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USDA RESTRICTS ASH NURSERY STOCK_ OTHER PLANT PRODUCTS - _FROM

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Melissa O'Dell (301) 734-5222
Jerry Redding (202) 720-4623

FROM CANADA

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2007--The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today published an interim rule establishing regulations to prohibit or restrict the importation of ash nursery stock and other propagative plant material from Canada to prevent the artificial spread of emerald ash borer (EAB), a destructive wood-boring insect that attacks and kills ash trees, into noninfested areas of the United States.

Plant health officials in the United States and Canada have been working cooperatively to establish a regulatory framework to address the risk of artificially spreading this plant pest between the two countries.

APHIS is amending regulations in 7 CFR part 319, “Foreign Quarantine Notices,” to restrict or prohibit EAB host material from Canada, including nursery stock, plants, other propagative plant material, ash logs and wood with bark that cannot be feasibly inspected, treated or handled to prevent the introduction of the pest.

EAB, an insect indigenous to Asia, was first found in North America in ash trees in several counties in Michigan and a small area in Ontario, Canada. APHIS subsequently quarantined 13 counties in Michigan and placed restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated plant material from those quarantined areas to prevent the artificial spread of EAB to other states. The pest has since been found in Illinois, Indiana, Maryland and Ohio and quarantines have been established in those states as well.

State and federal officials are currently conducting intensive survey and eradication programs in the affected areas. Similarly, provincial officials in Ontario and officials of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency have been conducting extensive survey and eradication activities in infested areas in Ontario.

This interim rule is scheduled to be published in the June 1 Federal Register and becomes effective upon publication.

Consideration will be given to comments received on or before July 31. Send an original and three copies of postal mail or commercial delivery comments to Docket No. APHIS-2006-0125, Regulatory Analysis and Development, PPD, APHIS, Station 3A-03.8, 4700 River Road, Unit 118, Riverdale, Md. 20737-1238. If you wish to submit a comment using the Internet, go to
the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov, select "Animal and Plant Health

Inspection Service" from the agency drop-down menu; then click on "Submit." In the Docket ID column, select APHIS-2006-0125 to submit or view public comments and to view supporting and related materials available electronically.

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