Notice of Request for Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection
In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request a revision to the currently approved information collection for the Regulations Governing the Inspection and Grading Services of Manufactured or Processed Dairy Products, and the Certification of Sanitary Design and Fabrication of Equipment Used in the Slaughter, Processing, and Packaging of Livestock and Poultry Products.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Revision of the Salable Quantity and Allotment Percentage for Class 3 (Native) Spearmint Oil for the 2014-2015 Marketing Year
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule recommended by the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) that revised the quantity of Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2014-2015 marketing year under the Far West spearmint oil marketing order. The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of spearmint oil producers operating within the production area. The interim rule increased the Native spearmint oil salable quantity from 1,090,821 pounds to 1,280,561 pounds and the allotment percentage from 46 percent to 54 percent. This change is expected to help maintain orderly marketing conditions in the Far West spearmint oil market.
Irish Potatoes Grown in Colorado; Relaxation of the Handling Regulation for Area No. 3
The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is adopting, as a final rule, without change, an interim rule implementing a recommendation from the Colorado Potato Administrative Committee, Area No. 3 (Committee) that relaxed the minimum quantity exception for potatoes handled under the Colorado potato marketing order, Area No. 3 (order). The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of potatoes operating within the production area. This rule increases the quantity of potatoes that may be handled under the order without regard to the order's handling regulation requirements from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds. This action is expected to benefit producers and handlers.
Marketing Order Regulating the Handling of Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Salable Quantities and Allotment Percentages for the 2015-2016 Marketing Year
This rule implements a recommendation from the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) to establish the quantity of spearmint oil produced in the Far West, by class, that handlers may purchase from, or handle on behalf of, producers during the 2015-2016 marketing year, which begins on June 1, 2015. The Committee locally administers the Far West spearmint marketing order (order) and is comprised of producers of spearmint oil operating in the Far West. The Far West includes the states of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon, and designated parts of Nevada and Utah. This rule establishes salable quantities and allotment percentages for Class 1 (Scotch) spearmint oil of 1,265,853 pounds and 60 percent, respectively, and for Class 3 (Native) spearmint oil of 1,341,269 pounds and 56 percent, respectively. The Committee recommended these quantities to help maintain stability in the spearmint oil market.
Grapes Grown in a Designated Area of Southeastern California; Increased Assessment Rate
This rule implements a recommendation from the California Desert Grape Administrative Committee for an increase of the assessment rate established for the 2015 and subsequent fiscal periods from $0.0200 to $0.0250 per 18-pound lug of grapes handled under the marketing order. The Committee locally administers the order and is comprised of producers and handlers of grapes grown and handled in a designated area of southeastern California. Assessments upon grape handlers are used by the Committee to fund reasonable and necessary expenses of the program. The fiscal period began on January 1 and ends December 31. The assessment rate will remain in effect indefinitely unless modified, suspended, or terminated.
Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order; Expanding the Membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and Other Changes
This proposal invites comments on expanding the membership of the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council (Council) under the Blueberry Promotion, Research and Information Order (Order). The Council administers the Order with oversight by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This proposal would increase the number of Council members from 16 to 20, adding two producers, one importer, and one exporter. This would help ensure that the Council reflects the geographical distribution of domestic blueberry production and imports into the United States. This proposal would also add eligibility requirements for the public member, clarify the Council's nomination procedures and its ability to serve the diversity of the industry, and increase the number of members needed for a quorum. This proposal also invites comments on prescribing late payment and interest charges for past due assessments. These changes would help facilitate program administration. All of these actions were unanimously recommended by the Council.
Clarification of United States Antitrust Laws, Immunity, and Liability Under Marketing Order Programs
This proposal invites comments on an amendment to the general regulations for federal fruit, vegetable, and specialty crop marketing agreements and marketing orders that would accentuate the applicability of U.S. antitrust laws to marketing order programs' domestic and foreign activities. This action would also advise marketing order board and committee members and personnel of the restrictions, limitations, and liabilities imposed by those laws.
National Organic Program Regulations; Section 610 Review
This document summarizes the findings of a USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) review of the National Organic Program (NOP) which is implemented under the Organic Food Production Act (OFPA). The review criteria are stipulated by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), in section 610. Based upon this review, the AMS has determined that the USDA organic regulations meet the objectives of the OFPA and should continue. Since becoming effective on the October 21, 2002, there have been multiple amendments to the USDA organic regulations. Most of these amendments were additions to or deletions from the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances (National List).