Emerald ash borer (EAB) was first identified in Minnesota in May, 2009. It is a serious pest that has killed tens of millions of ash trees in the USA, causing significant environmental damage with economic costs. For this reason, EAB is considered a regulated pest that involves restrictions at both the state and federal levels.
A plant pest quarantine for EAB has been established in Minnesota, by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) and its federal counterpart, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ). No regulated articles are legally allowed to move outside of a quarantine (untreated or treated), unless they are accompanied by a MDA Certificate or Limited Permit. MDA Certificates and Limited Permits are only available when a Compliance Agreement (CA) is signed between the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the company, city, county, agency, or organization interested in moving the regulated article.
Several treatments are approved for EAB. The treatment must occur at a designated private facility that is certified by either a qualified USDA APHIS PPQ official or a qualified MDA official (agency officials). Certification inspections by agency officials must be carried out prior to the first sale of treated regulated articles, or whenever a malfunction or alteration in the facility system warrants a certification inspection. Certification will be granted by agency officials on the basis of the ability of the facility to meet treatment requirements, in addition to the extent of the facility’s export safeguards to prevent re-infestation of treated regulated article.
For clarity, “certification” and “re-certification” will both be referred to as “certification” in this document.
All listed regulated articles in the quarantine may not be removed from the quarantine boundaries unless the business that is moving the regulated article out of the quarantine has a signed Compliance Agreement with the State of Minnesota.
In addition, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) must be attached to the Compliance Agreement that explains how each company will attain the treatment standards, and all products moving out of the quarantine must be accompanied by a Certificate or a Limited Permit. The following is an explanation of the SOP.
In order to obtain certification from the MDA for movement of regulated articles, the SOP must clearly explain these four main components:
These four components are explained below.
Facilities may propose what information will be contained in the records for the SOP. Agency officials will discuss what modifications to a facility’s current record system may be needed, if any.
A template for an SOP is available from MDA and is included with the Compliance Agreement draft. The SOP template also contains a limited amount of information about the required Certificate and Limited Permit.
The process of reviewing the SOP may take as long as sixty (60) days and subsequent requests for additional information may further extend this time. Facilities should take this time constraint into account when developing a timeline for their Compliance Agreement, or Compliance Agreement renewal. SOP approvals expire one year from the approval date, if the facility has not been re-certified.