Washington, D.C., September 20, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to lift the domestic quarantine for pine shoot beetle. Eliminating this quarantine is in keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness.
Despite efforts to control pine shoot beetle since it was first detected in 1992, this pest, which only infests stressed and dying pine trees, is now found in 20 states in the northeast and north central parts of the country. Given the limited impact of interstate movement restrictions on the beetle’s spread and the minimal damage this pest has caused to native pines, plantations, and nursery trade, we are proposing to remove the pine shoot beetle domestic quarantine. This action would allow the states to determine the best approach for managing the pest within their boundaries, relieve impacted businesses and individuals from having to comply with costly and burdensome restrictions, and allow APHIS to focus limited federal resources on higher risk pests.
APHIS will carefully consider all comments received. Beginning Monday, members of the public will be able to submit comments for 60 days, or until November 22, 2019 at: http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=APHIS-2016-0065