BEFORE THE Department of AGRICULTURE
OF THE STATE OF MONTANA
In the matter of the amendment of ARM 4.12.1308 pertaining to an exterior plant health quarantine for Japanese beetle
NOTICE OF AMENDMENT
TO: All Concerned Persons
1. On May 29, 2013, the Department of Agriculture published MAR Notice No. 4-14-212 pertaining to a public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule at page 739 of the 2013 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 9. On June 20, 2013, the department published a notice pertaining to the extension of the comment period and a second public hearing on the proposed amendment of the above-stated rule at page 983 of the 2013 Montana Administrative Register, Issue Number 12.
2. The department has amended the above-stated rule as proposed.
3. The department has thoroughly considered the comments and testimony received. A summary of the comments received and the department's responses are as follows:
COMMENT #1: The bond amount listed is too high at $1 million.
RESPONSE #1: The department will lower the bonding amount in the quarantine to $500,000, half of that originally proposed. The department does not require that all listed quarantine options be met. The bonded compliance agreement is one of six options available under the quarantine.
COMMENT #2: If the quarantine is fully implemented, the availability of nursery stock will decrease.
RESPONSE #2: Montana's experience should be no different than other states that also have a Japanese beetle quarantine. The availability of nursery stock should not be greatly impacted given the available options under the proposed quarantine that allow nursery stock into the state. The bonded compliance agreement option may provide a way to allow shipment of large trees into Montana, putting us at a comparative advantage when getting nursery stock to most other western states.
COMMENT #3: Will smaller businesses be able to comply with the new quarantine requirements?
RESPONSE #3: All out-of-state providers will be impacted by the quarantine and will be expected to meet one of the options for nursery stock shipments into Montana. Out-of-state nurseries shipping to western states are complying with other western state quarantines, which are similar to the proposed quarantine. The bonded compliance agreement option is not available in other western state Japanese beetle quarantines.
COMMENT #4: There was widespread agreement that Montana should remain as free from Japanese beetles as possible.
RESPONSE #4: The department concurs.
COMMENT #5: Montana should be more like Idaho as to how it deals with Japanese beetles.
RESPONSE #5: Western states, including Idaho, have established quarantines with similar restrictions and options to allow nursery stock movement. The proposed Montana quarantine offers an additional option, the bonded compliance agreement. Idaho’s quarantine also addresses houseplants, which the proposed Montana quarantine does not. Montana, like Idaho, also needs the help of Montana nurseries and homeowners in identifying and reporting the presence of Japanese beetle and other invasive pests. Such reporting aids the department in planning, trapping, monitoring, and designing response activities.
COMMENT #6: Requests for minor wording, spacing, and spelling changes in the quarantine order.
RESPONSE #6: All typographical errors have been corrected and requested language changes have been made in the quarantine order.
/s/ Cort Jensen /s/ Ron de Yong
Cort Jensen Ron de Yong
Rule Reviewer Director
Department of Agriculture
Certified to the Secretary of State July 30, 2013