Withdrawal of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Control in Commercial Poultry Operations-A National Approach, 40444-40445 [2021-16049]

Download as PDF 40444 Notices Federal Register Vol. 86, No. 142 Wednesday, July 28, 2021 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 Agricultural Research Service Notice of Intent To Renew a Currently Approved Information Collection Agricultural Research Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations, this notice announces the intention of the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to seek approval to collect information in support of research and related activities. DATES: Comments on this notice must be received on or September 27, 2021 to be assured of consideration. ADDRESSES: Address all comments concerning this notice to Jill Lake, ARS Webmaster, 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jill Lake, ARS Webmaster, jill.lake@ usda.gov. SUMMARY: khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Web Forms for Research Data, Models, Materials, and Publications as well as Study and Event Registration. Type of Request: Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection. OMB Number: 0518–0032. Expiration Date: February 28, 2022. Abstract: Sections 1703 and 1705 of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act (GPEA), (Pub. L. 105–277) Title XVII, require agencies by October 21, 2003, to provide the public with the option of electronic submission of information. To advance GPEA goals, online forms are needed to allow the public to request from ARS research data, models, materials, and publications and to register for scientific studies and events. For the convenience VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Jul 27, 2021 Jkt 253001 of the public, the forms itemize the information needed to provide a timely response. Information from forms will be used by ARS only for the purposes identified. Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3 minutes per response (range: 1–5 minutes). Respondents: Agricultural researchers; students; teachers; businesspeople; members of service organizations; community groups; other Federal, State, and local government agencies; and the general public. Estimated Number of Respondents: 11,600. This is an increase of 2,850 from the 8,750 estimated respondents in the previous Approved Information Collection due to an annual increase in actual respondents since the 2018 estimate, as well as 10 more software models available for download. As of July 2021, 157 software models were available for download through the ARS website https://www.ars.usda.gov/ research/software/. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 580 hours. Copies of forms used in this information collection can be obtained from Jill Lake, ARS Webmaster, jill.lake@usda.gov. The information collection extension requested by ARS is for a period of 3 years. Comments are invited on (a) 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; (b) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record. Simon Y. Liu, Acting Administrator, ARS. [FR Doc. 2021–16055 Filed 7–27–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–03–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2015–0058] Withdrawal of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Control in Commercial Poultry Operations—A National Approach Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice. We are advising the public that we are withdrawing a final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service prepared under the National Environmental Policy Act relative to a national approach for the control of highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks within the United States. We are withdrawing the final environmental assessment and the associated finding of no significant impact pending further evaluation. SUMMARY: Ms. Lori Miller, PE, Senior Staff Officer and Environmental Engineer, APHIS Veterinary Services, 4700 River Road, Unit 41, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851–3512. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is an infectious and often fatal disease of poultry. In December 2014, two mixedorigin H5 viruses of HPAI were discovered in the United States. These viruses were subsequently detected in both migratory waterfowl and domestic poultry and affected domestic poultry production within the United States. On February 9, 2016, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published a notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 6828, Docket No. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\28JYN1.SGM 28JYN1 khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 142 / Wednesday, July 28, 2021 / Notices APHIS–2015–0058) 1 announcing the availability of a December 2015 final environmental assessment (EA), entitled ‘‘High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Control in Commercial Poultry Operations—A National Approach,’’ (2015 HPAI EA) and a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) relative to a national approach for the control of HPAI outbreaks within the United States. The 2015 HPAI EA recommended, and the FONSI selected, an alternative in which APHIS used its centralized management of carcass disposal activities to ensure consistency in responses to HPAI outbreaks throughout the United States. Under this alternative, APHIS provided information and other support to State and local authorities to help them determine which depopulation, disposal, and cleaning and disinfection methods were most appropriate for the situation. According to the 2015 HPAI EA, ‘‘[g]iven the magnitude of the HPAI poultry incidents during spring 2015, APHIS want[ed] to ensure adequate preparation for subsequent incidents in poultry.’’ 2 Therefore, the 2015 HPAI EA was prepared ‘‘to address the potential impacts of continuing to provide assistance with establishing and enforcing HPAI quarantines and conducting bird flu control activities as outbreaks occur across the nation.’’ 3 In the intervening years since APHIS issued the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI, circumstances have changed. First, the 2014/2015 HPAI outbreak ended in approximately August 2016 and there has not been an HPAI outbreak of that scale or magnitude in the United States since that time. Second, avian influenza outbreaks involving HPAI that have occurred in the United States in the interim have been more localized. In one instance, APHIS elected to prepare a site-specific EA and FONSI. Third, APHIS issued the Record of Decision for the Carcass Management During a Mass Animal Health Emergency Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on March 17, 2016, after finalizing the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI. The PEIS provides an analysis of the environmental effects associated with various carcass management options during a mass animal health emergency. An HPAI outbreak necessitating the depopulation of flocks 1 To view the notice and supporting documents, go to www.regulations.gov and enter APHIS–2015– 0058 in the Search field. 2 USDA APHIS, High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Control in Commercial Poultry Operations—A National Approach (Dec. 2015) on p.7. 3 Id. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:16 Jul 27, 2021 Jkt 253001 and the subsequent disposal of large amounts of poultry carcasses could qualify as an animal health emergency and as such, the analysis in the PEIS is relevant and addresses some of the same issues addressed in the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI. Finally, fourth, APHIS reviewed its 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI. Through its review of the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI, APHIS acknowledges that the documents could benefit from more extensive analysis. Additionally, because there is no current HPAI outbreak, the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI serve no function at present. Withdrawal of the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI will not hamper APHIS’ ability to respond to an outbreak in the future. Based on the analysis above, pending further evaluation, we are withdrawing the December 2015 final EA and the FONSI associated with the notice published on February 9, 2016. Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of July 2021. Michael Watson, Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2021–16049 Filed 7–27–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2021–0036] Notice of Request for Revision to and Extension of Approval of an Information Collection; Specimen Submission Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection; comment request. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s intention to request a revision to and extension of approval of an information collection associated with livestock disease surveillance programs. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before September 27, 2021. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods. • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to www.regulations.gov. Enter APHIS– 2021–0036 in the Search field. Select the Documents tab, then select the Comment button in the list of documents. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 40445 • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2021–0036, 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 regulations.gov or in our reading room, which is located in Room 1620 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: For information regarding livestock disease surveillance programs, contact Ms. Lori Swiderski, Program Coordinator, Director’s Office, National Veterinary Services Laboratories, Diagnostics and Biologics, VS, APHIS, 1920 Dayton Ave., Ames, IA 50010; (515) 337–7405. For more information on the information collection reporting process, contact Mr. Joseph Moxey, APHIS’ Paperwork Reduction Act Coordinator, at (301) 851–2483. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Specimen Submission. OMB Control Number: 0579–0090. Type of Request: Revision to and extension of approval of an information collection. Abstract: The Animal Health Protection Act (7 U.S.C. 8301 et seq.) provides the Secretary of Agriculture broad authority to prohibit or restrict, through orders and regulations, the importation or entry and interstate movement of any animal, article, or means of conveyance if the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) determines that the prohibition or restriction is necessary to prevent the introduction or spread of any pest or disease of livestock within the United States. Disease prevention is the most effective method for maintaining a healthy animal population and for enhancing the United States’ ability to globally compete in the trade of animals and animal products. However, animal disease prevention cannot be accomplished without the existence of an effective disease surveillance program, which is conducted by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Veterinary Services (VS). VS forms, which are critical to VS’ mission, are routinely used whenever specimens (such as blood, milk, tissue, or urine) from any animal (such as E:\FR\FM\28JYN1.SGM 28JYN1

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[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 142 (Wednesday, July 28, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40444-40445]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-16049]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2015-0058]


Withdrawal of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No 
Significant Impact for High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Control in 
Commercial Poultry Operations--A National Approach

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we are withdrawing a final 
environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact that the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service prepared under the National 
Environmental Policy Act relative to a national approach for the 
control of highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks within the 
United States. We are withdrawing the final environmental assessment 
and the associated finding of no significant impact pending further 
evaluation.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Lori Miller, PE, Senior Staff 
Officer and Environmental Engineer, APHIS Veterinary Services, 4700 
River Road, Unit 41, Riverdale, MD 20737; (301) 851-3512.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) is 
an infectious and often fatal disease of poultry. In December 2014, two 
mixed-origin H5 viruses of HPAI were discovered in the United States. 
These viruses were subsequently detected in both migratory waterfowl 
and domestic poultry and affected domestic poultry production within 
the United States.
    On February 9, 2016, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) published a notice in the Federal Register (81 FR 6828, Docket 
No.

[[Page 40445]]

APHIS-2015-0058) \1\ announcing the availability of a December 2015 
final environmental assessment (EA), entitled ``High Pathogenicity 
Avian Influenza Control in Commercial Poultry Operations--A National 
Approach,'' (2015 HPAI EA) and a finding of no significant impact 
(FONSI) relative to a national approach for the control of HPAI 
outbreaks within the United States. The 2015 HPAI EA recommended, and 
the FONSI selected, an alternative in which APHIS used its centralized 
management of carcass disposal activities to ensure consistency in 
responses to HPAI outbreaks throughout the United States. Under this 
alternative, APHIS provided information and other support to State and 
local authorities to help them determine which depopulation, disposal, 
and cleaning and disinfection methods were most appropriate for the 
situation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the notice and supporting documents, go to 
www.regulations.gov and enter APHIS-2015-0058 in the Search field.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    According to the 2015 HPAI EA, ``[g]iven the magnitude of the HPAI 
poultry incidents during spring 2015, APHIS want[ed] to ensure adequate 
preparation for subsequent incidents in poultry.'' \2\ Therefore, the 
2015 HPAI EA was prepared ``to address the potential impacts of 
continuing to provide assistance with establishing and enforcing HPAI 
quarantines and conducting bird flu control activities as outbreaks 
occur across the nation.'' \3\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ USDA APHIS, High Pathogenicity Avian Influenza Control in 
Commercial Poultry Operations--A National Approach (Dec. 2015) on 
p.7.
    \3\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the intervening years since APHIS issued the 2015 HPAI EA and 
FONSI, circumstances have changed. First, the 2014/2015 HPAI outbreak 
ended in approximately August 2016 and there has not been an HPAI 
outbreak of that scale or magnitude in the United States since that 
time. Second, avian influenza outbreaks involving HPAI that have 
occurred in the United States in the interim have been more localized. 
In one instance, APHIS elected to prepare a site-specific EA and FONSI. 
Third, APHIS issued the Record of Decision for the Carcass Management 
During a Mass Animal Health Emergency Final Programmatic Environmental 
Impact Statement (PEIS) on March 17, 2016, after finalizing the 2015 
HPAI EA and FONSI. The PEIS provides an analysis of the environmental 
effects associated with various carcass management options during a 
mass animal health emergency. An HPAI outbreak necessitating the 
depopulation of flocks and the subsequent disposal of large amounts of 
poultry carcasses could qualify as an animal health emergency and as 
such, the analysis in the PEIS is relevant and addresses some of the 
same issues addressed in the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI. Finally, fourth, 
APHIS reviewed its 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI. Through its review of the 
2015 HPAI EA and FONSI, APHIS acknowledges that the documents could 
benefit from more extensive analysis. Additionally, because there is no 
current HPAI outbreak, the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI serve no function at 
present. Withdrawal of the 2015 HPAI EA and FONSI will not hamper 
APHIS' ability to respond to an outbreak in the future.
    Based on the analysis above, pending further evaluation, we are 
withdrawing the December 2015 final EA and the FONSI associated with 
the notice published on February 9, 2016.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of July 2021.
Michael Watson,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2021-16049 Filed 7-27-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-34-P