United States Standards for Sunflower Seed
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is seeking comment from the public regarding the United States (U.S.) Standards for Sunflower Seed under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA). To ensure that standards and official grading practices remain relevant, GIPSA invites interested parties to comment on whether the current sunflower seed standards and grading practices need to be changed.
Prohibitions in Region 8, Southern Region
The Chattooga Wild and Scenic River is located in the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina, the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina and the Chattahoochee National Forest in Georgia. Forest Service regulations generally prohibit floating activities on the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River unless authorized by a permit. On January 31, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service issued decisions to change some of the locations where, and conditions under which, boating would be allowed. Consequently, the Forest Service proposes to amend the regulations to more accurately reflect the new management direction for the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River.
National Organic Program: Notice of Final Guidance for Accredited Certifying Agents and Certified Operations on Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation
The National Organic Program (NOP) is announcing the availability of a final guidance document intended for use by accredited certifying agents and certified operations. The guidance document is entitled: Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation (NOP 5020). This guidance document is intended to inform the public of NOP's current thinking on this topic.
United States Standards for Oats
The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is seeking comment from the public regarding the United States (U.S.) Standards for Oats under the United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA). To ensure that standards and official grading practices remain relevant, GIPSA invites interested parties to comment on whether the current oats standards and grading practices need to be changed.
Request for Public Comment on Services Currently Offered or Needed To Facilitate the Marketing of Grain and Related Products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) is informing the public that it is soliciting comments to ensure that current services reflect market needs to facilitate the marketing of grain and related commodities. Specifically, GIPSA is inviting comments from producers, handlers, processors, food manufacturers, exporters, importers, consumers, scientists, academicians, industry stakeholders, and other interested persons on how GIPSA can best facilitate the marketing of grains, oilseeds, rice, pulses, and related products or products made from them, including co-products of ethanol production, commonly referred to as distillers' grains, based on market-identified quality attributes. To ensure that standards and official grading practices remain relevant in the market, GIPSA invites interested parties to comment on the relevance of current standards, methods, and grading practices, and on potential market needs for new standards or services.
Minimum Quality and Handling Standards for Domestic and Imported Peanuts Marketed in the United States; Change to the Quality and Handling Requirements
This proposed rule would implement a recommendation from the Peanut Standards Board (Board) to revise the minimum quality and handling standards for domestic and imported peanuts marketed in the United States (Standards). The Board advises the Secretary of Agriculture regarding potential changes to the Standards and is comprised of producers and industry representatives. This proposed rule would revise the minimum quality, positive lot identification, and reporting and recordkeeping requirements under the Standards. It would also make numerous other changes to better reflect current industry practices and to revise outdated language. The Board believes these changes would make additional peanuts available for sale, help increase efficiencies, and reduce costs to the industry.
Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002; Biennial Review and Republication of the Select Agent and Toxin List; Amendments to the Select Agent and Toxin Regulations
In accordance with the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002, we are proposing to amend and republish the list of select agents and toxins that have the potential to pose a severe threat to animal or plant health, or to animal or plant products. The Act requires the biennial review and republication of the list of select agents and toxins and the revision of the list as necessary. This action would implement the findings of the fourth biennial review of the list. In addition, we are proposing several amendments to the regulations, including the addition of provisions to address the inactivation of select agents, provisions addressing biocontainment and biosafety, and clarification of regulatory language concerning security, training, incident response, and records. These changes would increase the usability of the select agent regulations as well as provide for enhanced program oversight.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Review of Major Changes in Program Design and Management Evaluation Systems
This rule finalizes provisions of the proposed rule entitled Review of Major Changes in Program Design and Management Evaluation Systems, which was published May 3, 2011. This final rule amends the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly the Food Stamp Program) regulations to implement section 4116 of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA). Section 4116 of the FCEA, Review of Major Changes in Program Design, requires the United States Department of Agriculture (the Department) to identify standards for major changes in operations of State agencies' administration of SNAP. The provision also requires State agencies to notify the Department if they implement a major change in operations and to collect and report data that can be used to identify and correct problems relating to integrity and access, particularly for certain vulnerable households. This final rule establishes criteria for changes that would be considered ``major changes'' in program operations and identifies the data State agencies must report in order to identify problems relating to integrity and access. It also sets forth when and how State agencies must report on the implementation of a major change. This rule also amends Management Evaluation (ME) Review regulations by modifying the requirements for State reviews. The rule revises the definitions of large, medium and small project areas. Finally, it removes sections of the regulations pertaining to coupons and coupon storage since they are obsolete.