[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 40 (Thursday, February 28, 2002)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9245-9247]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-4806]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. 02-009-1]


Fruit Fly Cooperative Control Program; Record of Decision Based 
on Final Environmental Impact Statement--2001

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: This notice advises the public of the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service's record of decision for the Fruit Fly Cooperative 
Control Program final environmental impact statement.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the record of decision and the final environmental 
impact statement on which the record of decision is based are available 
for public inspection at USDA, room 1141, South Building, 14th Street 
and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays. To be sure someone is 
there to help you, please call (202) 690-2817 before coming. The 
documents may also be viewed on the Internet at http://
www.aphis.usda.gov/ppd/es/ppq/fffeis.pdf.
    Copies of the record of decision and the final environmental impact 
statement may be obtained from:
    Environmental Services, PPD, APHIS, USDA, 4700 River Road Unit 149, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1237; (301) 734-6742; Western Regional Office, PPQ, 
APHIS, USDA, 1629 Blue Spruce, Suite 204, Ft. Collins, CO 80524; or
    Eastern Regional Office, PPQ, APHIS, USDA, 920 Main Campus, Suite 
200, Raleigh, NC 27606-5202.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Harold Smith, Environmental 
ProtectionOfficer, Environmental Services, PPD, APHIS, 4700 River Road 
Unit 149, Riverdale, MD 20737-1237; (301) 734-6742.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice advises the public that the 
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared a 
record of decision based on the Fruit Fly Cooperative Control Program 
final environmental impact statement. This record of decision has been 
prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act 
of 1969 (NEPA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.), (2) regulations of 
the Council on Environmental Quality for implementing the procedural 
provisions of NEPA (40 CFR parts 1500-1508), (3) USDA regulations 
implementing NEPA (7 CFR part 1), and (4) APHIS' NEPA Implementing 
Procedures (7 CFR part 372).
    The Agency record of decision is set forth below.

Record of Decision; Fruit Fly Cooperative Control Program; Final 
Environmental Impact Statement--2001

Decision

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared a final environmental impact 
statement (EIS) for its Fruit Fly Cooperative Control Program. The EIS 
analyzed alternatives for control of various exotic fruit fly pests 
that threaten United States agricultural and environmental resources. 
After considering fully the analysis presented in the EIS (including 
supportive documents cited or incorporated by reference), I have 
accepted the findings of the EIS.
    The selection of alternatives for individual future fruit fly 
programs will be on an individual basis, made only after site-specific 
assessment of the individual program areas. The selection of an 
alternative (and its associated control methods) will consider the 
findings of the EIS, the site-specific assessment, the public response, 
and any other relevant information available to APHIS at the time. 
APHIS will conduct environmental monitoring, and prepare environmental 
monitoring plans that are specific to each program, which will describe 
the purpose of the monitoring and the nature of the samples to be 
collected and analyzed. Also, APHIS will implement an emergency 
response communication plan for each future program that has been 
designed to reduce risk to the public. I have determined that this 
course of action includes all practicable means to avoid or minimize 
environmental harm from fruit fly control measures that may be employed 
by APHIS in future fruit fly control programs.

Alternatives Considered

    The alternatives considered within the EIS include: No action, a 
nonchemical program, and an integrated program (the preferred 
alternative). The integrated program alternative includes both 
nonchemical and chemical component methods. The alternatives are broad 
in scope and reflect the major choices that must be made for future 
programs. In addition to control methods, the action alternatives 
include exclusion (quarantines and inspections) and detection and 
prevention (including sterile insect technique) methods. The EIS 
considered and compared the potential impacts of the alternatives as 
well as their component control methods.

Decisional Background

    In arriving at this decision, I have considered pertinent risk 
analyses, chemical background statements, information on endangered and 
threatened species, and other technical documents whose analyses and 
conclusions were integrated into and summarized within the EIS. I have 
also considered APHIS' responsibilities under various statutes or 
regulations, the technological feasibilities of the alternatives and 
control methods, and public perspectives relative to environmental 
issues. Although scientific controversy may exist relative to the 
severity of potential impacts, especially with regard to pesticide 
impacts, I am satisfied that APHIS has estimated correctly the impacts 
of alternatives for fruit fly control.
    APHIS understands the potential consequences of control methods 
(especially chemical control methods) used for fruit fly control. 
Chemical control methods have greater potential for direct adverse 
environmental consequences than nonchemical control methods. Chemical 
pesticides have the potential to adversely affect human health, 
nontarget species, and physical components of the environment. APHIS 
fully appreciates the dangers pesticides may pose, especially to 
sensitive members of communities, and consequently has made a 
significant effort to research and develop the use of newer, less 
harmful pesticides. One such pesticide, the microbially produced 
biological insecticide spinosad, shows great promise and will be used 
as a direct replacement for malathion where possible in future fruit 
fly programs.
    APHIS is committed to the rational use of chemical pesticides and 
strives to reduce their use wherever possible. However, APHIS has 
statutory obligations that require it to act decisively to eliminate 
foreign fruit fly pests that invade our country. Given the current 
state of control technology, we believe that nonchemical control 
methods (used exclusively) are not capable of eradicating most fruit 
fly species. We know too that the net result of a decision not to use 
chemicals would be that other government entities or commercial growers 
would be likely to use even more chemicals over a wider area, with 
correspondingly greater environmental impact. APHIS is convinced that 
coordinated and well-run government programs that limit the use of 
pesticides to the minimum necessary to do the job are in the best 
interests of the public and the environment. APHIS continues to support 
and favor the use of integrated pest management strategies for control 
of fruit fly pests.

Final Implementation

    In all cases, a site-specific assessment will be made prior to the 
time a decision is made on the control methods that will be used on a 
particular program. That

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assessment will consider characteristics such as unique and sensitive 
aspects of the program area, applicable environmental and program 
documentation, and applicable new developments in environmental science 
or control technologies. The site-specific assessment will also confirm 
the adequacy or need for additional program mitigative measures. Site-
specific assessments will be made available to the public, and APHIS 
will consider the public's perspective relative to individual programs.
    To avoid or minimize environmental harm, APHIS will implement 
appropriate risk reduction strategies, as described in chapter VI of 
the EIS. These strategies are fully described in the EIS and include 
but are not limited to the following: Pesticide applicat or 
certification, training and applicator orientation, special pesticide 
handling, precautions for pesticide application, identification of 
sensitive sites, public notification procedures, and interagency 
coordination and consultation.
    (The record of decision was signed by Richard L. Dunkle, Deputy 
Administrator, Plant Protection and Quarantine, APHIS, on February 5, 
2002.)

    Done in Washington, DC, this 22nd day of February 2002.
W. Ron DeHaven,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 02-4806 Filed 2-27-02; 8:45 am]
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