Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is amending the Karnal bunt regulated areas in La Paz, Maricopa, and Pinal Counties in Arizona.
Following a review of the 2018 survey of regulated areas, APHIS will reduce the regulated area by 21,048 field acres in accordance with the criteria listed in 7 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) § 301.89-3(f). Therefore, restrictions are no longer required on the interstate movement of Karnal bunt regulated articles from these areas. Specifically, APHIS is removing 3,268 field acres from La Paz County, 16,349 field acres from Maricopa County, and 1,431 field acres from Pinal County from the list of regulated areas. The acres removed in La Paz County are part of the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation that is home to the Chemehuevi, Mohave, Hopi, and Navajo Tribes.
In addition, APHIS is adding 301 field acres in the Paloma area of Maricopa County and 331 field acres in the Maricopa area of Pinal County to the list of regulated areas. APHIS is adding these fields because they are located on land that was reclaimed for agricultural use and is within the boundary of the Karnal bunt quarantine, not because APHIS has detected Karnal bunt in these fields.
APHIS is taking this regulatory action to prevent the spread of Karnal bunt from Arizona. Karnal bunt is a pest that affects wheat quality. 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. More information on Karnal bunt is available 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.