Statement of Scope
Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection
Chapter ATCP 21, Wis. Adm. Code (Existing)
Exotic Plant Pest Emergency Rule
1. Description of the objective of the rule:
An emergency rule authorized by this statement of scope will create county or multi-county or township or multi-township quarantines for an exotic plant pest in counties and townships where the pest is detected. Any emergency rule authorized by this scope statement will be submitted to the Governor for approval pursuant to section 227.24 (1) (e) 1g, Stats., each time the department finds that a quarantine area for an exotic plant pest is required. The authorization to draft an emergency rule creating a quarantine area pursuant to this statement of scope will expire on the first day following the twelfth month of publication of this statement of scope pursuant to section 227.135 (3) and a new statement of scope must be approved and published pursuant to sections 227.135(2) and (3) to continue the authorization of emergency rulemaking related to exotic pest quarantines.
2. Description of existing policies relevant to the rule and of new policies proposed to be included in the rule and an analysis of policy alternatives; the history, background and justification for the proposed rule:
History and background. The Department has authority under s. 93.07 (12), Stats. to conduct surveys and inspections for the detection and control of pests injurious to plants, and to make, modify, and enforce reasonable rules needed to prevent the dissemination of pests. The Department also has plant inspection and pest control authority under s. 94.01, Stats. The Department may by rule impose restrictions on the importation or movement of serious plant pests, or items that may spread serious plant pests.
In recent years the rate of arrival of new exotic plant pests to the United States has increased significantly. Some of the exotic pests which have already been found in our country include Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) and Gypsy Moth (GM). Introduced, invasive, plant, animal, and microbe species in the United States cause nearly $120 billion in environmental damages and losses annually (Pimentel et al. 2005). Invasive forest insects are estimated to cost local governments over $2 billion, and reduce residential property values by $1.5 billion annually nationwide. To date, EAB and GM have infested Wisconsin. To focus on one example, EAB is an exotic pest that endangers Wisconsin’s 834 million ash trees and ash tree resources. This insect has the potential to destroy entire stands of ash, including up to 20% of Wisconsin’s urban street trees and residential landscaping trees, and may result in substantial losses to forest ecosystems. The insect can cause great harm to state lands and to the state’s tourism and timber industries. At this time, EAB has been identified in twenty-eight states including Wisconsin, and two Canadian provinces. Forty two Wisconsin counties are currently quarantined to restrict the movement of ash wood in order to prevent the spread of EAB.
Proposed policies. This emergency rule is necessary to create a timely quarantine of the counties or townships, and possibly bordering counties or townships, with new exotic plant pest detections until a federal quarantine is enacted. The federal quarantine will take effect up to eight weeks or longer after a formal submission by the state plant regulatory official. A rule authorized by this statement of scope will do the following:
• Create county or multi-county or township or multi-township quarantines in which an exotic pest is detected. The quarantine will prohibit the movement of all articles potentially harboring the damaging pest. These regulated articles would likely include: firewood, nursery stock, green lumber, and other woody material living, dead, cut or fallen, including logs, stumps, roots, branches, and composted and un-composted chips. Some examples of current plant pests of concern include Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) or Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut (TCD).
• Provide an exemption for items that have been inspected and certified by a pest control official and are accompanied by a written certificate issued by the pest control official (depending on the specific pest, some products, such as nursery stock, cannot be given an exemption).
• Provide an exemption for businesses that enter into a state or federal compliance agreement. The compliance agreement describes in detail what a company can and cannot do with regulated articles.
Policy alternatives. If the Department does nothing, potentially infested wood or agricultural products will be allowed to move freely and the department will not be able to regulate their movement. The department would have no regulatory authority in the counties with new exotic plant pest finds, raising the potential of a more rapid spread of an exotic invasive plant pest.
3. Statutory authority for the rule (including the statutory citation and language):
93.07 Department duties. (1) It shall be the duty of the department:
(1) To make and enforce such regulations, not inconsistent with law, as it may deem necessary for the exercise and discharge of all the powers and duties of the department, and to adopt such measures and make such regulations as are necessary and proper for the enforcement by the state of chs. 93 to 100, which regulations shall have the force of law. (12) To conduct surveys and inspections for the detection and control of pests injurious to plants, make, modify, and enforce reasonable rules needed to prevent the dissemination of pests, declare and manage emergencies related to the detection and control of pests injurious to plants, provided such declaration does not supersede the authority of the chief state forester under s. 23.114 or the department of natural resources under s. 26.30, and suggest methods of control.
94.01 plant inspection and pest control authority. In the conduct of survey and inspectional programs for the detection, prevention, and control of pests, the department may impose quarantines or such other restrictions on the importation into or movement of plants or other material within the state as necessary to prevent or control the dissemination or spread of injurious pests.
4. Estimate of the amount of time that state employees will spend to develop the rule and other resources necessary to develop the rule:
The Department estimates that it will use approximately 0.1 FTE staff time to develop these rules. This includes time required for investigation and analysis, rule drafting, preparing related documents, holding public hearings, and communicating with affected persons and groups. The Department will use existing staff to develop this rule.
5. Description of all entities that may be impacted by the rule:
According to the Wisconsin Council on Forestry, Wisconsin is first in the nation in forestry jobs, employing over 62,200 workers and generating $22.9 billion in value to our state’s economy. Our agricultural industry also annually produces over $1.3 billion in corn grain, and over $510 million in soybeans. Wisconsin also leads the nation in cranberry production ($388 million/year) and ranks 3rd in potato production ($270 million/year), according to UW – Whitewater’s Fiscal and Economic Research Center. Wisconsin produced 51.5 million pounds of apples valued at $27.8 million in 2015. This emergency rule could have an impact on persons or companies that deal in any agricultural crop or forest product from the quarantined counties or townships to locations outside of the quarantined counties.
The Wisconsin Department of Tourism reports that travelers to Wisconsin spent a total of $11.9 billion in 2015. Tourism also directly sustains 135,095 jobs in our state. Should Wisconsin’s forests, parks, and recreational areas be significantly damaged by an exotic plant pest, our tourism industry could suffer substantially.
Nurseries, firewood producers/dealers, saw mills, and farmers that sell or distribute articles potentially harboring the damaging exotic plant pest would all be impacted. In order to sell regulated products outside of a quarantined county, veneer mills and wood processors will have to enter into a compliance agreement with the Department or APHIS. The agreement authorizes movement of products outside the quarantine only when there is assurance that the movement will not spread the plant pest to other locations. Licensed nursery growers will not be able to sell regulated nursery stock outside of the quarantined counties. Firewood dealers would need to be certified to sell firewood outside of the quarantined counties. Other producers and farmers would be required to treat regulated products with an approved treatment option, should one exist, before movement out of the quarantine. Grain elevators could enter into compliance agreements with the Department or APHIS.
6. Summary and preliminary comparison of any existing or proposed federal regulation that is intended to address the activities to be regulated by the rule:
In order to limit the spread of exotic plant pests, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of Agriculture (APHIS) has imposed quarantines for EAB in twenty-eight states, ALB in three states (Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio), and GM in twenty states plus the District of Columbia. Including Wisconsin, six states plus Canada have imposed an external quarantine for HWA, and eighteen states have done the same for TCD. Department rules currently prohibit movement of regulated plant articles from any federally quarantined area except under authorized conditions. This proposed rule is consistent with current state and federal rules.
7. Anticipated economic impact:
The Department expects the rule to have minimal economic impact statewide and minimal to moderate economic impact locally.