Joelle Hayden (301) 851-4040
Lyndsay Cole (970) 494-7410
WASHINGTON, Aug. 7, 2012—The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking comment on its regulatory strategy for responding to domestic chrysanthemum white rust (CWR) outbreaks and its policy on the importation of CWR host plants and plant material.
APHIS stakeholders have expressed interest in revisiting the regulatory status of CWR due to its limited host range, frequent detection within the United States, and the cost of eradication and control measures. After evaluating the comments, APHIS will determine whether to propose changes to existing regulations pertaining to CWR. Changes could include continuing to regulate CWR as a quarantine pest and dealing with detections on a case-by-case basis, establishing generally applicable regulations to address the presence of the disease within the United States, or deregulating CWR entirely.
CWR is an economically important disease in field and greenhouse production of chrysanthemum plants and cut flowers. Current APHIS regulations require domestic survey and monitoring for CWR, as well as quarantine, destruction, and treatment measures for host plants found to be infected with CWR. APHIS also restricts or prohibits the importation of CWR host plants for planting and cut flowers of CWR host plants.
With Agriculture Secretary Vilsack's leadership, APHIS works tirelessly to create and sustain opportunities for America's farmers, ranchers and producers. Each day, APHIS promotes U.S. agricultural health, regulates genetically engineered organisms, administers the Animal Welfare Act, and carries out wildlife damage management activities, all to safeguard the nation's agriculture, fishing and forestry industries. In the event that a pest or disease of concern is detected, APHIS implements emergency protocols and partners with affected states and other countries to quickly manage or eradicate the outbreak. To promote the health of U.S. agriculture in the international trade arena, APHIS develops and advances science-based standards with trading partners to ensure America's agricultural exports, valued at more than $137 billion annually, are protected from unjustified restrictions.
This action was published in the Aug. 3 Federal Register.
Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Oct. 2, 2012. Please send your postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2012-0001, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238. If you wish to submit a comment using the Internet go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2012-0001-0001.
Comments are posted on the Regulations.gov website and may also be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. To facilitate entry into the comment reading room, please call (202) 799-7039.
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