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APHIS Issues Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the National Fruit Fly Cooperative Control Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is posting a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the national fruit fly cooperative control program for public comment. The draft EIS considers potential environmental impacts from each of the alternatives proposed for the national fruit fly cooperative control program should various non-native fruit fly species be detected in the United States or its associated territories.

APHIS’ preferred alternative is to eradicate exotic fruit fly infestations using an integrated pest management approach, which includes chemical and nonchemical control measures. Chemical options may include applying insecticides and/or using detection and control attractants. Nonchemical control methods include sterile insect technique (SIT) and fruit stripping from areas in and around detection sites.

APHIS last published an EIS for the national fruit fly cooperative control program in 2001. Since then, there have been significant scientific and technological advances. APHIS recently initiated the EIS process to take into account these changes and identify any environmental issues on a national level that might arise when addressing exotic fruit fly infestations.

APHIS prepared the draft EIS consistent with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act. The draft EIS published today is available for review and public comment for 45 days on regulations.gov.

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 due to export restrictions. APHIS works in cooperation with affected State agencies to detect and eradicate non-native fruit flies and has, to date, successfully eradicated various species of this serious pest.

For questions related to the draft EIS, 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 information about the national fruit fly cooperative control program please view available resources at http://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant-health/ff.

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