[Federal Register Volume 59, Number 24 (Friday, February 4, 1994)]
[Unknown Section]
[Page 0]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 94-2601]

[[Page Unknown]]

[Federal Register: February 4, 1994]

                                                    VOL. 59, NO. 24

                                           Friday, February 4, 1994


Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
[Docket No. 90-108-6]


Medfly Cooperative Eradication Program; Record of Decision Based 
on the Final Environmental Impact Statement

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: This notice advises the public of the Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service's record of decision for the Medfly Cooperative 
Eradication 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 review between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except 
holidays, at the following locations:
    APHIS Reading Room, room 1141, South Building, 14th Street and 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250;
    USDA-APHIS Library, room G180, Federal Building, 6505 Belcrest 
Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782;
     USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 9580 Micron Avenue, Suite I, Sacramento, 
CA 95827;
     USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 3505 Boca Chica Boulevard, Suite 360, 
Brownsville, TX 78521-4065;
     USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 3505 25th Avenue, Building 1, North, 
Gulfport, MS 39501;
     USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Blason II, 1st floor, 505 South Lenola 
Road, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
    Interested persons may obtain copies of the record of decision and 
the final environmental impact statement by writing to any of the 
addresses listed above with an asterisk or to the address listed below 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Harold T. Smith, Branch Chief, 
Environmental Analysis and Documentation, BBEP, APHIS, USDA, room 543, 
Federal Building, 6505 Belcrest Road, Hyattsville, MD 20782, (301) 436-

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On April 9, 1993, the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal Register (58 
FR 18366, Docket No. 90-108-3) a notice advising the public that APHIS 
had prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 
Medfly Cooperative Eradication Program. The notice also requested 
comments on the draft EIS to be received on or before May 24, 1993. On 
May 28, 1993, we published a notice reopening the comment period and 
extending it until June 18, 1993 (58 FR 31007, Docket No. 90-108-4). By 
close of business June 18, 1993, we had received 255 comments on the 
draft EIS. We carefully reviewed and considered all of the comments, 
and revised the draft EIS based on suggestions and information offered 
in the comments.
    On November 26, 1993, we published in the Federal Register (58 FR 
62322, Docket No. 90-108-5) a notice advising the public that APHIS, in 
cooperation with 12 other Federal and State organizations, had prepared 
a final EIS for the Medfly Cooperative Eradication Program. The final 
EIS includes a comprehensive analysis of all feasible methods for 
controlling the Mediterranean fruit fly. The final EIS was made 
available, and locations were provided where interested persons could 
review copies.
    This notice advises the public that APHIS has prepared a record of 
decision based on the final EIS. This record of decision has been 
prepared in accordance with: (1) The National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) (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 1b), and (4) APHIS Guidelines Implementing NEPA (44 FR 
50381-50384, August 28, 1979, and 44 FR 51272-51274, August 31, 1979).
    The Agency record of decision is set forth below.

Record of Decision; Final Environmental Impact Statement; Medfly 
Cooperative Eradication Program


    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health 
Inspection Service (APHIS) has prepared a final environmental impact 
statement (EIS) for the Medfly Cooperative Eradication Program. The EIS 
analyzed alternatives for eradication of the Mediterranean fruit fly 
(Medfly), a serious pest of agriculture that may in the future infest 
areas of the conterminous United States. 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.
    As described in the EIS, selection of an alternative (and 
associated control methods) for future Medfly programs will be on an 
individual basis, made only after site-specific assessment of the 
individual program areas. The selection of an alternative (and 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, as described in ``Environmental Monitoring Plan, Medfly 
Cooperative Eradication Program'' (incorporated by reference in this 
record of decision). I have determined that this course of action 
includes all practicable means to avoid or minimize environmental harm 
from Medfly control measures that may be employed by APHIS in future 
cooperative Medfly programs.

Alternatives Considered

    The alternatives considered within the EIS include: No action, 
Medfly suppression (including chemicals), Medfly suppression (no 
chemicals), Medfly eradication (including chemicals), and Medfly 
eradication (no chemicals). They were broad in scope and reflect the 
major choices that must be made for a future program. The action 
alternatives combined variously the use of control methods, also 
analyzed within the EIS. The control methods included chemical control, 
nonchemical control, and combined control (including integrated pest 
management or IPM). They are limited in scope and reflect the specific 
means by which the program objectives may be met. 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, a biological assessment for 
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 Medfly eradication.
    APHIS understands the potential consequences of control methods 
(especially chemical methods) used for Medfly eradication. Chemical 
control methods have greater potential for 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 
    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 pest species such as the Medfly. Given the current state of 
control technology, we believe that nonchemical control methods (used 
exclusively) are not capable of eradicating the Medfly. We know too 
that the net result of a decision not to use chemicals would be that 
other government entities or commercial growers are likely to use even 
more chemicals over a wider area, with correspondingly greater 
environmental impact. APHIS is convinced that, if eradication remains 
the objective, a coordinated and well-run government program that 
limits the use of pesticides to the minimum necessary to do the job is 
therefore in the best interests of the public and the environment. 
APHIS continues to support and favor the use of IPM strategies in 
achieving Medfly eradication.

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. The site-specific 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 of or need for additional program mitigative measures. The 
site-specific analysis process is described more fully in the EIS. 
Site-specific assessments will be made available to the public and 
APHIS will consider the public's perspective relative to individual 
    To avoid or minimize environmental harm, APHIS will follow all 
standard operational procedures and program mitigative measures 
developed for the Medfly Cooperative Eradication Program. These 
procedures (incorporated by reference in this record of decision) are 
fully described in the EIS, and include but are not limited to the 
following: Pesticide applicator certification, training and applicator 
orientation, special pesticide precautions for pesticide application, 
identification of sensitive sites, public notification procedures, and 
interagency coordination and consultation.

    December 29, 1993.
Lonnie J. King,
Acting Administrator.
    Done in Washington, DC, this 1st day of February, 1994.
Lonnie J. King,
Acting Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 94-2601 Filed 2-3-94; 8:45 am]