What were the primary findings of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Record of Decision (ROD)?

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In developing the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the FDA considered any adverse impacts that implementation of the proposed Produce Safety rule provisions and various alternatives could potentially have on the environment. The agency is also required to prepare a public document, called the Record of Decision (ROD), to address how the EIS findings are incorporated into decisions about the final rule and the ROD further explains potential impacts on the environment that could result from the Produce Safety Rule, as finalized. In the ROD, the agency explains how the provisions in the final rule best meet FDA’s public health goals while minimizing environmental impacts as much as possible. The primary benefit of this rule is expected to be a significant decrease in the number of foodborne illnesses every year. The rule has the potential to significantly impact the environment as a result of groundwater drawdown. However, the flexibility that has been introduced into the rule is expected to minimize the likelihood that this will occur.