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November 24, 2009

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is advising the public that we have prepared a proposed environmental assessment relative to oral rabies vaccination programs in several states.  Since the publication of our original environmental assessment and decision/finding of no significant impact in 2001, we have prepared, and made available to the public for comment, several supplemental environmental assessments and decisions/findings of no significant impact in order to reflect changes in the program.  The new environmental assessment made available by this notice analyzes the further expansion the oral rabies vaccination program to include the states of New Mexico and Arizona, which is necessary to effectively combat the gray fox variant of the rabies virus.  The new environmental assessment is intended to facilitate planning and interagency coordination in the event of rabies outbreaks, help streamline program management and clearly communicate to the public the actions involved in the oral rabies vaccination program.

This notice is published in today’s Nov. 24 Federal Register.

Consideration will be given to comments receive on or before Dec. 24.  You may submit comments by either of the following methods:

•     Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to http://www.regulations.gov/fdmspublic/component/main?main=
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-2009-0087, 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-2009-0087.

Comments are posted on the Regulations.gov Web site and may also 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.


Note to Reporters:  Public notices and other APHIS information are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.  Go to the APHIS news release page at http://www.aphis.usda.gov and click on the “Newsroom” button to view and/or sign up to receive releases via the RSS feed link.  For additional information about this topic contact Carol Bannerman at (301) 734-6464 or by e-mail at carol.a.bannerman@aphis.usda.gov.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.  To file a complaint of discrimination, write:  USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C.  20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720.6382 (TDD).



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