USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection service extended the comment period on a proposal to establish boll weevil regulations restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles into or through commercial cotton-producing areas. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Feb. 1, 2007, as published in the Dec. 20 Federal Register.

These regulations are necessary to prevent spread of the boll weevil to non-infested areas. Under the proposed regulations, articles subject to the movement restrictions such as wild or ornamental cotton, seed cotton, gin trash and processing equipment must be accompanied by a permit when passing through commercial cotton-producing states. These articles present a risk of spreading the pest because the boll weevil, if present, can survive in these materials and could be transported to non-infested areas.

States designated commercial cotton-picking areas are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.

To submit comments, an original and three copies should be sent by postal mail or commercial delivery to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0002, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Maryland 29737-1238.