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Center for Plant Health Science and Technology

Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory

 

Office of the Director Location: 1730 Varsity Dr., Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone: (919) 855-7500
Fax: (919) 855-7599
Contact: Ron Sequeira 

 

The CPHST Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory (PERAL) is PPQ’s primary unit producing pest risk analyses (PRA). In this laboratory, a diverse group of scientists and professionals provides essential scientific support to riskbased policymaking across a broad range of phytosanitary issues. Staff members use sound science to analyze both import and export issues and facilitate safe trade. The PRA help safeguard American agriculture and plant health from harmful exotic plant pests in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems. More specifically, the analyses help PPQ to design risk-based regulations for import and domestic pest management programs, identify and assess new pest threats, monitor the effectiveness of existing programs, and optimize available resources to enhance protection. PERAL personnel also provide technical support documents PPQ requires for pests, commodities, and pathways. These products may include risk maps that indicate existing or potential range domestically or internationally or that predict ranges from weather- or climate matching analyses.

PERAL has established itself as a global leader in both productivity and quality management. PERAL is currently the only International Standards Organization (ISO)-certified plant health risk analysis unit in the world.  The group contributes significantly to the promotion of international dialogue and increased capacity for science-based management of phytosanitary issues through its Risk Analysis Mentoring Program for visiting scientists.  In addition, PERAL provides basic PRA training workshops, with topics covering the spectrum of concepts, methods, and resources associated with pest risk analysis.  Furthermore, PERAL promotes regional and international harmonization of plant health regulations by providing scientific support to PPQ in the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC).
 

Recent Accomplishments

  • PERAL finalized 21 original Q-56 risk assessments and pest lists in FY 2012.  These risk assessments represent new potential imports of 45 commodities from 21 different countries.  PERAL also completed one original Q-37 risk assessment and revised 31 Q-56 risk assessments and nine Q-37 risk assessments.
  • PERAL processed risk assessment and informational documents for the organism, pathway, citrus, and risk mapping areas, including six organism, eight pathway, and four ad-hoc analyses.  PERAL also completed 41 analyses in support of U.S. exports, involving 17 countries and 21 commodities.
  • The New Pest Advisory Group (NPAG) completed 38 full NPAG reports and 52 preassessments for organisms that were not considered NPAG pests.  Of the 38 pests that were the subject of full NPAG reports, 15 were deregulated after consultation with the National Plant Board, 19 received port policies of reportable/actionable, and two were sent to Plant Health Programs (Policy Management) for continued discussions with the States.
  • The Deregulation Evaluation for Established Pests (DEEP) project analyzed 73 pests, 27 of which were determined to no longer meet the definition of a quarantine pest and were eventually deregulated at U.S. ports-of-entry after consultation with the National Plant Board.
  • The PERAL Weed Team completed 29 original weed risk assessments, and revised six WRAs.
  • The Global Pest and Disease Database (GPDD) and Data Archival and Reporting Tool teams added about 800 pests to the database.
  • PERAL staff organized and delivered 6 risk analysis workshops (two of which were delivered in Spanish) and hosted scientists from 17 countries as participants in the Risk Analysis Mentoring Program.
  • PERAL provided ongoing support to PPQ headquarters on ongoing international trade issues, including a trade dispute with Mexico over potato exports and in the area of international standard setting organizations, by actively participating in the Harmonization Advisory Group, a new cross-functional team.

 



Additional Information