[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 104 (Wednesday, May 30, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 31829-31830]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13057]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2011-0028]


Importation of Fresh Bananas From the Philippines Into the 
Continental United States; Availability of an Environmental Assessment

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we have prepared an 
environmental assessment relative to our recent proposal to allow the 
importation of fresh bananas from the Philippines into the continental 
United States. The environmental assessment documents our review and 
analysis of environmental impacts associated with the proposed action. 
We are making this environmental assessment available to the public for 
review and comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before June 
29, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0028-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2011-0028, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    The proposed rule, environmental assessment, other supporting 
documents, and any comments we receive may be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0028 or in our reading 
room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th 
Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room 
hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. 
To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 
before coming.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Meredith Jones, Regulatory

[[Page 31830]]

Coordination Specialist, PPQ, RPM, RCC, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 39, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1231; (301) 851-2289.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    In a proposed rule \1\ titled ``Importation of Fresh Bananas from 
the Philippines into the Continental United States'' and published in 
the Federal Register on April 16, 2012 (77 FR 22510-22514, Docket No. 
APHIS-2011-0028), we proposed to amend the regulations in 7 CFR part 
319 to allow the importation of fresh bananas from the Philippines into 
the continental United States. We initiated this proposal in response 
to a request from the national plant protection organization (NPPO) of 
the Philippines.
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    \1\ To view the proposed rule, the environmental assessment, and 
the pest risk assessment, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2011-0028.
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    To determine the potential pest risks inherent in allowing 
importation of fresh bananas from the Philippines, and to determine 
measures that might be effective in mitigating the pest risk, APHIS 
prepared a pest risk assessment and a risk management analysis. Based 
on the results of those studies, the proposed rule describes a systems 
approach under which bananas from the Philippines would have to be 
produced, packed, and transported in order to mitigate the potential 
risks associated with the importation. The systems approach is 
considered to be an appropriate safeguard to ensure that consignments 
of bananas from the Philippines would have a low likelihood of 
containing fruit with the potential to cause the introduction of a 
plant pest into the United States.
    APHIS' review and analysis of the potential environmental impacts 
associated with allowing the importation of fresh bananas from the 
Philippines into the continental United States are documented in detail 
in an environmental assessment entitled ``Importation of Bananas (Musa 
spp.) from the Philippines into the Continental United States'' (April 
2012). We are making this environmental assessment available to the 
public for review and comment. We will consider all comments that we 
receive on or before the date listed under the heading DATES at the 
beginning of this notice.
    The environmental assessment may be viewed on the Regulations.gov 
Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES above for a link to 
Regulations.gov and information on the location and hours of the 
reading room). You may request paper copies of the environmental 
assessment by calling or writing to the person listed under FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer to the title of the environmental 
assessment when requesting copies.
    The environmental assessment has been prepared in accordance with: 
(1) The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), as amended 
(42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of the Council on 
Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural provisions of 
NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations implementing NEPA 
(7 CFR part 1b), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing Procedures (7 CFR 
part 372).

    Done in Washington, DC, this 23rd day of May 2012.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2012-13057 Filed 5-29-12; 8:45 am]
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