Daily Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of the Federal Government
APHIS documents published in the
Karnal bunt is a fungal disease of wheat (
Upon detection of Karnal bunt in Arizona in March of 1996, Federal quarantine and emergency actions were imposed to prevent the interstate spread of the disease to other wheat producing areas in the United States. The quarantine continues in effect, although it has since been modified, both in terms of its physical boundaries and in terms of its restrictions on the production and movement of regulated articles from regulated areas. The regulations regarding Karnal bunt are set forth in 7 CFR 301.89-1 through 301.89-16 (referred to below as the regulations).
The regulations in § 301.89-3(e) provide that we will classify a field or area as a regulated area when it is:
• A field planted with seed from a lot found to contain a bunted wheat kernel;
• A distinct definable area that contains at least one field that was found during a survey to contain a bunted wheat kernel. The distinct definable area may include an area where Karnal bunt is not known to exist but where intensive surveys are required because of the areas's proximity to a field found during survey to contain a bunted wheat kernel; or
• A distinct definable area that contains at least one field that was found during survey to contain spores consistent with Karnal bunt and has been determined to be associated with grain at a handling facility containing a bunted wheat kernel. The distinct definable area may include an area where Karnal bunt is not known to exist but where intensive surveys are required because of that area's proximity to a field that has been associated with grain at a handling facility containing a bunted wheat kernel.
The boundaries of distinct definable areas are determined using the criteria in paragraphs (b) through (d) of § 301.89-3, which provide for the regulation of less than an entire State, the inclusion of noninfected acreage in a regulated area, and the temporary designation of nonregulated areas as regulated areas. Paragraph (c) of § 301.89-3 states that the Administrator may include noninfected acreage within a regulated area due to its proximity to an infestation or inseparability from the infected locality for regulatory purposes, as determined by:
• Projections of the spread of Karnal bunt along the periphery of the infestation;
• The availability of natural habitats and host materials within the noninfected acreage that are suitable for establishment and survival of Karnal bunt; and
• The necessity of including noninfected acreage within the regulated area in order to establish readily identifiable boundaries.
When we include noninfected acreage in a regulated area for one or more of the reasons previously listed, the noninfected acreage, along with the rest of the acreage in the regulated area, is intensively surveyed. Negative results from surveys of the noninfected acreage provide assurance that all infected acreage is within the regulated area. In effect, the noninfected acreage serves as
The regulations in § 301.89-3(f) describe the boundaries of the regulated areas in Arizona, California, and Texas. Certain regulated areas include noninfected acreage that functions as a buffer zone to guard against the spread of Karnal bunt. Our current policy is to utilize a 3-mile-wide buffer zone around fields or areas affected with Karnal bunt. Based on over 7 years of experience surveying noninfected acreage included in regulated areas, we have determined that a buffer zone of no more than 3 miles is sufficient.
In this interim rule, we are amending § 301.89-3(f) by modifying the list of regulated areas associated with Karnal bunt. Specifically, we are adding certain areas in Arizona to the list of regulated areas either because the fields within those areas were found during detection and delineating surveys to contain a bunted wheat kernel, or because the fields within those areas fall within the 3-mile-wide buffer zone around fields affected with Karnal bunt. This action is necessary in order to help prevent the spread of Karnal bunt into noninfected areas of the United States.
As part of this same rule, we are also removing certain areas from the list of regulated areas in California because recently completed detection and delineating surveys show them to be free of Karnal bunt. This action relieves restrictions on those areas that are no longer warranted.
The list of regulated areas in Arizona includes individual fields and other distinct definable areas located in La Paz, Maricopa, and Pinal Counties. In this interim rule, we are adding new regulated areas in Maricopa and Pinal Counties due to the detection of bunted wheat kernels there or as a result of the application of the 3-mile-wide buffer zone around fields affected with Karnal bunt. These additional regulated areas in Maricopa and Pinal Counties involve approximately 2,589 acres (57 fields).
We are removing from the list of regulated areas in California a total of 42,802 acres (1,093 fields) located in the Palo Verde Valley of eastern Riverside County. Bunted kernels have never been found in the fields of the Palo Verde Valley that we are deregulating; these fields had been designated as regulated areas based on the detection of spores in the fields and the fields' association with bunted kernels found in a storage facility. As an additional safeguard, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) plant pathologists routinely perform size-selective sieving prior to examination for bunted kernels. CDFA has not found spores present in samples that had no bunted kernels. We believe that this data allows us to deregulate these 1,093 fields.
In addition, all 1,093 fields have been used to grow non-host, cultivated crops since the time they were placed under regulation. All of the fields have been cultivated no fewer than 9 times, with some having been cultivated 25 times over the course of 6 seasons.
This rulemaking is necessary on an immediate basis to help prevent Karnal bunt from spreading to noninfected areas of the United States. This rule will also relieve restrictions on certain fields or areas that are no longer warranted. Under these circumstances, the Administrator has determined that prior notice and opportunity for public comment are contrary to the public interest and that there is good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553 for making this rule effective less than 30 days after publication in the
We will consider comments we receive during the comment period for this interim rule (see
This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12866. For this action, the Office of Management and Budget has waived its review under Executive Order 12866.
This emergency situation makes timely compliance with section 604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601
This program/activity is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under No. 10.025 and is subject to Executive Order 12372, which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. (See 7 CFR part 3015, subpart V.)
This rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform. This rule: (1) Preempts all State and local laws and regulations that are inconsistent with this rule; (2) has no retroactive effect; and (3) does not require administrative proceedings before parties may file suit in court challenging this rule.
This rule contains no new information collection or recordkeeping requirements under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501
Agricultural commodities, Plant diseases and pests, Quarantine, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.
7 U.S.C. 7701-7772; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.
Section 301.75-15 also issued under Sec. 204, Title II, Pub. L. 106-113, 113 Stat. 1501A-293; sections 301.75-15 and 301.75-16 also issued under Sec. 203, Title II, Pub. L. 106-224, 114 Stat. 400 (7 U.S.C. 1421 note).
(f) * * *
(2) Beginning at the intersection of the Maricopa/Pinal County line and the southwest corner of sec. 31, T. 2 S., R. 5 E.; then north to the southeast corner of sec. 25, T. 2 S., R. 5 E.; then west to the southwest corner of sec. 25, T. 2 S., R. 5 E.; then north to the northwest corner of sec. 24, T. 2 S., R. 4 E.; then west to the southwest corner of sec. 15, T. 2 S., R. 4 E.; then north to the northwest corner of sec. 3, T. 2 S., R. 4