APHIS is proposing to remove the domestic quarantine regulations for the emerald ash borer (EAB). Eliminating this regulation is in keeping with USDA’s goal of reducing regulations that have outlived their usefulness. The proposal would end APHIS’ domestic regulatory activities, which includes actions such as issuing permits, certificates and compliance agreements, making site visits, and conducting investigations of suspected violations, and instead direct all available resources toward managing the pest. APHIS remains committed to controlling this invasive pest and wants to conduct more research and release a greater number of biological control agents—tiny stingless wasps that are natural predators of the EAB—since biocontrol has shown the most promise for stopping EAB’s spread.
The proposed rule is available in the Federal Register and open for comment through November 19, 2018. APHIS will review all comments received during the comment period. If APHIS receives no new information significant enough to alter the proposal, APHIS will announce the final regulatory decision. The text of the final rule and discussion of the comments will be published in the Federal Register. Comments regarding the proposed rule for deregulation may be submitted by either of the following methods:
The emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) is a destructive wood-boring pest of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). Native to China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the Russian Far East, the emerald ash borer beetle (EAB) was unknown in North America until its discovery in southeast Michigan in 2002. Today, EAB infestations have been detected in 35 states and the District of Columbia; Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. APHIS works with State cooperators to detect, control and prevent the human-assisted spread of the pest in order to safeguard America’s ash trees. More information about the EAB Program can be found in the documents below.
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