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Andrea McNally  (202) 690-4178
Angela Harless     (202) 720-4623

USDA EXTENDS COMMENT PERIOD ON PROPOSAL TO REVISE REGULATIONS FOR THE MOVEMENT OF FLORIDA CITRUS

WASHINGTON, July 24, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today announced that it is extending the comment period to August 7 on the proposed rule amending its citrus canker regulations to eliminate pre-harvest grove inspection for all Florida citrus moving interstate.  This 15-day extension will allow interested parties additional time to prepare and submit their comments. 

This proposed rule would eliminate the requirement for inspections in the citrus grove and instead focus on sampling each lot of citrus at the packinghouse level to ensure the fruit is disease free.  APHIS is proposing this regulatory action because a recently completed risk management analysis concluded that mandatory packinghouse inspection of commercially packed fruit provides an effective safeguard to prevent the spread of citrus canker to other citrus-producing states. 

This extension notice is scheduled for publication in the July 27 Federal Register.  The proposed rule was published in the June 21 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before August 7.  One original and three copies by postal mail or commercial delivery comments should be sent to Docket No. APHIS-2007-0022, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238.  For comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the agency drop-down menu; then click on “Submit.”  In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2007-0022 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

Comments are posted on the Regulations.gov Web site and also can be reviewed at USDA, Room 1141, South Building, 14th St. and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., 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) 690-2817.

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