USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) invites the public to review and comment on the draft environmental assessment relative to the control of giant reed (Arundo donax). This environmental assessment considers the effects of, and alternatives to, the field release of a gall-forming fly into the continental United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of giant reed infestations that are pervasive in the riparian areas of the Southwest United States, especially in California and the Rio Grande area of Texas.
Giant reed infestations lead to loss of biodiversity, stream bank erosion, altered channel morphology, damage to bridges, increased costs for chemical and mechanical control along transportation corridors, and impediment of law enforcement activities on the international border. Many Federal and State agencies, as well as private entities, conduct programs to manage giant reed, as well as other invasive weeds. APHIS is proposing to issue permits for the field release of a gall-forming fly, Lasioptera donacis, into the continental United States to reduce the severity of giant reed infestations.
The public is invited to review and comment on the environmental assessment by December 8, 2016. Learn more at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0069.