[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 39 (Friday, February 27, 2015)]
[Pages 10661-10662]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-04172]



Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2015-0007]

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

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of availability.


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 a new treatment schedule for methyl bromide fumigation 
of figs for external pests, including Chilean false red mite. 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 pests. 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 May 
28, 2015.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0007.
     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to 
Docket No. APHIS-2015-0007, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, 
APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-
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.

Manager-Treatments, PPQ, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 133, Riverdale, MD 
20737; (301) 851-2018.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 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 7 CFR part 305 (referred to below as the 
regulations) set out standards for treatments required in 7 CFR parts 
301, 318, and 319 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 10662]]

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:

    \1\ The Treatment Manual is available on the Internet at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/manuals/ports/downloads/treatment.pdf 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.

     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 
    A treatment schedule currently listed in the PPQ Treatment Manual 
(T101-i-2-1) requires baby kiwi (Actinidia arguta), fig (Ficus carica), 
grape (Vitis spp.), and pomegranate (Punica granatum) to be treated 
with methyl bromide (MB) to prevent the introduction into the United 
States of external pests, including Chilean false red mite (Brevipalpus 
chilensis). The treatment as originally approved required the use of 
1.5 lb [ballot] 4.0 lb of MB gas per 1,000 ft\3\ for 2 hours at 
temperatures of 40 [deg]F or above. However, in 2006, APHIS determined 
that this treatment was insufficient to mitigate the risk from the mite 
on grapes. Therefore, as an emergency measure, the treatment was 
amended to require a longer exposure time of up to 3 hours under 
tarpaulin or 2.5 hours in chamber. As an emergency measure, this action 
was done administratively and was not meant to be permanent.
    On April 4, 2011, APHIS published a notice \2\ in the Federal 
Register (76 FR 18511-18512, Docket No. APHIS-2009-0097) that approved 
the use of this revised treatment to treat figs from Chile in order to 
meet U.S. entry requirements. Since publication of that notice, we have 
determined that figs have a higher sorption rate of the MB gas than 
other commodities. Therefore, in order to achieve 100 percent mortality 
of Chilean false red mite on figs, the figs must be exposed to a higher 
dose of MB.

    \2\ To view the notice and the comments we received, go to 

    In accordance with Sec.  305.3(b)(2), we are providing notice that 
we have determined that it is necessary to add new treatment schedule 
T101-i-2-22, which provides for a MB treatment schedule for figs during 
an exposure period of 3 hours in a chamber at a dosage rate of 3.5 lbs 
gas/1,000 ft\3\ at a temperature between 50[emsp14][deg]F and 
59[emsp14][deg]F, 3 lbs gas/1,000 ft\3\ at a temperature between 
60[emsp14][deg]F and 69[emsp14][deg]F, and 2.5 lbs gas/1,000 ft\3\ at a 
temperature of 70[emsp14][deg]F or above. Since the efficacy of new 
schedule T101-i-2-2 was not verified under tarpaulin, the new treatment 
schedule is applicable only in chambers. This action also amends 
treatment schedule T101-i-2-1 by removing figs from the schedule and 
making the revised treatment schedule permanent. Revised treatment 
schedule T101-i-2-1 will continue to be applicable both in chambers and 
under tarpaulin for grapes, baby kiwis, and pomegranates. APHIS' 
experience with successful importation of these commodities using the 
existing treatment schedule has provided sufficient evidence to prove 
the effectiveness of the treatment. In order to have minimum adverse 
impact on the ongoing trade of figs and using the immediate process as 
provided in Sec.  305.3(b), these changes are effective immediately 
upon publication of this notice. The new treatment schedule will be 
listed in a separate section of the PPQ Treatment Manual, which will 
indicate that T101-i-2-22 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 
    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-2-2 is listed 
in the main body of the PPQ Treatment Manual. If we receive comments 
that cause us to determine that T101-i-2-2 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-2-2.

    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 23rd day of February 2015.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2015-04172 Filed 2-26-15; 8:45 am]