Preparation of the EIS
As part of the biotechnology regulatory revision process, APHIS is preparing a Programmatic environmental impact statement (pEIS) that evaluates the environmental impacts of updating its regulations. Programmatic EISs are often prepared for actions that typically involve the agency, an entire program or a substantial program component. These actions are characterized by their broad scope (often global or nationwide) and potential impacts (potentially impacting a wide range of environmental quality values or indicators) and whether or not affected individuals or systems may be completely identified at the time.
The EIS Process
APHIS' Notice of Intent
On June 29, 2018, USDA APHIS published a Notice of Intent (NOI), advising the public that it intends to prepare a programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) in connection with potential changes to the regulations for the importation, interstate movement, and environmental release of certain genetically engineered (GE) organisms.
The NOI announced a scoping period during which written and other comments on the content of the programmatic EIS will be gathered. APHIS will thoroughly review and consider all public input submitted during the 30-day comment period on the notice of intent and use the information as it works to complete, and then publish, the draft pEIS and a draft proposed rule.