[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 154 (Thursday, August 11, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-19566]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: August 11, 1994]


Agricultural Marketing Service

7 CFR Part 985

[Docket No. FV94-985-1FIR]


Spearmint Oil Produced in the Far West; Expenses and Assessment 
Rate for the 1994-95 Fiscal Year

AGENCY: Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (Department) is adopting as a 
final rule, without changes, the provisions of the interim final rule 
which authorized expenditures and established an assessment rate for 
the Spearmint Oil Administrative Committee (Committee) under Marketing 
Order 985 for the 1994-95 fiscal year. Authorization of this budget 
enables the Committee to incur expenses that are reasonable and 
necessary to administer this program. Funds to administer this program 
are derived from assessments on handlers.

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 1, 1994, through May 31, 1995.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Britthany Beadle, Marketing Order 
Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Division, AMS, USDA, P.O. 
Box 96456, room 2523-S, Washington, DC 20090-6456, telephone: (202) 
720-5127; or Robert Curry, Northwest Marketing Field Office, Fruit and 
Vegetable Division, AMS, USDA, 1220 SW. Third Avenue, room 369, 
Portland, Oregon 97204, telephone: (503) 326-2724.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This final rule is issued under Marketing 
Agreement and Order No. 985 [7 CFR Part 985] regulating the handling of 
spearmint oil produced in the Far West. The marketing agreement and 
order are effective under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 
1937, as amended [7 U.S.C. 601-674], hereinafter referred to as the 
    The Department of Agriculture (Department) is issuing this rule in 
conformance with Executive Order 12866.
    This final rule has been reviewed under Executive Order 12778, 
Civil Justice Reform. Under the marketing order provisions now in 
effect, spearmint oil produced in the Far West is subject to 
assessments. It is intended that the assessment rate specified herein 
will be applicable to all assessable oil produced during the 1994-95 
fiscal year, beginning June 1, 1994, through May 31, 1995. This final 
rule will not preempt any state or local laws, regulations, or 
policies, unless they present an irreconcilable conflict with this 
    The Act provides that administrative proceedings must be exhausted 
before parties may file suit in court. Under section 608c(15)(A) of the 
Act, any handler subject to an order may file with the Secretary a 
petition stating that the order, any provision of the order, or any 
obligation imposed in connection with the order is not in accordance 
with law and requesting a modification of the order or to be exempted 
therefrom. Such handler is afforded the opportunity for a hearing on 
the petition. After the hearing the Secretary would rule on the 
petition. The Act provides that the district court of the United States 
in any district in which the handler is an inhabitant, or has his or 
her principal place of business, has jurisdiction in equity to review 
the Secretary's ruling on the petition, provided a bill in equity is 
filed not later than 20 days after date of the entry of the ruling.
    Pursuant to the requirements set forth in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (RFA), the Administrator of the Agricultural Marketing 
Service (AMS) has considered the economic impact of this rule on small 
    The purpose of the RFA is to fit regulatory actions to the scale of 
business subject to such actions in order that small businesses will 
not be unduly or disproportionately burdened. Marketing orders issued 
pursuant to the Act, and rules issued thereunder, are unique in that 
they are brought about through group action of essentially small 
entities acting on their own behalf. Thus, both statutes have small 
entity orientation and compatibility.
    There are approximately 8 handlers of spearmint oil regulated under 
the marketing order each season and approximately 260 producers of 
spearmint oil in the Far West. Small agricultural producers have been 
defined by the Small Business Administration [13 CFR Sec. 121.601] as 
those having annual receipts of less than $500,000, and small 
agricultural service firms are defined as those whose annual receipts 
are less than $5,000,000. The majority of these handlers and producers 
may be classified as small entities.
    The marketing order, administered by the Department, requires that 
the assessment rate for a particular fiscal year apply to all 
assessable oil handled from the beginning of such year. Annual budgets 
of expenses are prepared by the Committee, the agency responsible for 
local administration of this marketing order, and submitted to the 
Department for approval. The members of the Committee are handlers and 
producers of spearmint oil. They are familiar with the Committee's 
needs and with the costs for goods, services, and personnel in their 
local area, and are thus in a position to formulate appropriate 
budgets. The Committee's budget is formulated and discussed in a public 
meeting. Thus, all directly affected persons have an opportunity to 
participate and provide input.
    The assessment rate recommended by the Committee is derived by 
dividing the anticipated expenses by expected shipments of oil. Because 
that rate is applied to actual shipments, it must be established at a 
rate which will provide sufficient income to pay the Committee's 
expected expenses.
    The Committee met on February 23, 1994, and unanimously recommended 
a total expense amount of $228,705, which is $30,705 more in expenses 
than in the 1993-94 fiscal year.
    The Committee also unanimously recommended an assessment rate of 
$0.09 per pound for the 1994-95 fiscal year, which is a $0.01 increase 
in the assessment rate from the previous fiscal year. The assessment 
rate, when applied to anticipated shipments of 1,727,388 pounds, would 
yield $155,464.92 in assessment income. This along with $8,000 in 
interest income and $65,240.08 from the Committee's authorized reserves 
will be adequate to cover estimated expenses.
    Major expense categories for the 1994-95 fiscal year include 
$94,200 for salaries, $30,000 for market development, and $20,000 for 
travel. Funds in the reserve at the end of the fiscal year, estimated 
at $169,166.84, will be within the maximum permitted by the order of 
one fiscal year's expenses.
    An interim final rule was published in the Federal Register [59 FR 
18948, April 21, 1994] and provided a 30-day comment period for 
interested persons. One comment was received.
    The comment states that the interim final rule should be revised to 
comply with Executive Order 12770 directing preferential use of the 
metric system of measurement by Federal departments and agencies. 
Projects or programs that directly affect individual farmers or farm 
programs have been granted a general exemption from this directive. The 
Department has determined that Marketing Agreements and Orders fall 
under this exemption. The industries involved do not use the metric 
system in the marketing of their products. To convert their trading 
practices to the metric system would disrupt trade and inflate costs. 
Changing order regulations to accommodate the metric system would not 
benefit the industry or consumers.
    Therefore, for the reasons stated, the Department is not making any 
changes in this final rule.
    While this action will impose some additional costs on handlers, 
the costs are in the form of uniform assessments on all handlers. Some 
of the additional costs may be passed on to producers. However, these 
costs should be significantly offset by the benefits derived from the 
operation of the marketing order. Therefore, the Administrator of the 
AMS has determined that this action will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    It is found that the specified expenses for the marketing order 
covered in this rule are reasonable and likely to be incurred and that 
such expenses and the specified assessment rate to cover such expenses 
will tend to effectuate the declared policy of the Act.
    It is further found that good cause exists for not postponing the 
effective date of this action until 30 days after publication in the 
Federal Register [5 U.S.C. 553] because the Committee needs to have 
sufficient funds to pay its expenses which are incurred on a continuous 
basis. The 1994-95 fiscal year for the program began June 1, 1994. The 
marketing order requires that the rate of assessment apply to all 
assessable oil handled during the fiscal year. In addition, handlers 
are aware of this action which was recommended by the Committee at a 
public meeting and published in the Federal Register as an interim 
final rule. One comment was received concerning the interim final rule 
that is adopted in this action as a final rule without change.

List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 985

    Marketing Agreements, Oils and fats, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Spearmint oil.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, 7 CFR Part 985 is 
amended as follows:


    1. The authority citation for 7 CFR Part 985 continues to read as 

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 601-674.

    Note: This section will not appear in the Code of Federal 

    2. The interim final rule adding Sec. 985.314 which was published 
at 59 FR 18949, is adopted as a final rule without change.

    Dated: August 4, 1994.
Robert C. Keeney,
Deputy Director, Fruit and Vegetable Division.
[FR Doc. 94-19566 Filed 8-10-94; 8:45 am]