[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 117 (Tuesday, June 18, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 36507-36508]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-14468]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2013-0007]


Notice of Availability of a Treatment Evaluation Document; Methyl 
Bromide Fumigation of Blueberries

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we have determined that it is 
necessary to immediately add to the Plant Protection and Quarantine 
Treatment Manual an additional treatment schedule for methyl bromide 
fumigation of blueberries for Mediterranean fruit fly and South 
American fruit fly. We have prepared a treatment evaluation document 
that describes the new treatment schedule and explains why we have 
determined that it is effective at neutralizing these fruit flies. We 
are making the treatment evaluation document available to the public 
for review and comment.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 
August 19, 2013.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0007-0001.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2013-0007, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
1238.
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-
0007 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: Dr. Inder P.S. Gadh, Senior Risk 
Manager--Treatments, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, 
MD 20737; (301) 851-2018.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The regulations in 7 CFR chapter III are intended, among other 
things, to prevent the introduction or dissemination of plant pests and 
noxious weeds into or within the United States. Under the regulations, 
certain plants, fruits, vegetables, and other articles must be treated 
before they may be moved into the United States or interstate. The 
phytosanitary treatments regulations contained in part 305 of 7 CFR 
chapter III (referred to below as the regulations) set out standards 
for treatments required in parts 301, 318, and 319 of 7 CFR chapter III 
for fruits, vegetables, and other articles.
    In Sec.  305.2, paragraph (b) states that approved treatment 
schedules are set out in the Plant Protection and

[[Page 36508]]

Quarantine (PPQ) Treatment Manual.\1\ Section 305.3 sets out a process 
for adding, revising, or removing treatment schedules in the PPQ 
Treatment Manual. In that section, paragraph (b) sets out the process 
for adding, revising, or removing treatment schedules when there is an 
immediate need to make a change. The circumstances in which an 
immediate need exists are described in Sec.  305.3(b)(1). They are:
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    \1\ The Treatment Manual is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/index.shtml or by 
contacting the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant 
Protection and Quarantine, Manuals Unit, 92 Thomas Johnson Drive, 
Suite 200, Frederick, MD 21702.
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     PPQ has determined that an approved treatment schedule is 
ineffective at neutralizing the targeted plant pest(s).
     PPQ has determined that, in order to neutralize the 
targeted plant pest(s), the treatment schedule must be administered 
using a different process than was previously used.
     PPQ has determined that a new treatment schedule is 
effective, based on efficacy data, and that ongoing trade in a 
commodity or commodities may be adversely impacted unless the new 
treatment schedule is approved for use.
     The use of a treatment schedule is no longer authorized by 
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or by any other Federal 
entity.
    A treatment schedule currently listed in the PPQ Treatment Manual 
(T101-i-1-1) requires blueberries to be treated with methyl bromide at 
70[emsp14][deg]F or above using 2 lbs gas/1,000 ft\3\ for 3.5 hours at 
normal atmospheric pressure whether in chambers or under tarpaulin to 
mitigate risk from two fruit fly species, Ceratitis capitata 
(Mediterranean fruit fly, or Medfly) and Anastrepha fraterculus (South 
American fruit fly). Because the 70[emsp14][deg]F-or-above requirement 
has presented an undue economic hardship for the exporters, in 2009 
Argentina requested and subsequently provided the supporting efficacy 
data for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to 
approve a new methyl bromide treatment to be applied in chambers at a 
lower temperature (59[emsp14][deg]F or above) for control of Medfly and 
South American fruit fly. After reviewing the data provided, APHIS 
found the results to be acceptable with a slight modification of 
temperature.
    In accordance with Sec.  305.3(a)(1), we are providing notice that 
we have determined that it is necessary to add treatment schedule T101-
i-1-2, which provides for a methyl bromide treatment schedule for 
blueberries at a temperature of 60[emsp14][deg]F at a dosage rate of 2 
lbs gas/1,000 ft\3\ for an exposure period of 3.5 hours in a chamber. 
In order to have minimum adverse impact on the on-going trade of 
blueberries and using the immediate process as provided in Sec.  
305.3(b), this change is effective immediately upon publication of this 
notice. This treatment schedule will be listed in a separate section of 
the PPQ Treatment Manual, which will indicate that T101-i-1-2 was added 
through the immediate process described in paragraph (b) of Sec.  305.3 
and that it is subject to change or removal based on public comment.
    The reasons for the addition of this treatment schedule are 
described in detail in a treatment evaluation document we have prepared 
to support this action. The treatment evaluation document may be viewed 
on the Regulations.gov Web site or in our reading room (see ADDRESSES 
above for instructions for accessing Regulations.gov and information on 
the location and hours of the reading room). You may request paper 
copies of the treatment evaluation document by calling or writing to 
the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Please refer 
to the subject of the treatment evaluation document when requesting 
copies.
    After reviewing the comments we receive, we will announce our 
decision regarding the new treatment schedule that is described in the 
treatment evaluation document in a subsequent notice, in accordance 
with paragraph (b)(3) of Sec.  305.3. If we do not receive any 
comments, or the comments we receive do not change our determination 
that the treatment is effective, we will affirm the treatment 
schedule's addition to the PPQ Treatment Manual and make available a 
new version of the PPQ Treatment Manual in which T101-i-1-2 is listed 
in the main body of the PPQ Treatment Manual. If we receive comments 
that cause us to determine that T101-i-1-2 needs to be changed or 
removed, we will make available a new version of the PPQ Treatment 
Manual that reflects changes to or the removal of T101-i-1-2.

    Authority:  7 U.S.C. 7701-7772 and 7781-7786; 21 U.S.C. 136 and 
136a; 7 CFR 2.22, 2.80, and 371.3.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 12th day of June 2013.
Kevin Shea,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-14468 Filed 6-17-13; 8:45 am]
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