EAB Quarantine Regulations & Ash Wood Product Treatments

EAB Quarantine Regulations & Ash Wood Product Treatments Thursday, September 12, 2019

Author(s): Adam Smith
Logs from Big Red Sawmill.

The discovery of emerald ash borer (EAB) in Nebraska will have significant impacts on the state’s communities, forests, and forest products industry. The transportation, handling, and disposal of ash and other hardwood forest products will be subject to increased regulations and monitoring once an infestation has been located. However, these regulations are not intended to hinder commerce or the production of wood products.

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EAB Quarantine Regulations

Human-assisted movement of EAB through the transportation of infested woody material is the primary reason for the long-distance spread of EAB. As a result, quarantines are established in infestation areas to prohibit the movement of potential host material out of the area. These movement regulations apply to all those who transport woody material including logging companies, tree care services, mulch producers, and private citizens.

While it is not recommended to move potential host material more than 15 miles from its point of origin, the USDA-Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) does offer regulatory options which allow for the movement of ash material out of quarantine areas.

Transport Permits & Certificates

There are three options available through USDA-APHIS which authorize the movement ash wood material out of a quarantine area:

  1. A certificate/stamp (PPQ 540) is the most common option for moving ash wood products from a quarantine area to a non-quarantine area. For a certificate to be issued, ash wood products must be treated with one of the USDA-APHIS approved treatment options.
  2. A limited permit (PPQ 530) can be issued to allow the movement of ash wood that has not been fully treated, per quarantine requirements. This occurs in certain situations when the wood will be properly treated at the receiving destination. For example, those with a limited permit are allowed to move wood from a quarantine area to a facility outside of the quarantine area, as long as the facility maintains a compliance agreement with USDA.
  3. Compliance agreements (PPQ 519) allow facilities to receive ash wood during the non-flying period of the adult EAB life cycle (typically OctoberMarch) only if all ash logs and wood waste products are treated or disposed of before the start of EAB flight season (April-September).

Approved Treatment Options

This section identifies the various wood products which are subject to regulation in and around EAB quarantine areas. Each product must be treated with one of the associated treatment options in order to be in compliance with quarantine regulations. Consult your local USDA-APHIS Official or State Plant Heath Director regarding the use of alternative treatment options.

Wood Type Firewood Green Lumber Woodchips, Mulch and Sawmill Waste Logs

Ash Species

Wood Packaging Material Containing Green Lumber
Treatment Options
  • Remove bark and an additional ½” of wood1
  • Kiln sterilization treatment (T404-b-4)2
  • Heat treatment (T314-a)2 in a heat treatment facility approved by APHIS
  • Fumigation according to treatment schedule T404-b-1-12 (Methyl bromide fumigation at NAP-tarpaulin or chamber)
  • Remove bark and an additional ½” of wood1
  • Kiln sterilization treatment (T404-b-4)2
  • Heat treatment (T314-a)2 in a heat treatment facility approved by APHIS
  • Fumigation according to treatment schedule T404-b-1-12 (Methyl bromide fumigation at NAPtarpaulin or chamber)
  • Chip or mulch to <1” in at least two dimensions
  • Follow an APHIS approved mulching or composting protocol
  • Remove bark and an additional ½” of wood1
  • Kiln drying treatment for logs <3” in diameter (T404-b-4)2
  • Heat treatment (T314-a)2 in a heat treatment facility approved by APHIS
  • Fumigation according to treatment schedule T404-b-1-12 (Methyl bromide fumigation at NAPtarpaulin or chamber)
  • Chip or mulch to <1” in at least two dimensions
  • International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPM) accredited treatments
  • Treatments for green lumber of ash species itself, as listed previously

1The bark and wood removed will be regulated separately. If intended for interstate movement, the removed bark and wood must be treated as described above for chips and mulch. If produced at a mill located outside the quarantine area, but approved to handle green ash logs or lumber from within the quarantine area, wood waste must be treated or destroyed prior to adult insect flight season.

2Consult the “USDA - APHIS Treatment Manual” for specifics regarding these treatment options, available at www.aphis.usda.gov.

"Gatewood" Liability

Many of Nebraska’s sawmills and mulch providers rely heavily on “gatewood” for their wood supply. “Gatewood” is logs and other woody material which are delivered to a sawmill, wood disposal facility, or another wood use facility by logging companies, tree care services, or citizens.

In these instances, the supplier of the wood to the operation is responsible for abiding by the current ash movement restrictions. However, once EAB is found in an area and quarantines are in place, wood receiving businesses should begin requiring documentation of proof of origin of the delivered ash logs or debris.

If it is determined that a business is receiving ash material from a quarantine area while not maintaining an appropriate compliance agreement with USDA-APHIS, the business would be in violation of the quarantine regulations. Any suspected violations of regulated material leaving the EAB quarantine would need to be reported to the Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture and/or USDA-APHIS.