March 22, 2010, News Update:
CERTIFICATION COMPLETE FOR LIGHT BROWN APPLE MOTH ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
SACRAMENTO, March 22, 2010 — The final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) project has been certified and a notice of determination filed with the State Office of Planning and Research. The notice and other EIR documents may be viewed by visiting http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/PDEP/lbam/envimpactrpt.html When certifying the EIR, CDFA issued a clarification that aerial treatment with moth pheromones is not a management tool. Additionally, CDFA concurs with the USDA’s recent announcement that the program has shifted from eradication to suppression and control. The EIR determined that it was unlikely that the approaches in the LBAM program would cause human harm or environmental damage, and found that greater potential for human and environmental harm would come from widespread pesticide use by private parties and organizations in the absence of an LBAM program. The approaches evaluated include the use of moth pheromone, organically-approved materials, and sterile moths. The only two treatment methods being considered currently are the placement of pheromone twist ties on trees and plants, and the release of sterile moths. The LBAM program will now move forward to evaluate treatment options.
Napa County Agricultural Commissioner's office, with great cooperation from the farming community, has been very busy with the Light Brown Apple Moth program. Our primary objective has been to provide information to the regulated community and issue required compliance agreements that allow movement of harvested commodities from properties within the quarantine area. We held a series of meetings for winegrape growers and other producers of agricultural commodities as well as nurseries and landscapers. In addition, we mass mailed information to as many wineries as possible. All of this was done to minimize the artificial spread of LBAM while at the same time minimize any disruption to effected businesses. During harvest we are prioritizing commodity inspections based upon destination, focusing on international and inter-state shipments first, then on shipments to non-regulated counties and areas, and finally shipments within the quarantine area.
Total Crop Acreage under Quarantine: 31,754 Number of Growers within Quarantine Area: 378 Number of Compliance Agreements Issued: 1,788* (*compliance agreements and associated exhibits) Growers: 372 Haulers: 380 Wineries: 261 Farmers' Markets: 6 Community Gardens: 8 Nurseries: 38 Green Waste Facilities/Handlers: 126 Federal Shields: 540
Number of LBAM Detection Traps deployed in County: 909 As of September 8, 2009, our office and the LBAM project have caught approximately 123 actual or suspected Light Brown Apple Moths (pending laboratory confirmation). Almost all of the finds have been in the American Canyon and Carneros areas.
As before, we are asking you to educate yourself and your employees about what the LBAM looks like at each stage of its development. You may call the office at (707) 253-4357 and we will send you training material or you will find educational resources here on our website. If you find an insect you suspect may be LBAM, please bring it to our office at 1710 Soscol Avenue, Napa. We will submit it to CDFA for identification.
You may recall that a Sterile Insect Technique pilot project is under way in a 3 square mile area of Carneros involving the release of sterile LBAM. The United States Department of Agriculture is conducting the work and the purpose of the project is to gather information related to different methods of release and dispersal of the sterile moths, their behavior and longevity in the environment, etc. While the actual release of sterile LBAM has not yet started, it is likely to happen within the next few weeks.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has released the draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the statewide LBAM project for a 60 day public comment period, with the comment period ending on September 28, 2009.
A new report from the National Research Council finds that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is within its broad regulatory authority to classify California's invasive Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) as an "actionable" pest.