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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 02-498



Plum Pox Virus; Order of Quarantine

[32 Pa.B. 1663]

   Whereas, the Plant Pest Act (3 P. S. §§ 258.1--258.27) empowers the Department of Agriculture (Department) to take various measures to detect, contain and eradicate plant pests in this Commonwealth; and

   Whereas, the powers granted the Department under the Plant Pest Act include (at 3 P. S. § 258.21) the power to establish quarantines to prevent the dissemination of plant pests within this Commonwealth; and

   Whereas, Plum Pox Virus--a plant pest indigenous to Europe--is a serious plant pest that injures and damages stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots by drastically reducing the fruit yields from these stone fruit trees and by disfiguring the fruit to the point it is unmarketable; and

   Whereas, Plum Pox Virus has the potential to cause serious damage to the stone fruit production industry within this Commonwealth; and

   Whereas, The two primary means of spread of Plum Pox Virus are: a) through propagation of infected trees and subsequent movement of infected nursery material; and b) through aphid transmission of the virus from infected to healthy trees; and

   Whereas, the movement of Plum Pox Virus-infected trees provides the most serious threat of long distance movement of the virus and poses a danger to stone fruit trees in noninfected areas; and

   Whereas, there is no known control for Plum Pox Virus other than destruction of infected trees; and

   Whereas, Plum Pox Virus has been detected on stone fruit trees located in portions of four counties of this Commonwealth; and

   Whereas, the Department exercised its statutory authority and established a quarantine with respect to those portions of the four counties, specifically Latimore and Huntington Townships, Adams County (29 Pa.B. 5735 (November 6, 1999)); South Middleton Township, Cumberland County (30 Pa.B. 3269 (July 1, 2000)); Dickinson Township, Cumberland County and portions of Menallen and Tyrone Townships in Adams County (30 Pa.B. 4357 (August 19, 2000)); the Borough of York Springs, Adams County and the Borough of Mount Holly Springs, Cumberland County (30 Pa.B. 5852 (November 11, 2000)); Southampton Township, Cumberland County (31 Pa.B. 3559 (July 7, 2001)); Washington and Franklin Townships, York County (31 Pa.B. 3560 (July 7, 2001)); and Quincy Township, Franklin County (31 Pa.B. 5117 (September 8, 2001)); prohibiting the movement of stone fruit trees and stone fruit budwood within the quarantined area, and prohibiting the movement of stone fruit trees and stone fruit budwood out of the quarantined area; and

   Whereas, No practical quarantine area can completely limit movement of infectious aphids from within to outside the area; and

   Whereas, Plum Pox Virus may not be detectable within a tree newly infected by aphids before that tree is used as a budwood source for propagation of nursery stock;

   Now, therefore, under authority of section 21 of the Plant Pest Act (act of December 16, 1992, P. L. 1228, No. 162) (3 P. S. § 258.21), the Department hereby establishes additional quarantine safeguards to be followed by propagators of susceptible Prunus within this Commonwealth:

   A.  No Prunus tree shall be used as a source of propagative material (either rootstock or scion) unless it has been tested in the year of its intended use, and has tested negative for Plum Pox Virus using the protocol described for mother trees in the National PPV Surveillance Program. Testing will be done by the Department or by a laboratory approved by the Department.

   B.  No tree shall be used as a source of propagative material (either rootstock or scion) if it is within the Plum Pox Virus quarantine area or if it falls within 1 mile of the quarantine area. Any propagator may contact the Department for approval of sites of budwood source trees, if there is any question about their distance from the quarantine area.

   The Department has the authority to do such monitoring and auditing of records as it deems necessary to show that these requirements are being followed. Failure to comply with this rule may result in the destruction of nursery stock produced from untested or unapproved sources, and destruction of all Plum Pox Virus-susceptible nursery stock within 500 meters of that nursery stock, with no compensation for costs of destruction or loss.

   This quarantine is effective as of March 18, 2002, and shall remain in effect until terminated by subsequent order.


[Pa.B. Doc. No. 02-498. Filed for public inspection March 29, 2002, 9:00 a.m.]

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