Withdrawal of an Environmental Assessment for the Field Release of Genetically Engineered Diamondback Moths, 78567 [2016-26935]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 216 / Tuesday, November 8, 2016 / Notices Done in Washington, DC, this 2nd day of November 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2016–26941 Filed 11–7–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2014–0056] Withdrawal of an Environmental Assessment for the Field Release of Genetically Engineered Diamondback Moths Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: We are advising the public that we are withdrawing an environmental assessment that was prepared by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service relative to a permitted environmental release of diamondback moths which have been genetically engineered for repressible female lethality and to express red fluorescence as a marker. While we reached a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) in connection with this action and posted that FONSI on our Web site, the public was not notified of the FONSI via publication of an associated notice in the Federal Register. We are therefore withdrawing the environmental assessment and FONSI. SUMMARY: Mrs. Chessa Huff-Woodard, Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 146, Riverdale, MD 20737– 1236; (301) 851–3943. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The regulations in 7 CFR part 340, ‘‘Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to Believe Are Plant Pests,’’ regulate, among other things, the introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and products are considered ‘‘regulated articles.’’ A permit must be obtained or a notification acknowledged before a regulated article may be released into the environment. The regulations set mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:27 Nov 07, 2016 Jkt 241001 forth the permit application requirements and the notification procedures for the importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment of a regulated article. Subsequent to a permit application from Cornell University (APHIS Permit Number 13–297–102r) seeking the permitted field release of three strains of GE diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella, strains designated as OX4319L-Pxy, OX4319N-Pxy, and OX4767A-Pxy, which have been genetically engineered to exhibit red fluorescence (DsRed2) as a marker and repressible female lethality, on August 28, 2014, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal Register a notice 1 (79 FR 51299–51300, Docket No. APHIS–2014– 0056) in which we announced the availability, for public review and comment, of an environmental assessment (EA) that examined the potential environmental impacts associated with the proposed release of the GE DBMs. We solicited comments on the EA for 30 days ending September 29, 2014. We received 287 comments by that date. The comments were from industry organizations, environmental and consumer advocacy groups, researchers, and private citizens. Based upon analysis described in the EA and a thorough review of the comments we received, APHIS determined that release of the GE DBMs would not have a significant impact on the quality of the human environment. This finding of no significant impact (FONSI) was posted on the APHIS Web site. In November 2014, APHIS issued Permit Number 13–297–102r, which allowed for open field release of the GE DBMs. No open field releases took place under this permit. In July 2015, the initial permit was amended to add caged releases to the list of allowable actions (APHIS Permit Number 13–297– 102r–a1). Caged releases pursuant to the amended permit occurred between July 2015 and March 11, 2016, when the permit was withdrawn. Although, as mentioned previously, we posted the FONSI on our Web site, we failed to formally advise the public of our FONSI regarding the release of GE DBMs via publication of a second notice in the Federal Register. Therefore, we are withdrawing the EA and FONSI associated with the August 28, 2014, notice. 1 To view the notice, supporting documents, and comments we received, go to http:// www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS2014-0056. PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78567 On March 16, 2016, APHIS received a permit application from Cornell University (APHIS Permit Number 16– 076–101r) seeking the permitted field release of GE DBMs in both open and caged releases. We are currently preparing an EA for this new application and will publish notices associated with the EA and FONSI (if one is reached) in the Federal Register. Done in Washington, DC, this 2nd day of November 2016. Kevin Shea, Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. [FR Doc. 2016–26935 Filed 11–7–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–34–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service [Docket No. APHIS–2016–0069] Availability of an Environmental Assessment for the Biological Control of Giant Reed Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments. AGENCY: We are advising the public that the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has prepared a draft environmental assessment relative to the control of giant reed (Arundo donax). The environmental assessment considers the effects of, and alternatives to, the field release of a gall-forming fly, Lasioptera donacis, into the continental United States for use as a biological control agent to reduce the severity of giant reed infestations. We are making the environmental assessment available to the public for review and comment. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before December 8, 2016. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Go to http://www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0069. • Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS–2016–0069, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A–03.8, 4700 River Road Unit 118, Riverdale, MD 20737–1238. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http:// www.regulations.gov/ #!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0069 or in our reading room, which is located in SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\08NON1.SGM 08NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 216 (Tuesday, November 8, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Page 78567]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-26935]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service

[Docket No. APHIS-2014-0056]


Withdrawal of an Environmental Assessment for the Field Release 
of Genetically Engineered Diamondback Moths

AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: We are advising the public that we are withdrawing an 
environmental assessment that was prepared by the Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service relative to a permitted environmental release 
of diamondback moths which have been genetically engineered for 
repressible female lethality and to express red fluorescence as a 
marker. While we reached a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) in 
connection with this action and posted that FONSI on our Web site, the 
public was not notified of the FONSI via publication of an associated 
notice in the Federal Register. We are therefore withdrawing the 
environmental assessment and FONSI.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mrs. Chessa Huff-Woodard, 
Biotechnology Regulatory Services, APHIS, 4700 River Road Unit 146, 
Riverdale, MD 20737-1236; (301) 851-3943.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The regulations in 7 CFR part 340, 
``Introduction of Organisms and Products Altered or Produced Through 
Genetic Engineering Which Are Plant Pests or Which There Is Reason to 
Believe Are Plant Pests,'' regulate, among other things, the 
introduction (importation, interstate movement, or release into the 
environment) of organisms and products altered or produced through 
genetic engineering that are plant pests or that there is reason to 
believe are plant pests. Such genetically engineered (GE) organisms and 
products are considered ``regulated articles.'' A permit must be 
obtained or a notification acknowledged before a regulated article may 
be released into the environment. The regulations set forth the permit 
application requirements and the notification procedures for the 
importation, interstate movement, or release into the environment of a 
regulated article.
    Subsequent to a permit application from Cornell University (APHIS 
Permit Number 13-297-102r) seeking the permitted field release of three 
strains of GE diamondback moth (DBM), Plutella xylostella, strains 
designated as OX4319L-Pxy, OX4319N-Pxy, and OX4767A-Pxy, which have 
been genetically engineered to exhibit red fluorescence (DsRed2) as a 
marker and repressible female lethality, on August 28, 2014, the Animal 
and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) published in the Federal 
Register a notice \1\ (79 FR 51299-51300, Docket No. APHIS-2014-0056) 
in which we announced the availability, for public review and comment, 
of an environmental assessment (EA) that examined the potential 
environmental impacts associated with the proposed release of the GE 
DBMs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ To view the notice, supporting documents, and comments we 
received, go to http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-
2014-0056.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We solicited comments on the EA for 30 days ending September 29, 
2014. We received 287 comments by that date. The comments were from 
industry organizations, environmental and consumer advocacy groups, 
researchers, and private citizens.
    Based upon analysis described in the EA and a thorough review of 
the comments we received, APHIS determined that release of the GE DBMs 
would not have a significant impact on the quality of the human 
environment. This finding of no significant impact (FONSI) was posted 
on the APHIS Web site.
    In November 2014, APHIS issued Permit Number 13-297-102r, which 
allowed for open field release of the GE DBMs. No open field releases 
took place under this permit. In July 2015, the initial permit was 
amended to add caged releases to the list of allowable actions (APHIS 
Permit Number 13-297-102r-a1). Caged releases pursuant to the amended 
permit occurred between July 2015 and March 11, 2016, when the permit 
was withdrawn.
    Although, as mentioned previously, we posted the FONSI on our Web 
site, we failed to formally advise the public of our FONSI regarding 
the release of GE DBMs via publication of a second notice in the 
Federal Register. Therefore, we are withdrawing the EA and FONSI 
associated with the August 28, 2014, notice.
    On March 16, 2016, APHIS received a permit application from Cornell 
University (APHIS Permit Number 16-076-101r) seeking the permitted 
field release of GE DBMs in both open and caged releases. We are 
currently preparing an EA for this new application and will publish 
notices associated with the EA and FONSI (if one is reached) in the 
Federal Register.

    Done in Washington, DC, this 2nd day of November 2016.
Kevin Shea,
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-26935 Filed 11-7-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-34-P