New Haven, CT – The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announce that the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) will no longer be regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). On 15 December 2020, the Agency published a final rule that removes the federal domestic EAB quarantine regulations, which becomes effective January 14, 2021. The federal program will transition to one that is focused on methods for management of EAB, such as rearing and releasing biological control agents (tiny stingless parasitoid wasps), which has been conducted by CAES in cooperation with the USDA since 2013. The USDA EAB program will continue to provide EAB parasitoid wasps for release for the biological control of the emerald ash borer. Ash made up about 4% to 15% of Connecticut’s forests and was a common urban tree.
The emerald ash borer has been responsible for the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees in 35 states from the mid-west to New England and south to Louisiana. It is currently found throughout Connecticut and most of New England. Connecticut quarantines for EAB were dropped in 2015 when a Federal EAB quarantine was established throughout the state. Since there will be no EAB federal quarantine, all previously issued USDA EAB permits, kiln certifications, and compliance agreements are no longer valid and some states where EAB is not yet present will likely enact exterior quarantines against this invasive pest. Federal regulations regarding the Asian long-horned beetle (ALB) remain in place.
Wood-boring insects, such as ALB, will continue to pose a potential threat to Connecticut’s forests and woodlands. Regulations remain in effect on the movement of firewood from out-of-state into Connecticut or within Connecticut. These regulations help ensure that other invasive insects are not carried into Connecticut, or spread throughout New England, through the shipment of firewood. Permits or certificates from the State Entomologist or the state of origin will still be required to bring firewood into Connecticut.
Detailed information about the firewood regulations can be found at DEEP Emerald Ash Borer EAB (ct.gov) or CAES Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Further information can be found at USDA APHIS | Emerald Ash Borer.