DEEP: DEEP Reminds Residents and Visitors About Regulations Governing Movement of Firewood

August 28, 2014
 
DEEP Reminds Residents and Visitors About Regulations Governing Movement of Firewood
 
Enforcement checkpoint will operate in Union on Friday  
Help Protect Connecticut’s Trees and Forests – Buy Local, Burn Local Firewood
 
Law enforcement officers from Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) will be on the lookout for vehicles transporting firewood into and within Connecticut this Friday to prevent the spread of invasive insects like Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Asian Long-horned beetles (ALB) and the environmental damage they cause.  EAB attacks and can destroy ash trees.  ALB threatens a wide variety of hardwoods, including maple, birch, willows, and poplars.
 
Inspections will take place Friday at the truck weigh station on I-84 westbound in Union from 6:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. by DEEP’s Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police in cooperation with inspectors from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).  Firewood being transported into the state in violation of federal and state quarantines will be confiscated and properly disposed.
 
“With much of Connecticut under an EAB quarantine and ALB just to our north in Worcester, Massachusetts, it is important to remind motorists of the unintentional threat of spreading these tree killing beetles by transporting firewood from place to place,” said DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee. “Trees provide a defining element of Connecticut’s economy and beauty, so we all have a vested interest in preventing the introduction and spread of destructive beetles.” 
 
At the weigh station in Union, law enforcement officials will be talking with motorists about the origin and destination of firewood on the move in commercial and non-commercial vehicles.
 
EAB was first discovered in Prospect, CT July 2012 and is now known to be in six of Connecticut’s eight counties. In response to the 2012 discovery, regulations concerning the transportation of firewood were adopted, which prohibit untreated and unpermitted firewood from being moved out of quarantined areas.  In Connecticut Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, and New Haven counties are under quarantine due to the presence of EAB, In addition, EAB has been recently confirmed in Middlesex and New London counties. Expanded state and federal quarantines increasing  the restricted areas within Connecticut are expected.  The Worcester area of neighboring Massachusetts is also quarantined due to the presence of ALB and various counties in New York are under a quarantine due to the presence of EAB in that state. 
 
Depending on the origin of the firewood, documentation from either the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) or from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) is required to move firewood into Connecticut.  Maps showing required treatment and documentation for firewood transport within and into Connecticut can be found at DEEP: Regulation on Movement of Firewood.
 
DEEP is participating in a national program that seeks to heighten public awareness regarding the environmental dangers of moving firewood over long distances.  For more information, visit the Don't Move Firewood website.
 
DEEP is also asking Connecticut residents to report possible EAB infestations, and other invasive insects such as ALB, to the CAES or the APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) program.  Early detection, although difficult, is the best defense against further infestation.  Residents suspecting they have seen ALB or EAB should report their findings to CAES at (203) 974-8474 or CAES.StateEntomologist@ct.gov (digital photos of suspect insects and damage on the trees are very helpful).  Residents can also report sightings and find interactive activities for youth on APHIS-PPQ’s website at stopthebeetle.info.  More information including pictures of ALB and EAB may be found on the DEEP website at DEEP Forestry.
 
Follow link for photos of EAB and ALB damage and a DOT road sign  (All photos courtesy of Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station)