Washington, D.C., June 22, 2018 –The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to revise domestic regulations for Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum). This action provides regulatory relief to nurseries that have not recently been found positive for P. ramorum, while ensuring those that do are subject to restrictive measures. P. ramorum is the causal agent of Sudden Oak Death which is a disease that can kill several tree species and cause disease in more than 100 ornamental plant species.
Based on nursery inspection data over a 9-year period, APHIS issued a series of Federal Orders to deregulate nurseries where the pathogen had never been found or had not been found recently. The Federal Orders also placed nurseries with recent detections under greater restriction and Federal oversight. This rule would codify these Federal Orders and deregulate low-risk areas and nurseries.
APHIS experts have determined that these changes will further protect the United States from the artificial spread of Phytophthora ramorum.
We will consider all comments we receive on or before August 24, 2018. This notice may be viewed in the Federal Register upon publication on June 25 at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2015-0101