Washington, D.C., September 30, 2020—The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is publishing a final rule that removes the federal domestic quarantine regulation for the pine shoot beetle (PSB, Tomicus piniperda). Eliminating this regulation is in keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness. Removing the quarantine ends APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which include actions such as issuing permits, certificates, and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations.
APHIS, in consultation with the National Plant Board, considers pine shoot beetle to be a minor pest that can be controlled locally, given its slow spread and the minimal damage it causes.
After conducting a thorough review of our regulatory program and consulting extensively with stakeholders, APHIS concluded that federal deregulation of this pest would allow states to determine the best approach for managing PSB within their boundaries. Federal deregulation would also reduce costs to impacted businesses by relieving compliance requirements and restrictions on sales, and allow APHIS to focus limited federal resources on higher-risk pests.
APHIS continues its collaborative effort with state and local partners to protect American agriculture and the North American landscape from regulated plant pests.
The final rule will be effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register on October 1, 2020 or on Nov. 2, 2020. Documents may be viewed online at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=APHIS-2016-0065-0001 upon publication.