Public Invited to Review Gypsy Moth Environmental Documents

Comments due March 30 for seven proposed eradication projects

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) are now accepting public comments on a proposed plan to eradicate introductions of gypsy moth at seven sites in Western Washington totaling more than 10,000 acres.

When a proposed treatment is being considered, state and federal laws require two environmental documents assessing the impact of the treatment on the environment. These documents must then be made available to the public for review and comment. The first of these documents, a draft environmental assessment prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), is now available for review.

Visit WSDA’s gypsy moth web page at agr.wa.gov/GypsyMoth to review the document. Copies of the NEPA documents may also be viewed at the following libraries:

  • Washington State Library, Point Plaza East, 6880 Capital Blvd., Olympia
  • Vancouver Public Library, 901 C Street, Vancouver
  • Kent Library, 212 2nd Ave. N., Kent
  • Seattle Public Library (Capitol Hill Branch) 425 Harvard Ave. E., Seattle
  • Lacey Timberland Library, 500 College St. SE, Lacey
  • Fife Pierce County Library, 6622 20th St. E, Fife
  • Gig Harbor Library, 4424 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor

The second document, prepared in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), will be available for review at the same libraries and on WSDA’s website beginning March 16. Comments on both documents are due March 30.

The gypsy moth is the most destructive forest pest ever introduced in the United States and can also affect urban landscapes where the caterpillars feed on host trees, plants and shrubs. Gypsy moth has defoliated millions of acres of trees across states in the Northeast and Midwest.

This past summer, 42 gypsy moths were trapped – 32 European gypsy moths and 10 Asian gypsy moths. If the gypsy moth eradication project is approved, treatments will likely begin in April at all locations where Asian gypsy moths were caught and one site in Seattle where 22 European gypsy moths were caught. Three to five applications of a biological insecticide approved for use on organic food crops would be applied during aerial operations in the early morning, each four to 10 days apart.

For more information on the proposed project, background on gypsy moth or to sign up for notifications prior to any treatments, visit the website or call the WSDA toll-free hotline at 1-800-443-6684.

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