The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced its intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will evaluate the environmental impacts that may result from the potential approval of a permit application from Southern Gardens Citrus Nursery, LLC, for the environmental release of genetically engineered (GE) Citrus tristeza virus (CTV). Southern Gardens’ purpose for requesting the permit is to use GE CTV as a biological control agent to help manage citrus greening disease, which poses a significant threat to American citrus trees.
 
APHIS requests that the public reviews its Notice of Intent (NOI) and provide comments to help identify potential issues and impacts APHIS should consider in its evaluation of the permit application. The NOI will be published in the Federal Register on April 10, 2017.
 
APHIS will thoroughly review and consider all public input submitted during the 30-day comment period and use the information as it works to complete, and then publish, the draft EIS. There will be another public comment period after publication of the draft EIS.