USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced a proposal to establish boll weevil regulations restricting the interstate movement of regulated articles into or through commercial cotton-producing areas.

USDA said the regulations are necessary to prevent the spread of the boll weevil to non-infested areas. To date, the highly-migratory boll weevil has caused an estimated $22 billion in yield losses and control costs to the U.S. cotton industry.

Under the proposal, 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 transiting through commercial cotton-producing states.

Notice of the proposed rule was included in the Oct. 31 Federal Register. Consideration will be given to comments received on or before Jan. 2, 2007.

Send an original and three copies of postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0002, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Rd., Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238.

For Internet comments, go to the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov, select “Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service” from the drop-down menu; then click on “Submit.” In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0002 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.