The final environmental impact report (EIR) for the Light Brown Apple Moth (LBAM) program has been released and is available for viewing at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/phpps/PDEP/lbam/envimpactrpt.html.

Completion of the EIR is required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and is a procedural step in the ongoing invasive pest program.

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 sterile release project is the preferred alternative identified in the EIR. CDFA is not currently considering aerial applications of pheromone.

The EIR states that eradication is the goal. However, the application is broad and would apply to either an eradication or control strategy, depending on the needs of the program.

"This is a significant step in this program," said CDFA Secretary A.G. Kawamura. "The environmental impact report reaffirms what we have long known — that the Light Brown Apple Moth project is a safe approach to dealing with a damaging pest. This report demonstrates CDFA’s commitment to protecting California’s environment and food supply.