April 17, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is updating domestic regulations for Phytophthora ramorum (P. ramorum), the causal agent of Sudden Oak Death. From 2004 to 2013, APHIS issued a series of Federal Orders to deregulate nurseries where the pathogen has never been found or had not been found recently. These orders relieved regulatory burden on states and industries where the P. ramorum is not present in the environment and from nurseries free of the pathogen. The orders also placed nurseries with recent detections under greater restriction and Federal oversight.
Now, APHIS is codifying these Federal Orders with a final rule. APHIS collected and responded to public comments on this rule in 2018. APHIS has determined that updating the domestic regulations to include all Federal Orders issued in recent years will make it easier to find and comply with current restrictions which are necessary to protect the United States from the artificial spread of P. ramorum.
This action will go into effect May 20, 2019.