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APHIS Invites Public Comment on Draft Environmental Assessment for First Seven States Affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has completed a Draft Environmental Assessment (EA), “Emergency Response for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Outbreaks in Seven States” and a Draft Decision and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the EA.

An Emergency Declaration was made per 7 CFR 372.10(b) for USDA APHIS to respond to highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks within Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New York, and Virginia and those actions have been completed.

This draft emergency EA evaluates the potential environmental impacts from the proposed action in which USDA APHIS would work together with state and local authorities and affected owners in HPAI response activities within the seven States from this date forward. These activities would potentially include monitoring wild birds and poultry, depopulating and disposing of HPAI-infected domestic poultry flocks, disinfecting premises, and conducting follow up monitoring and quarantine release. Similar responses and activities would occur in any additional States where HPAI would be detected, and supplemental assessments of potential environmental impacts will be prepared for outbreaks in these additional States.

Due, in part to APHIS invoking the process for rapid response to emergencies in 7 CFR 372.10, APHIS is making the draft EA and FONSI simultaneously available for public comment until May 31, 2022. Substantive comments received will be considered before issuing a final environmental document and decision.

Interested parties may view the Draft EA and FONSI and submit comments at
https://www.regulations.gov/docket/APHIS-2022-0031 or by visiting www.regulations.gov and typing APHIS-2022-0031 into the search bar.

The following is the contact for questions or requesting a draft EA or FONSI:

Attn: HPAI Environmental Assessment
USDA APHIS PPD Environmental and Risk Analysis Services
4700 River Road, Unit 149
Riverdale, MD 20737
(301) 851-3089


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