APHIS Adds All of Arkansas and Shawnee County, Kansas, to the Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) Regulated Area

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding all of Arkansas and Shawnee County, Kansas, to the list of regulated areas for the emerald ash borer (EAB). APHIS is taking this action in response to the expansion of EAB in these areas.

To prevent the spread of EAB to other states, the attached Federal Order outlines specific conditions for the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles from the quarantined area in the state of Arkansas, and Shawnee County, Kansas. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from the quarantined areas in Arkansas and Shawnee County, Kansas, is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading

APHIS Removes Portions of the Townships of Batavia and Stonelick, Clermont County, Ohio, from the Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) Quarantine Are

Effective immediately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is removing five square miles from the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) regulated area in portions of the Townships of Batavia and Stonelick, Clermont County, Ohio. APHIS determined that this area can be removed from quarantine after the program completed the final surveys of host trees within the regulated area. The regulated area in the Township of Monroe and the regulated area in the Township of Tate, along with the entirety of East Fork State Park and portions of the East Fork Wildlife Area, remain in effect. Continue reading

APHIS Prohibits the Importation of Pomegranate Arils from Peru into the United States due to Mediterranean Fruit Fly (Ceratitis capitata)

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) prohibits the importation of pomegranate arils from Peru into the United States. APHIS is taking this action in response to two detections of Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly) larvae in commercial shipments of pomegranate arils from Peru.

Prior to this Federal Order, pomegranate arils were commercially enterable into the United States with inspection at the first port of entry. In May 2018, Customs and Border Protection Agriculture Specialists at Los Angeles International Airport detected Medfly larvae in two commercial consignments of pomegranate arils from Peru. Due to the pest risk, APHIS has determined that prohibition of pomegranate arils from Peru is immediately necessary to prevent the entry of Medfly into the United States, pending an investigation and appropriate remedial measures. This prohibition applies to both commercial shipments and passenger baggage. This prohibition does not affect the commercial importation of whole pomegranate fruit from Peru, which remain enterable with treatment. Continue reading

APHIS Updates Regulated Areas in Miami-Dade County for Giant African Snail (Lissachatina fulica, formally Achatina fulica)

On May 1, 2017, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) removed giant African snail (GAS) regulated area Zone O from the list of quarantined areas in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Subsequently, on December 21, 2017, APHIS also removed areas Zone D, Zone Q, Zone R, and Zone U. APHIS and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) collaborated to develop the protocol for removing areas from quarantine. Under the protocol, FDACS and APHIS use the following criteria to deregulate a quarantined area/zone:

  • Surveillance and treatment efforts for 17 months with no detection of live GAS
  • An additional 19 months of surveillance with no detection of live GAS
  • A minimum of one negative detector dog survey
  • A minimum of one negative night survey, when snails can be more active

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APHIS Makes Pest Risk Assessment for Dandelion Greens From Mexico Available for Review

The government of Mexico has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the importation of fresh dandelion greens for consumption into the continental United States, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity upon importation if no mitigations are applied.

APHIS shares draft pest risk assessments to determine whether stakeholders have information that might lead us to revise the draft assessment before we identify pest mitigations and proceed with official rulemaking. Continue reading

APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) Releases 2017 Annual Report

Every day, PPQ employees and our partners give their all to deliver extraordinary results for U.S. agriculture. And 2017 was no exception. We continued to push the United States’ line of defense against invasive pests and diseases further offshore, allowing us to take action against pests hitchhiking on or in imported goods before they reached our borders. Here at home, we fought back against the spread of damaging pests such as exotic fruit flies, citrus greening, Asian longhorned beetle, boll weevil, and pale cyst nematodes that threatened our Nation’s crops and forests. In total, our efforts protected more than $98 billion worth of U.S. agriculture production and exports valued at over $138 billion. Continue reading

APHIS Updates Federal Domestic Soil Quarantines Map

APHIS updated the Federal Domestic Soil Quarantines Map to include the following changes:

  • Added the Mexican fruit fly quarantine in the Brownsville area of Cameron County, Texas.

APHIS restricts the movement of domestic soil from areas within the continental United States that are under quarantine for specific plant pests. The Federal Domestic Soil Quarantines Map provides an overview of the plant pest quarantines that affect the movement of soil. Continue reading