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USDA PROPOSES CHANGES TO TREATMENT REGULATIONS

May 11, 2009

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to revise the phytosanitary treatment regulations in 7 CFR part 305 by removing the lists of approved treatments and treatment schedules from the regulations, while retaining the general requirements for performing treatments and certifying or approving treatment facilities.  APHIS would remove treatment schedules from other places where they are currently found in 7 CFR chapter III as well.  Approved treatment schedules would instead be found in the Plant Protection and Quarantine Treatment Manual, which is available on the Internet.

We are also proposing to establish a new process to provide the public with notice and the opportunity to comment on changes to treatment schedules.  Finally, we would harmonize and combine the requirements for performing irradiation treatment for imported articles, articles moved interstate from Hawaii and U.S. territories, and articles moved interstate from an area quarantined for fruit flies.  These changes would simplify and expedite our processes for adding, changing, and removing treatment schedules while continuing to provide for public participation in the process.  These changes would also simplify our presentation of treatments to the public by consolidating all treatments into one document and eliminating redundant text from the regulations.

This proposed action is scheduled for publication in the May 12 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before July 13.  You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

•     Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=DocketDetail&d=APHIS-2008-0022 to submit or view comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.
•     Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery:  Please send two copies of your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2008-0022, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD  20737-1238.  Please state that your comment refers to Docket No. APHIS-2008-0022.

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Note to Reporters:  Public notices and other APHIS information are available on the Internet.  Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usd.gov and click on the “Newsroom” button.  For additional information about this topic, contact Melissa O’Dell at (301) 734-5222 or by e-mail at Melissa.l.o’dell@aphis.usda.gov.

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