APHIS and ODA will be hosting an informational forum

Staff report

Program officials with the United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Ohio Department of Agriculture will host an informational forum Feb. 11 to answer questions about the recently issued revised environmental assessment.

The revised assessment, which was released Jan. 16, provides additional information, research and a preferred alternative for the continued eradication of the Asian longhorned beetle, an invasive pest that was found in Tate Township in June of 2011.

The forum will be held at the ALB Eradication Project Office, 1761 State Route 125, Suite C, in the conference room from 5-7 p.m.

According to a release from USDA-APHIS officials, the forum will be an open house style format allowing members of the community to come and go as they please.

The forum will offer the opportunity for individuals to provide written comments or verbal comments through a stenographer.

The comment period for the revised environmental assessment is open until Feb. 16.

The revised environmental assessment is available at www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/ea/alb.shtml.

There is also a fact sheet about the revised assessment available on the website.

Paper copies of the environmental assessment can be obtained by contacting Robyn Rose at robyn.i.rose@aphis.usda.gov or by mail at USDA/APHIS/PPQ, ALB Eradication Program, 4700 River Road, Unit 137, Riverdale MD 20737.

Comments about the environmental assessment can be sent to Robyn Rose via email or by mail.

More information about the Asian longhorned beetle, and links to the environmental assessment documents, can be found at www.beetlebusters.info.