The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared a final environmental assessment (EA) that addresses the environmental impacts of releasing the beetle Lilioceris egena to biologically manage air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera) in the continental United States. After careful analysis and review of comments, APHIS has determined that the release of this control agent within the continental United States will likely not have a significant impact on the environment and an environmental impact statement need not be prepared.
Air potato is an herbaceous vine that can grow 65 feet long or more and is capable of displacing or hybridizing native vegetation. APHIS plans to issue permits for the release of L. egena to reduce the severity of air potato infestations in Florida and Gulf states.
APHIS has reviewed and considered all public input submitted during the comment period and used the information to complete the final EA. To view the notice, supporting documents, and the comment we received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and enter APHIS-2019-0068 in the Search field.
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