August 9, 2012
Measures in Place to Contain Destructive Emerald Ash Borer
New Haven County Quarantine and Regulations on Moving Firewood in Effect
The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) and the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced today that measures are now in place to regulate the movement of wood products within, into and out of Connecticut in an effort to contain the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a destructive invasive beetle.
CAES Director Louis A. Magnarelli and DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said a quarantine has been established that regulates the movement of ash logs, ash materials, ash nursery stock and hardwood firewood from within New Haven County to any area outside of that county. The quarantine applies to that part of the state because EAB has been detected in several towns in New Haven County and is intended to mirror a federal quarantine to be imposed on New Haven County within the next four-to-six weeks
In addition, Magnarelli and Esty said emergency regulations have now taken effect regulating the movement of firewood from out-of-state into Connecticut or within Connecticut. These regulations were put in place to ensure that EAB and other invasive insects are not carried into Connecticut, or spread throughout New England, through the shipment of firewood.
“Anyone involved in the transport of firewood and other wood products should contact CAES for the information they need to conduct their business operations,” Magnarelli said. “We can help determine which of their wood products can be moved within our state or into or out of Connecticut, and what type of documentation would be required to do so.”
Magnarelli also said, “CAES will regulate the movement of wood products in a fashion that strikes the appropriate balance between slowing the spread of this destructive pest and allowing the wood-products industry continue to operate.”
“We are moving aggressively to protect our trees and the beauty of Connecticut’s forests, parks, communities and neighborhoods,” Esty said “The quarantine and emergency firewood regulations are strong steps designed to limit the spread of EAB.”
In addition, Esty said, “We will provide CAES with continued support to help educate the public and the wood products industry to help everyone comply with the regulatory framework we have put in place to address the threat of EAB.”
The New Haven County quarantine was imposed Thursday by Magnarelli following a public hearing in Prospect Wednesday night.
The emergency firewood regulations also took effect Thursday, after having been sent to the General Assembly’s Regulations Review Committee and then filed with the Office of the Secretary of the State.
Background on EAB
With the detection of EAB in several New Haven County communities last month, Connecticut becomes the 16th state in the nation to experience this invasive beetle. EAB had previously been detected in several counties of neighboring New York State.
The EAB specifically targets ash trees, eventually causing the death of these trees. Ash trees are an important tree species throughout Connecticut – serving as a source of economic revenue for the forest products industry and also as an ecologically significant critical habitat for wildlife and as an urban landscape tree.
Efforts to address EAB are focused on slowing or preventing the spread of the insect into new areas while managing and reducing its numbers in places where it is already found.