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The following was published in Beauregard Daily News, September 6th, 2000, DeRidder, Beauregard Parish, Louisiana.

Department of the Army
Headquarters, Joint Readiness
Training Center (JRTC)
and Fort Polk
Fort Polk, Louisiana

Finding of No Significant Impact (FNSI)

On August 29, 2000, Colonel Fred P. Pickens, U.S. Army Deputy Commander, JRTC and Fort Polk made a decision to allow the 7th Chemical Company to conduct aerial releases of a biological simulant during ongoing field training exercises with the Biological Integrated Detection System (BIDS). The simulant approved for use is the spore form of Bacillus Subtillis, a non-pathogenic bacterium commonly found in soils, water and decomposing plant material. Prior to use, the bacterial spores will be irradiated and thereby rendered non-viable. (dead) The simulant will be released at three sites on Army owned land at the JRTC and Fort Polk. Release of the simulant will be conducted in accordance with an approved Standing Operating Procedure governing the storage, handling and use; Releases will occur only under meteorological conditions where off-post drift of the simulant is not probable. Use of the irradiated B. subtillis spores under the approved conditions poses no risk to human health or the environment. Aerial release of the simulant will allow the 7th Chemical company to simulate the release of a biological agent by hostile forces and to train in the operation of BIDS equipment to detect such releases.

The decision was based on a FNSI and the accompanying environmental assessment (EA). The FNSI and EA were prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. (42 U.S.C. 4321 et req.) Council on Environmental Quality Regulations (40 CFR Parts 1500-1508) and Army Regulation 200-2, "Effects of Army Actions" (32 CFR Part 651). Additional information and copies of the EA and FNSI may be obtained from the JRTC and Fort Polk Public Affairs Office. (PAO) At the address below. Comment regarding this decision may also be submitted to the PAO for 30 days following the date of this notice.

Public Affairs Office
ATTN: Carol Conner
7078 Radio Road
Fort Polk, La. 71459-5342

For further information you can contact Public Affairs at Ft. Polk. Contact:
Carol Conner . I have several old numbers to Ft. Polk's Public Affairs
( 337-531-1344, 337-531-2714, 337-531-7203.)

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