USDA releases Environmental Assessment on ALB infestation in Clermont County

CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Homeowners in Clermont County are another step closer to saving thousands of trees from the Asian Longhorn Beetle, ALB.

Wednesday afternoon the United States Department of Agriculture released its much anticipated Environmental Assessment. The EA listed four options for eradicating ALB from the area.

1. No action.

2. Removal of infested trees and high risk host trees up to half a mile from infested trees (full host removal).

3. Removal of infested trees with chemical treatment of high risk host trees up to half a mile from infested trees.

4. Removal of infested host trees and a combination of removal or chemical treatment of high risk host trees.

Homeowners like Bill Skvarla and Nancy McCarthy prefer option three using a chemical injection to treat the tree and save it from ALB.

"It's cheaper, it's cleaner, it leaves the trees in tact, it leaves the ALB that's left in Bethel and not in Cincinnati," says homeowner Nancy McCarthy

McCarthy lost dozens of trees and memories from her front and back yard and its taken more than $4,000 to replace them.

"I don't trust the government anymore, I don't trust that they have our best interest at heart. I think that it's going to be a fight, I think we have to prevail because we're defending our homes, we're defending our lifestyles," says McCarthy.

"Our whole focus of course is to first eliminate the beetle but secondly to protect everyone of these healthy trees out here," says Skvarla.

The USDA's National ALB Program Manager Brendon Reardon wrote the EA and says the USDA wants to save healthy trees but does not endorse one option over the other in its assessment.

"We didn't introduce it, we don't want it here, we want to get rid of it just like the residents do and how that occurs is really unknown at this point," says Reardon.

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