ATCP 21 Rule Changes Coming

Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health outreach and communications specialist or 608-335-0167

Photo of an adult emerald ash borer.

The statewide quarantine for emerald ash borer will end July 1, as one of several permanent rule changes proposed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

Changes are coming to some of Wisconsin’s rules for plant inspection and plant control, following legislative approval of a proposal from the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP).

The rule changes for ATCP 21 (Clearinghouse Rule CR 22-022), in the works since 2020, will go into effect on July 1.

One of the permanent rule changes involves the end of the state quarantine for emerald ash borer. Other quarantines to be rescinded are those for pine shoot beetle and thousand cankers disease of walnut trees.

The changes were recommended by DATCP for one or more of the following reasons: a lack of serious pest impacts, the quarantine outliving its ability to contain the pest, and/or federal deregulation.

The changes also revise quarantines for hemlock woolly adelgid and Phytophthora ramorum to ensure that the infected area, host range and regulated articles reflect the best available science, current pest distribution and host associations.

The changes also create a new exterior quarantine for elongate hemlock scale in Wisconsin, which will be the only specific regulation for this pest in the United States. Rationale for the proposal included the dozens of times inspectors have intercepted it on cut fir Christmas trees, fir wreaths, and hemlock nursery stock from out of state.

Elongate hemlock scale is not established in Wisconsin but has proven difficult to control with pesticides in states where it is found and poses a serious threat to the state’s Christmas tree industry and native hemlock and balsam fir forests.

DATCP is developing a compliance agreement for the new elongate hemlock scale quarantine, which will be reflected on its Elongate Hemlock Scale webpage. DATCP will also update the regulatory summary page on the National Plant Board website and will reach out to nursery growers, Christmas tree dealers, wreathmakers and others who import hemlock and fir from the infested area, which includes 20 eastern states.

For more information on the changes or to request an EHS compliance agreement for your business, contact Shahla Werner at DATCP.

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