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EPA approves biological control for the weed privet

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved an application to release privet lace bug (Leptophya hospita) as a biological control agent for the weed privet (Ligustrum spp.).

The applicant is the Waikato Regional Council, on behalf of the National Biocontrol Collective, which represents 12 regional councils/unitary authorities and the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Privet is considered to be a significant weed, and is too abundant in many regions to be controlled by conventional methods. It is proposed the privet lace bug be introduced to feed on the leaves of the privet weed. The aim is to reduce the growth and productivity of this invasive weed.

The EPA invited submissions on the application on 20 January 2015 and received eight submissions, which are available on our website. Six submissions were in support of the application and a further two submissions neither supported nor opposed the application. None of the submitters requested to be heard on their submissions, so no hearing was held for this application.

The Decision-making Committee has approved the application without controls in accordance with the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act.

View decision, submissions and application details: http://www.epa.govt.nz/search-databases/Pages/applications-details.aspx?appID=APP202262

The EPA’s role is to decide on applications for new organisms under the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act. We assess the benefits, risks and costs of releasing new organisms to safeguard people and the environment.

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