Citrus tristeza virus, and are making the updated EIS and PRA available for public review and comment. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments on these revised documents. DATES: The comment period for the notice published on May 17, 2018 (83 FR 22944–22945) is reopened. We will consider all comments that we receive on or before April 30, 2019. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2017-0018. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2017–0018, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Background Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant Protection Act (PPA), as amended (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 § 340.2 contain a list of organisms considered to be regulated articles, including all members of groups containing plant viruses, and all insect viruses. The regulations in § 340.4(a) provide that any person may submit an application for a permit for the introduction of a regulated article to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Southern Gardens Citrus Nursery, LLC, has submitted an application seeking a permit for the environmental release of genetically engineered Citrus tristeza virus throughout the State of Florida. The 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–2017–0018] Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Preliminary Pest Risk Assessment for Permit for Release of Genetically Engineered Citrus Tristeza Virus AGENCY: amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Apr 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 virus has been genetically engineered to express defensin proteins from spinach as a biological control approach to manage citrus greening disease in the State of Florida. Citrus greening disease, also called huanglongbing, was first detected in the United States in 2005 in Florida, and has since become a devastating disease of citrus within the United States. In response to this request, on May 17, 2018, we published in the Federal Register (83 FR 22944–22945, Docket No. APHIS–2017–0018) a notice 1 that made available a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and preliminary pest risk assessment (PRA) regarding the potential environmental impacts and plant pest risk associated with the proposed environmental release of the virus. Comments on the notice were required to be received on or before June 25, 2018. Following the close of the comment period, an article 2 was published in the Archives of Virology regarding the interaction of different strains of Citrus tristeza virus within citrus. Harper et al. found that, under laboratory-optimized conditions, if citrus plants contain more than one strain of the virus, aphid transmission of the virus could be affected. While these findings do not affect the overall conclusions of the PRA or EIS, they are not reflected in statements that we made in the two documents regarding the transmissibility of the virus. Accordingly, we have updated the PRA and EIS to incorporate the findings of Harper et al. We are reopening the comment period on Docket No. APHIS–2017–0018 for an additional 15 days, and are making the updated PRA and EIS available for public review and comment. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments. 1 To view the notice and the comments that we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docket Detail;D=APHIS-2017-0018. 2 Harper, S.J., S.J. Cowell, and W.O. Dawson, ‘‘Bottlenecks and Complementation in the Aphid Transmission of Citrus Tristeza Virus Populations’’, Archives of Virology, 163: 12 (December 2018), 3373–3376. Referred to below as ‘‘Harper et al.’’ E:\FR\FM\15APN1.SGM 15APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 72 / Monday, April 15, 2019 / Notices Done in Washington, DC, this 10th day of April 2019. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2019–07439 Filed 4–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Massachusetts Advisory Committee Agenda Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Announcement of briefing on labor trafficking. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a briefing meeting of the Massachusetts Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene on Friday, April 26, 2019, at 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT) in Room 437 of the State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133. The purpose of the briefing meeting is to hear from government officials, advocates, and the public on labor trafficking in Massachusetts. DATES: Friday, April 26, 2019 at 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT). ADDRESSES: Room 437, State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Evelyn Bohor, at ero@usccr.gov or by phone at 202–376–7533. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: If other persons who plan to attend the meeting require other accommodations, please contact Evelyn Bohor at ebohor@ usccr.gov at the Eastern Regional Office at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting. Time will be set aside at the end of the meeting so that members of the public may address the Committee after the planning meeting. Persons interested in the issue are also invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Monday, April 29, 2019. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376–7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at ero@ usccr.gov. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376– 7533. Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for amozie on DSK9F9SC42PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Apr 12, 2019 Jkt 247001 public viewing as they become available at: https://gsageo.force.com/FACA/ FACAPublicViewCommitteeDetails?id= a10t0000001gzllAAA. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission’s website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address. Friday, April 26, 2019 at 10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (EDT) I. Welcome and Introductions II. Briefing on Labor Trafficking V. Open Comment VI. Adjournment Exceptional Circumstance: Pursuant to 41 CFR 102–3.150, the notice for this meeting is given less than 15 calendar days prior to the meeting because of the exceptional circumstances of the federal government shutdown. Dated: April 9, 2019. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit. [FR Doc. 2019–07348 Filed 4–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the Rhode Island Advisory Committee Commission on Civil Rights. Announcement of meeting. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a meeting of the Rhode Island Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on Tuesday, April 30, 2019, at Barrett and Singal, One Richmond Sq., Suite 165W, Main Conference Room, Providence, RI 02906. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the Committee’s next civil rights project. DATES: Tuesday, April 30, 2019 (EDT). Time: 12:00 p.m. ADDRESSES: Barrett and Singal, One Richmond Sq., Suite 165W, Providence, RI 02906. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Evelyn Bohor at ero@usccr.gov, or 202– 376–7533. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Persons who plan to attend the meeting and who SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 15175 require other accommodations, please contact Evelyn Bohor at ebohor@ usccr.gov at least ten (10) working days before the scheduled date of the meeting. Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Thursday, May 30, 2019. Written comments may be mailed to the Eastern Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 1150, Washington, DC 20425, faxed to (202) 376–7548, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at ero@usccr.gov. Persons who desire additional information may contact the Eastern Regional Office at (202) 376– 7533. The activities of this advisory committee, including records and documents discussed during the meeting, will be available for public viewing, as they become available at: https://www.facadatabase.gov/FACA/ FACAPublicViewCommitteeDetails?id= a10t0000001gzm4AAA. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Eastern Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission’s website, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Eastern Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address. Agenda Tuesday, April 30, 2019; 12:00 p.m. (EDT) Discussion of Licensing Project Discussion of Hate Crimes Briefing Open Comment Adjourn Dated: April 9, 2019. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit. [FR Doc. 2019–07349 Filed 4–12–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Alabama Advisory Committee To Discuss Civil Rights Topics in the State U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Announcement of meeting. AGENCY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act that SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\15APN1.SGM 15APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 72 (Monday, April 15, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15174-15175]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-07439]


========================================================================
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. 84, No. 72 / Monday, April 15, 2019 / 
Notices

[[Page 15174]]



DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2017-0018]


Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Preliminary Pest Risk 
Assessment for Permit for Release of Genetically Engineered Citrus 
Tristeza Virus

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability; reopening of comment period.

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

SUMMARY: We are reopening the comment period for our notice that made 
available a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) and preliminary 
pest risk assessment (PRA) regarding the potential environmental 
impacts and plant pest risk associated with the proposed environmental 
release of genetically engineered Citrus tristeza virus. We have 
updated the EIS and PRA in light of recently published scientific 
research regarding the vectoring of Citrus tristeza virus, and are 
making the updated EIS and PRA available for public review and comment. 
This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare 
and submit comments on these revised documents.

DATES: The comment period for the notice published on May 17, 2018 (83 
FR 22944-22945) is reopened. We will consider all comments that we 
receive on or before April 30, 2019.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0018.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2017-0018, 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-
0018 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.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Margaret Jones, Senior 
Biotechnologist, Plant Pests, and Protectants Branch, Biotechnology 
Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 147, Riverdale, MD 
20737-1238; (301) 851-3916, email: [email protected] To 
obtain copies of the documents, contact Ms. Cindy Eck at (301) 851-
3892, email: [email protected]

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    Under the authority of the plant pest provisions of the Plant 
Protection Act (PPA), as amended (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.  340.2 contain a list of organisms considered to be 
regulated articles, including all members of groups containing plant 
viruses, and all insect viruses.
    The regulations in Sec.  340.4(a) provide that any person may 
submit an application for a permit for the introduction of a regulated 
article to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). 
Southern Gardens Citrus Nursery, LLC, has submitted an application 
seeking a permit for the environmental release of genetically 
engineered Citrus tristeza virus throughout the State of Florida. The 
virus has been genetically engineered to express defensin proteins from 
spinach as a biological control approach to manage citrus greening 
disease in the State of Florida. Citrus greening disease, also called 
huanglongbing, was first detected in the United States in 2005 in 
Florida, and has since become a devastating disease of citrus within 
the United States.
    In response to this request, on May 17, 2018, we published in the 
Federal Register (83 FR 22944-22945, Docket No. APHIS-2017-0018) a 
notice \1\ that made available a draft environmental impact statement 
(EIS) and preliminary pest risk assessment (PRA) regarding the 
potential environmental impacts and plant pest risk associated with the 
proposed environmental release of the virus. Comments on the notice 
were required to be received on or before June 25, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the notice and the comments that we received, go to 
http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2017-0018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Following the close of the comment period, an article \2\ was 
published in the Archives of Virology regarding the interaction of 
different strains of Citrus tristeza virus within citrus. Harper et al. 
found that, under laboratory-optimized conditions, if citrus plants 
contain more than one strain of the virus, aphid transmission of the 
virus could be affected.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Harper, S.J., S.J. Cowell, and W.O. Dawson, ``Bottlenecks 
and Complementation in the Aphid Transmission of Citrus Tristeza 
Virus Populations'', Archives of Virology, 163: 12 (December 2018), 
3373-3376. Referred to below as ``Harper et al.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While these findings do not affect the overall conclusions of the 
PRA or EIS, they are not reflected in statements that we made in the 
two documents regarding the transmissibility of the virus. Accordingly, 
we have updated the PRA and EIS to incorporate the findings of Harper 
et al.
    We are reopening the comment period on Docket No. APHIS-2017-0018 
for an additional 15 days, and are making the updated PRA and EIS 
available for public review and comment. This action will allow 
interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.


[[Page 15175]]


    Done in Washington, DC, this 10th day of April 2019.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-07439 Filed 4-12-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-34-P