[Federal Register Volume 60, Number 116 (Friday, June 16, 1995)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Page 31647]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 95-14815]

Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.


Federal Register / Vol. 60, No. 116 / Friday, June 16, 1995 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 31647]]


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

7 CFR Part 335

[Docket No. 93-026-4]
RIN 0579-AA61

Introduction of Nonindigenous Organisms

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Proposed rule; withdrawal.


SUMMARY: We are withdrawing a proposed rule to establish regulations 
governing the introduction (importation, interstate movement, and 
release into the environment) of certain nonindigenous organisms. 
Additionally, we are notifying the public of our intent to publish an 
advance notice of proposed rulemaking to solicit further public comment 
regarding what should be proposed in any new proposed rule. We are 
taking this action after considering the comments on the proposed rule.

DATES: Withdrawal of proposed rule effective June 16, 1995.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Matthew H. Royer, Chief Operations 
Officer, Biological Assessment and Taxonomic Support, PPQ, APHIS, Suite 
4A01, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 734-



    On January 26, 1995, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register (60 FR 5288-
5307, Docket No. 93-026-1) to establish regulations governing the 
introduction (importation, interstate movement, and release into the 
environment) of certain nonindigenous organisms. In that document, 
APHIS stated that the proposed rule appeared to be necessary because 
the plant pest regulations under which the movement of certain 
nonindigenous organisms are currently regulated do not adequately 
address the introduction of nonindigenous organisms that may 
potentially be plant pests. The proposed regulations were intended to 
provide a means of screening certain nonindigenous organisms prior to 
their introduction to determine the potential plant pest risk 
associated with a particular introduction.
    We initially solicited comments on the proposed rule for 60 days 
ending on March 27, 1995. We also hosted three public hearings 
regarding the proposed rule during that initial comment period, in 
Kansas City, MO, on March 6, 1995; in Sacramento, CA, on March 7, 1995; 
and in Washington, DC, on March 10, 1995. We received several requests 
for an extension of the comment period to allow interested parties 
additional time to comment on the proposal, as well as a request that 
we hold a public hearing in Hawaii. In response to those requests, we 
published a notice in the Federal Register on March 21, 1995 (60 FR 
14928-14929, Docket No. 93-026-2), that extended the comment period for 
the proposed rule until May 26, 1995, and announced that a public 
hearing would be held in Honolulu, HI, on April 6, 1995.
    By the close of the extended comment period, we had received a 
total of 251 comments. The comments were submitted by farmers; weed 
control committees and districts; university researchers; biological 
control researchers, producers, distributors, and practitioners; waste 
treatment and recycling facilities; composters; members of Congress; 
local, State, and Federal agencies; commercial laboratories; organic 
farmers and cooperatives; private citizens; a fish hatchery; 
collections and museums; industry associations; scientific societies; 
and foreign government agencies.
    None of the commenters supported the proposed rule as written. Some 
commenters requested that the proposed rule be withdrawn and 
reconsidered, while others recommended that we incorporate changes in 
any final rule to be published. Many commenters disagreed with the 
proposed lists of regulated organisms and exempted organisms, or 
expressed the belief that the proposed rule would impose unnecessary 
restrictions on the introduction of organisms. Finally, many commenters 
disagreed with APHIS' analysis of the economic impact of the proposed 
rule, stating that they believed that the costs of complying with the 
proposed regulations would be greater than APHIS had anticipated.

    After considering all the comments, we have concluded that we 
should not proceed with a final rule based on the proposal because the 
revisions that would be necessary to reconcile the proposed regulations 
with the very diverse views expressed in the comments would be so 
significant that the final rule would be substantially different from 
the proposed rule on which the public had the opportunity to comment. 
Therefore, we are withdrawing the January 26, 1995, proposed rule. We 
do, however, plan to develop new proposed regulations to address the 
inadequacies in our current plant pest regulations and to provide a 
means of screening organisms prior to their introduction to determine 
the potential plant pest risks associated with such introductions. The 
concerns and recommendations of all those who commented on the proposed 
rule that we are withdrawing will be considered during the development 
of any new proposed regulations. Further, we will publish an advance 
notice of proposed rulemaking in a future issue of the Federal Register 
to solicit additional input from interested persons and to present 
opportunities for additional public participation in discussions of the 
scope, rationale, and basis of any new proposed regulations.

    Authority: 7 U.S.C. 150aa-150jj, 151-164a, 167, and 1622(n); 31 
U.S.C. 9701; 42 U.S.C. 4331 and 4332; 7 CFR 2.17, 2.51, and 

    Done in Washington, DC, this 9th day of June 1995.

Terry L. Medley,

Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.

[FR Doc. 95-14815 Filed 6-13-95; 1:45 pm]