GUIDANCE DOCUMENT 4
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.
Standard Operating Procedures
In order to obtain certification from the MDA for movement of regulated articles, the SOP must clearly explain these four main components:
- Treatment of Regulated Articles
- Transport of Regulated Articles
- Storage of Regulated Articles
- Records Requirements
These four components are explained below.
- Treatment of Regulated Articles: An explanation of any unique details of the treatment of regulated material is required. Generally, explain how your company will meet the treatment standards, and how quality control will be implemented to ensure the standards are met. Include dates if your Compliance Agreement is restricted by the EAB non-flight season (October 1 to May 1). Describe who, by name(s) and/or position title(s), will be responsible for treating the regulated articles and self-inspection of the treated articles before shipment off the site.
- Transport of Regulated Articles: In the case of transport of regulated articles outside of the quarantine during the non-flight season (October 1 to May 1), an explanation of the transport of regulated articles prior to treatment is required. Explain how the loads would be secured, such as: enclosed trucks/trailers, or tarped trucks/trailers, chaining/strapping logs or other. Please specify which you will use for transport of untreated regulated articles out of the quarantine during the EAB non-flight season. Also, identify who, by name(s) and/or position title(s), will be responsible for securing a load and reporting of any regulated load loss outside of a quarantined area (i.e., accident or dumping at unapproved location) to the MDA project manager within 24 hours of the incident.
If transport movement of untreated material out of the quarantine is not a part of this Compliance Agreement, this section is not applicable and should be so marked.
- Storage of Regulated Articles: If applicable, a map of the facility is required, noting where and how untreated and treated regulated articles will be stored. Be sure to indicate the dumping area for ash material from the quarantine (prior to final treatment); the storage area of treated material (after final treatment, ready for inspection and release); and the storage area of non-regulated material (non-ash, or not-from-quarantine material). Explain clearly how these areas will be kept separate, for instance, where signs will be posted or other means of notification.
- Records Requirements and State Certificate Use: For records requirements, we prefer that each record include the following:
- Establishment name and full address
- Date of transport of regulated article from the establishment
- Name of transport company
- Tonnage or yardage of regulated articles being transported
- Type of regulated articles transported (treated or untreated)
- County of origination of regulated articles
- Address, city and state of destination of regulated articles
- Name and title of individual accepting regulated material
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.