Scrapie in Sheep and Goats
We are proposing to amend the scrapie regulations by changing the risk groups and categories established for individual animals and for flocks, increasing the use of genetic testing as a means of assigning risk levels to animals, reducing movement restrictions for animals found to be genetically less susceptible or resistant to scrapie, and simplifying, reducing, or removing certain recordkeeping requirements. We also propose to provide designated scrapie epidemiologists with more alternatives and flexibility when testing animals in order to determine flock designations under the regulations. We propose to change the definition of high-risk animal, which will change the types of animals eligible for indemnity, and to pay higher indemnity for certain pregnant ewes and early maturing ewes. The proposed changes would also make the identification and recordkeeping requirements for goat owners consistent with those for sheep owners. These changes would affect sheep and goat producers, persons who handle sheep and goats in interstate commerce, and State governments.
Notice of Decision To Authorize the Importation of Fresh Cranberries From Chile Into the Continental United States
We are advising the public of our decision to authorize the importation of fresh cranberries from Chile into the continental United States. Based on the findings of a pest risk assessment, which we made available for the public to review and comment through a previous notice, we have concluded that the application of one or more designated phytosanitary measures will be sufficient to mitigate the risks of introducing or disseminating plant pests or noxious weeds via the importation of fresh cranberries from Chile.
Gypsy Moth Generally Infested Areas; Additions in Minnesota, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin
We are adopting as a final rule, without change, an interim rule that amended the gypsy moth regulations by adding areas in Minnesota, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin to the list of generally infested areas based on the detection of infestations of gypsy moth in those areas. As a result of the interim rule, the interstate movement of regulated articles from those areas was restricted. The interim rule was necessary to prevent the artificial spread of the gypsy moth to noninfested areas of the United States.
VSTA Records and Reports Specific to International Standards for Pharmacovigilance
We are proposing to amend the Virus-Serum-Toxin Act regulations concerning records and reports. This change would require veterinary biologics licensees and permittees to record and submit reports concerning adverse events associated with the use of biological products they produce or distribute. The information that must be included in the adverse event reports submitted to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service would be provided in separate guidance documents. This proposed rule replaces a previously published proposed rule, which we are withdrawing as part of this document.
Availability of an Environmental Assessment for Field Testing a Swine Influenza Vaccine, H1N1 & H3N2, Modified Live Virus
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared an environmental assessment concerning authorization to ship for the purpose of field testing, and then to field test, an unlicensed Swine Influenza Vaccine, H1N1 & H3N2, Modified Live Virus. The environmental assessment, which is based on a risk analysis prepared to assess the risks associated with the field testing of this vaccine, examines the potential effects that field testing this veterinary vaccine could have on the quality of the human environment. Based on the risk analysis and other relevant data, we have reached a preliminary determination that field testing this veterinary vaccine will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment, and that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared. We intend to authorize shipment of this vaccine for field testing following the close of the comment period for this notice unless new substantial issues bearing on the effects of this action are brought to our attention. We also intend to issue a U.S. Veterinary Biological Product license for this vaccine, provided the field test data support the conclusions of the environmental assessment and the issuance of a finding of no significant impact and the product meets all other requirements for licensing.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza; Availability of an Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact
We are advising the public that an environmental assessment has been prepared by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service relative to a national approach for the control of highly pathogenic avian influenza outbreaks within the United States. Based on our environmental assessment, we have concluded that such an approach will not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. We are making this environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact available to the public for review and comment.
J.R. Simplot Co.; Determination of Nonregulated Status of Potato Genetically Engineered for Late Blight Resistance, Low Acrylamide Potential, Reduced Black Spot Bruising, and Lowered Reducing Sugars
We are advising the public of our determination that Innate\TM\ Potato designated as Russet Burbank event W8, which has been genetically engineered for late blight resistance, low acrylamide potential, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars, is no longer considered a regulated article under our regulations governing the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms. Our determination is based on our evaluation of data submitted by J.R. Simplot Company, in its petition for a determination of nonregulated status, our analysis of available scientific data, and comments received from the public in response to our previous notices announcing the availability of the petition for nonregulated status and its associated environmental assessment and plant pest risk assessment. This notice also announces the availability of our written determination and finding of no significant impact.
Recognizing European Union (EU) and EU Member State Regionalization Decisions for African Swine Fever (ASF) by Updating the APHIS List of Regions Affected with ASF
We are advising the public that we are adding European Union (EU) and EU Member State-defined regions of the EU to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) list of regions affected with African swine fever (ASF). We will recognize as affected with ASF any region of the EU that the EU or any EU Member State has placed under restriction because of detection of ASF. These regions currently include portions of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, and all of Sardinia. APHIS will list the EU- and EU Member State-defined regions as a single entity. We are therefore removing Sardinia as an individually listed region from the APHIS list of ASF affected regions. We are taking this action because of the detection of ASF in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland.
Availability of a Final Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Biological Control of Emerald Ash Borer
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact relative to the release of a parasitic wasp, Spathius galinae, into the continental United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of emerald ash borer infestations. Based on the finding of no significant impact, we have determined that an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.
Monsanto Company; Availability of Petition for Determination of Nonregulated Status for Maize Genetically Engineered for Resistance to Dicamba and Glufosinate
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has received a petition from the Monsanto Company (Monsanto) seeking a determination of nonregulated status for maize designated as MON 87419, which has been genetically engineered for resistance to the herbicides dicamba and glufosinate. The petition has been submitted in accordance with our regulations concerning the introduction of certain genetically engineered organisms and products. We are making the Monsanto petition available for review and comment to help us identify potential issues and impacts that APHIS should be considering in our evaluation of the petition.
Notice of Availability of Treatment Evaluation Documents and Supplemental Environmental Assessment for Pesticide Use for the Imported Fire Ant Program
We are advising the public that we have determined that it is necessary to add to the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual two treatment options for use in controlling imported fire ant. We have prepared treatment evaluation documents that describe the new treatment options and provide justification as to why they are effective at neutralizing imported fire ant. In addition, we have prepared a supplemental environmental assessment to update the existing environmental assessment for imported fire ant treatments. We are making the treatment evaluation documents and the supplemental environmental assessment available for review and comment.
Feral Swine Damage Management Final Environmental Impact Statement; Record of Decision
This notice advises the public of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service's record of decision for the final environmental impact statement titled ``Feral Swine Damage Management: A National Approach.''
Importation of Fresh Unshu Oranges From Japan Into the United States; Technical Amendment
In a final rule published in the Federal Register on October 27, 2014, and effective on November 26, 2014, we amended the regulations concerning the importation of citrus fruit to remove certain restrictions on the importation of Unshu oranges from Japan. Among other amendments, we removed a requirement for joint inspection of the fruit at groves and packinghouses by the Government of Japan and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. As an unintended consequence of removing that requirement, we effectively precluded the Government of Japan from being able to meet another one of the requirements of the regulations, which requires oranges produced on two islands in Japan to be fumigated with methyl bromide prior to exportation to the United States, if the oranges are destined for certain commercial citrus-producing areas of the United States. This document corrects that error.
Amendment of Asian Longhorned Beetle Quarantine Areas in Massachusetts and New York
We are amending the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) regulations by removing the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island in New York City, as well as the counties of Suffolk and Norfolk in Massachusetts, from the list of quarantined areas for ALB. These actions are necessary to relieve restrictions on the movement of regulated articles from areas no longer under ALB quarantine while preventing the artificial spread of ALB from infested areas to noninfested areas of the United States.
International Trade Data System Test Concerning the Electronic Submission to the Automated Commercial Environment of the Lacey Act Import Declaration Form Using the Partner Government Agency Message Set
We are announcing that U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have developed a pilot plan to test and assess the International Trade Data System for the electronic submission of Lacey Act import declaration data. The pilot test will use the APHIS Partner Government Agency (PGA) Message Set and the Automated Broker Interface to transmit, and the Automated Commercial Environment to process, trade data required by the Lacey Act for the importation of plant and paper products. Under this test, PGA Message Set data may be submitted only for Lacey Act import declarations filed at certain ports.
Notice of Affirmation of Revision of a Treatment Schedule for Hot Water Treatment of Mangoes
We are affirming our earlier determination that it was necessary to immediately amend hot water treatment schedule T102-a in the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual to extend the applicability of the treatment to additional mango commodities. In a previous notice, we made available to the public for review and comment a treatment evaluation document that described the revised treatment schedule and explained why we have determined that it is effective at neutralizing certain target pests.
Petition To Develop Specific Ethologically Appropriate Standards for Nonhuman Primates in Research
We are reopening the comment period for a petition requesting that we amend the Animal Welfare Act regulations to specify ethologically appropriate standards that researchers must adhere to in order to promote the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates used in research. This action will allow interested persons additional time to prepare and submit comments.
Emerald Ash Borer; Quarantined Areas
We are amending the emerald ash borer regulations by adding areas in the States of Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia to the list of quarantined areas. In addition, we are adding the States of Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia in their entirety to the list of quarantined areas. This action is necessary to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer into noninfested areas of the United States.
Monsanto Co.; Availability of Preliminary Plant Pest Risk Assessment and Draft Environmental Assessment of Maize Genetically Engineered for Increased Ear Biomass
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is making available for public comment a preliminary plant pest risk assessment and draft environmental assessment for maize designated as event MON 87403, which has been genetically engineered for increased ear biomass.
Khapra Beetle; New Regulated Countries and Regulated Articles
We are adopting as a final rule, with changes, an interim rule that amended the khapra beetle regulations by adding additional regulated articles and regulated countries, updating the regulations to reflect changes in industry practices and country names that have changed since the regulations were originally published, and removing the list of countries where khapra beetle is known to occur from the regulations and moving it to the Plant Protection and Quarantine Web site. These actions were necessary to prevent the introduction of khapra beetle from infested countries on commodities that have been determined to be hosts for the pest, reflect current industry practices, and make it easier to make timely changes to the list of regulated countries.
Notice of Affirmation of Addition of a Treatment Schedule for Methyl Bromide Fumigation of Figs
We are affirming our earlier determination that it was necessary to immediately add to the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual a treatment schedule for methyl bromide fumigation of figs for certain pests, including Chilean false red mite. In a previous notice, we made available to the public for review and comment a treatment evaluation document that described the new treatment schedule and explained why we have determined that it is effective at neutralizing these pests.
Notice of Affirmation; New and Revised Treatments for Various Plant Commodities
We are affirming our earlier determination that it was necessary to immediately add to the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual treatment schedules for various plant commodities. In a previous notice, we made available to the public for review and comment treatment evaluation documents that described the new treatment and revised schedules and explained why we have determined that they are effective at neutralizing certain target pests.
Oral Rabies Vaccine Trial; Availability of a Supplemental Environmental Assessment
We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (EA) relative to an oral rabies vaccination field trial in New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Vermont, and West Virginia. The supplemental EA analyzes expanding the field trial for an experimental oral rabies vaccine for wildlife to additional areas in Ohio and increasing bait distribution density in portions of West Virginia. The proposed field trial is necessary to evaluate whether the wildlife rabies vaccine will produce sufficient levels of population immunity against raccoon rabies. We are making the supplemental EA available to the public for review and comment.