APHIS public comment on EIS analyzing fruit fly eradication programs

USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is seeking public comment on an updated environmental impact statement (EIS) that analyzes the effects of exotic fruit fly eradication programs in the United States and its territories.

APHIS last published an EIS on the environmental effects of the fruit fly cooperative control program in 2001, and there have been significant scientific and technological advances since then. As a result, APHIS is seeking comments on a new EIS that will analyze the environmental effects of control alternatives available to the agency. Under the National Environmental Policy Act, Federal agencies must examine the potential environmental effects of proposed Federal actions and alternatives significantly affecting the quality of the human environment before taking that action.

Exotic (non-native) fruit flies cause significant damage and economic losses. These losses include the destruction of host fruits and vegetables, financial and environmental costs of trapping and treatment, and the loss of market share from the restriction of exports. APHIS uses an integrated pest management approach to eradicate infestations including chemical and nonchemical control measures. Chemical options may include applications of insecticides and/or the use of detection and control attractants. Nonchemical control methods include sterile insect technique (SIT) and fruit stripping from areas in and around the detection sites.

This notice identifies potential issues and alternatives that will be studied in the environmental impact statement, and requests public comments to further delineate the scope of the alternatives and environmental impacts and issues.

APHIS will consider all comments received on or before 9/26/2016.


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