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USDA Prepares to Issue an Environmental Impact Statement for the National Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program

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Contact:
Rhonda Santos, (508) 852-8044
rhonda.j.santos@aphis.usda.gov

Greg Rosenthal, (301) 851-4054
gregory.j.rosenthal@aphis.usda.gov

USDA Prepares to Issue an Environmental Impact Statement for the National Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program

Washington, August 29, 2013 -- The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announces plans to issue an Environmental Impact Statement for the National Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Eradication Program.

“APHIS is planning to issue an Environmental Impact Statement to analyze the effects of eradicating the Asian longhorned beetle from wherever it might occur in the United States,” states Dr. Robyn Rose, National Policy Manager for APHIS' National Asian Longhorned Beetle Eradication Program.  “By doing so, we hope to obtain input from interested persons regarding any significant environmental impacts as well as reasonable alternatives to future ALB eradication efforts.”

The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is an analysis that will insure that the policies and goals defined in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are implemented into the ongoing ALB eradication programs and actions.  It also will identify potential issues and alternatives with efforts to fight the beetle.  The EIS requests public comments to further delineate the scope of the alternatives and environmental impacts and issues. 

The EIS process begins with publication of the Notice of Intent (NOI).  The NOI was published in the Federal Register on Friday, August 16, 2013 and is available for comment.  The NOI is available through the following link:  www.federalregister.gov/articles/2013/08/16/2013-19957/environmental-impact-statement-asian-longhorned-beetle-eradication-program

APHIS will consider all comments received before September 30, 2013.  Comments regarding the environmental impact statement may be submitted by either of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal:  Go to www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0003-0001.
  • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery:  Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0003, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737-1238.

Documents and comments received may be viewed online at: www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2013-0003

Documents and comments received may also be viewed in the USDA reading room, which is located in room 1141 of the USDA South Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC.  Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays.  To be sure someone is there to help you, please call (202) 799-7039 before coming.

Following the conclusion of the NOI, the next step in the EIS process is the submission of a draft EIS.  The issuance of the draft EIS for public comment provides another opportunity for input from interested persons.  A date for when the draft EIS will be issued is undetermined at this time, but the draft EIS will be available for interested persons to view once issued.

For questions related to the ALB environmental impact statement, contact Dr. Jim Warren, Environmental Protection Specialist, Environmental and Risk Analysis Services, PPD, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 149, Riverdale, MD 20737; (202) 316-3216.

For more information about the Asian longhorned beetle, please visit www.aphis.usda.gov or www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com or call the ALB toll free hotline at 1-866-702-9938. 

USDA has made a concerted effort to deliver results for the American people, even as USDA implements sequestration – the across-the-board budget reductions mandated under terms of the Budget Control Act. USDA has already undertaken historic efforts since 2009 to save more than $828 million in taxpayer funds through targeted, common-sense budget reductions. These reductions have put USDA in a better position to carry out its mission, while implementing sequester budget reductions in a fair manner that causes as little disruption as possible.

 

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