APHIS proposes to remove the domestic quarantine for Emerald Ash Borer

Some of you may already be aware of this proposal, but I wanted to post it to highlight the comment period. See below.

APHIS is proposing to remove the domestic quarantine regulations for the emerald ash borer (EAB). Eliminating this regulation is in keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness. The proposal would end APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which includes actions such as issuing permits, certificates and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations, and instead direct all available resources toward managing the pest. APHIS remains committed to controlling this invasive pest and wants to conduct more research and release a greater number of biological control agents—tiny stingless wasps that are natural predators of the EAB—since biocontrol has shown the most promise for stopping EAB’s spread. Continue reading

APHIS Seeks Comments on Draft Pest Risk Assessment for Soursop from Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has asked USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to authorize the movement of fresh soursop for consumption into the continental United States.  APHIS has drafted a pest risk assessment that lists potential pests likely to remain on the commodity 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 regulatory action. Continue reading

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

Effective July 24, 2018, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) removed giant African snail (GAS) regulated areas Zone F, Zone S, and Zone V from the list of quarantined areas in Miami-Dade County, Florida. 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; and
  • A minimum of one negative night survey, when snails can be more active.

Continue reading

APHIS adds all of Minnehaha County, areas in Lincoln County, and areas in Turner County in South Dakota to the regulated areas for the emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis

Effective immediately, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is adding all of Minnehaha County in South Dakota and areas north of Highway 18 in Lincoln County and north of Highway 18 and east of Highway 19 in Turner County in South Dakota 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. Specifically, the interstate movement of EAB-host wood and wood products from the quarantined areas is regulated, including firewood of all hardwood species, nursery stock, green lumber, waste, compost, and chips of ash species. Continue reading

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