Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending the Karnal bunt regulated areas in Maricopa and Pinal Counties in Arizona. Specifically, it reduces the regulated area in Maricopa County and increases the regulated area in Pinal County.
Following a review of available information, APHIS determined that 131 fields qualify for deregulation in accordance with the criteria listed in 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 301.89-3(f). Accordingly, restrictions are no longer required on the interstate movement of Karnal bunt regulated articles from these areas. Specifically, APHIS is removing a total of 5,189 acres from the list of regulated areas in Maricopa County, Arizona, including 1,612 acres of tribal land.
In addition, APHIS is adding 12,292 field acres in Pinal County, Arizona, to the Karnal bunt regulated area in response to the detection of 36 Karnal bunt-positive fields. The additional area in the county includes 4,071 acres in the Queen Creek area and 8,221 acres, which includes 1,741 acres of tribal land, in the Maricopa area. Following the completion of field surveys of Karnal bunt regulated areas, we have determined that these fields meet the criteria for regulation outlined in 7 CFR § 301.89-3(e).
APHIS is taking this regulatory action to prevent the spread of Karnal bunt from Arizona. Karnal bunt is a pest that affects wheat quality; however, APHIS regulates this plant disease because many trading partners require that U.S. wheat be certified as grown in areas free of Karnal bunt. APHIS will follow this emergency action with the publication of an interim rule in the Federal Register. The Karnal bunt regulations can be found at the following website:
Under IPPC standards, Tilletia indica is considered to be a pest that is present in portions of Arizona and is under eradication in the United States.