USDA Seeks Public Input on Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for Deregulation of American Chestnut Developed Using Genetic Engineering
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting public comment on a Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare an environmental impact statement to examine the potential environmental impacts that may result from approving a petition from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY) seeking deregulation of an American chestnut variety designated as Darling 58. This American chestnut variety was developed using genetic engineering for tolerance to chestnut blight (Cryphonectria parasitica).
APHIS published SUNY’s petition on August 19, 2020, and solicited public comments for 60 days to aid the Agency in defining the scope and appropriate environmental documents to prepare for a fully informed decision on SUNY’s petition. In reviewing the public comments and information received during and after the comment period on SUNY’s petition, APHIS concluded that an environmental impact statement is necessary to assess the potential impacts to the environment from deregulating Darling 58 American chestnut.
The Federal Register notice of APHIS’ NOI can be viewed now on the News page of the APHIS Biotechnology Regulatory Services website. Beginning August 6, 2021, members of the public will be able to submit comments through September 7, 2021, by going to www.regulations.gov and entering “APHIS-2020-0030” into the Search field.