Thursday, May 31, 2012

USDA Updates Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine Policy

Federal Order Focuses on Perimeter Areas

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012-- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) today issued a Federal Order updating its Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine policy. The Federal Order allows unrestricted interstate movement of regulated articles within contiguous federal quarantine boundaries, with the exception of movements to protected areas within the existing quarantine area. The change will become effective on July 1, 2012.

The protected areas include any area identified by a state as pest free for which the state has regulations to protect against the human assisted intrastate spread of EAB.

APHIS’s EAB program seeks to manage the invasive EAB using the best science and tools available, with emphasis on activities that are most effective in stopping/slowing the spread of EAB to new areas. APHIS is now modifying its policy to focus its regulatory efforts on the perimeter of quarantined areas. This will allow for the best use of available resources and reduce the complexity of the requirements for affected stakeholders.

The policy change will allow EAB regulated articles to move freely within contiguous quarantined areas, except interstate movement into the protected areas. Movements of regulated materials from quarantined areas to protected areas must be done with a properly issued federal certificate or limited permit. Requirements for movement of regulated materials out of the federal quarantined area, regardless of destination, will remain unchanged.

Companies and individuals should also check for and follow any relevant state EAB quarantine regulations.
Regulated EAB material includes all ash wood with the bark and sapwood remaining, ash nursery stock, and all hardwood firewood.

EAB is an invasive wood-boring beetle, native to China and eastern Asia, which targets ash trees. EAB probably arrived in North America hidden in wood packing materials commonly used to ship consumer and other goods. It was first detected in the United States in July 2002 and has since been found in 15 states.
Everyday human activities can facilitate the long distance spread of EAB, and expand the extent and range of the infestation in North America. For this reason, APHIS continues to encourage homeowners, campers, vacationers, and outdoor enthusiasts not to move firewood. The movement of untreated wood products made of ash has been found to advance the spread of EAB. EAB is responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees in the United States.

To view an updated EAB quarantine map, click here. For more information on APHIS’s EAB program, please visit


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