Order of Quarantine; Firewood
[37 Pa.B. 3454]
[Saturday, July 21, 2007]
A. The Plant Pest Act (act) (3 P. S. §§ 258.1--258.27) empowers the Department of Agriculture (Department) to take various measures to detect, contain and eradicate plant pests in this Commonwealth.
B. The powers granted the Department under section 21 of the act (3 P. S. § 258.21) include the power to establish quarantines to prevent the spread of plant pests within this Commonwealth.
C. During the past 15 years, a number of exotic invasive species have been detected in the United States, having gained entry largely through human activities, mainly the movement of goods and people.
D. Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Sirex Wood Wasp and Bark Beetles are some of these recently detected exotic invasive species. These insects pose serious threats to this Commonwealth's agricultural and forestry resources.
E. EAB--a beetle indigenous to Asia--is a serious plant pest that attacks and kills ash trees belonging to the genus Fraxinus. This insect was first detected in the United States in summer, 2002, in Michigan. It is suspected that EAB was accidentally introduced years earlier on solid wood packing material used for crating imported goods. EAB has since been spread to other states, including Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Maryland and Ontario, Canada. EAB has killed 20-25 million ash trees during the short time it has been present in North America. EAB has recently been found in Butler County, PA, and is the subject of a Department-issued quarantine order affecting Allegheny, Beaver, Butler and Lawrence Counties.
F. ALB is another exotic pest from Asia. It has killed numerous hardwood trees in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Ontario, Canada. Like the EAB, this insect was introduced into the United States in lumber used for crating goods imported from Asia.
G. The recent discovery of the Sirex Wood Wasp in New York and Pennsylvania, and the repeated interception of the Spruce Bark Beetle, Ips typographus, indicate these insects could affect this Commonwealth's pine resources.
H. The introduction of new plant pests into the United States has been driven, at least in part, by the increase of volume of imported goods entering the country and the decrease in the number of Federal staff to inspect goods at ports-of-entry. There is a need for more effective exclusion strategies as part of our country's phytosanitary programs. It is imperative that states be proactive in plant pest detection and prevention measures.
I. The presence of ALB and EAB in neighboring states has prompted concerns over human-assisted spread of these plant pests into this Commonwealth.
J. Eradication programs for ALB and EAB have cost States and the Federal government millions of dollars. In addition, municipalities and private landowners have absorbed costs for removing infested trees which are not eliminated by official eradication programs.
K. The economic impact of the hardwoods industry in this Commonwealth is valued at $17 billion, and more than 2,500 companies employ 85,000 people in this important sector of the State's economy. The industry is a significant economic contributor in virtually every county and is the most significant manufacturing sector in some counties. Other industries such as horticulture and camping/tourism also could be impacted by these pests.
L. Currently there are no simple means to eradicate these pests other than removing and destroying infested trees. There is no effective insecticidal spray program or prophylactic treatment to protect ash trees from EAB infestation, or other hardwoods from attack by ALB. In North America, no effective natural enemies are present to suppress populations of these insects.
M. ALB and EAB have the potential to cause serious damage to the hardwood components of Pennsylvania's forest resources and to the horticultural industry, where Ash, Maple and other hardwoods are widely planted shade trees, both on private and public properties. These pests also would have a major impact on Pennsylvania's public lands, including state parks and private campgrounds.
N. In North America, ALB and EAB can be transported long distances by means of human activity, including the movement of infested firewood from regulated areas. Regulations on nursery stock and logs/lumber are in place and have controlled/limited movement of these commodities from areas where EAB and ALB are present.
O. Because eradication costs for these wood-feeding insects are extremely high, preventive measures should be employed wherever possible to stop/slow the spread of these insects in hopes that techniques can be developed to effectively manage them.
P. Very few regulations are in place to restrict movement of firewood, and yet firewood frequently has been implicated in the spread of both ALB and EAB.
Q. The United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) recent expansion of its EAB quarantine to include the entire states of Ohio, Illinois and Indiana is partially the result of the rapid spread of EAB and the USDA's attempt to slow the spread of EAB.
Under authority of section 21 of the Plant Pest Act (3 P. S. § 258.21) the Department hereby orders the following:
1. The movement of firewood of all types and species into this Commonwealth is prohibited. Firewood includes all wood, processed or unprocessed, coniferous or hardwood, meant for use in a campfire or other outdoor or indoor fire. This prohibition does not apply to the transportation of sawlogs, pulpwood or wood chips to facilities for processing into lumber, paper or manufactured wood products.
Examples of circumstances under which firewood from out-of-State is brought into this Commonwealth include instances where firewood is transported to public and private campgrounds by campers, or to sporting events and other events where travelers camp outdoors; or to activities such as Civil War reenactments where wood is used for cooking and evening campfires; or as bulk firewood sold by the truckload or some other volume of measure (cord, face cord, rick, and the like), or as firewood purchased for indoor residential use.
2. Kiln-dried, packaged firewood clearly marked with the producer's name and address and labeled as ''Kiln Dried'' and/or USDA Certified are exempt from the provisions of this quarantine order.
3. Persons found in violation of this quarantine order will face the potential of summary criminal prosecution and a fine of not more than $300 for each offense, or a civil penalty of up to $20,000, or both.
4. The Department will consult with USDA, other state agencies and the Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension with respect to the most efficacious measures to survey for and detect ALB, EAB and other wood-feeding insects to slow the spread or eradicate these pests.
5. This quarantine is effective as of July 2, 2007, and shall remain in effect until repealed by subsequent order.
DENNIS C WOLFF,
[Pa.B. Doc. No. 07-1287. Filed for public inspection July 20, 2007, 9:00 a.m.]
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