Friday, August 9, 2013

Interstate Transport of Firewood to be Regulated

Regulations are now being drafted and reviewed that would place certain labeling and recordkeeping requirement on companies moving firewood across state borders. According the USDA, in essence the regulations would require that the location of the production facility of the firewood be on the label, along with the county or counties from which the trees used to produce the firewood were harvested. If a treatment was applied, then a final labeling element would be required to verify heat treatment and the schedule.

On the record keeping side, firewood producers would need to keep and provide upon request records of where, from whom, and in what quantities they received the wood used to make the firewood. The same is required for shipments of firewood to customers. The USDA says that they are not considering any requirement on information about the costs of or revenues received from those transactions. Firewood distributors would need to keep similar records (volume received and from whom, volume sold or shipped and to whom). Retailers would need records of incoming inventory and total sales volume. 

According to the USDA, the regulations are still in draft form and working their way through the required review processes prior to publication as a proposed rule. The opportunity to review the language and comment will occur during the public comment period after publication as a proposed rule in the Federal Register. The publication date is undetermined at this time because of the time various reviewers take to review regulations varies from reviewer to reviewer. It is unlikely that the firewood labeling and record keeping regulations would be published this calendar year.

The labeling and record keeping requirements described above are predicated on the National Firewood Task Forces’ (NFTF) recommendations for best management practices for firewood. That document can be found here (among other places on the internet):

Below is the initial notice about the upcoming review process.

Domestic Regulation of Firewood

    Legal Authority: 7 U.S.C. 7701 to 7772; 7 U.S.C. 7781 to 7786.
    Abstract: This rulemaking would require that commercial firewood  destined to be moved interstate be affixed with a label on which the  county and State, or counties and States, in which the wood from which the firewood was produced was harvested, the site at which the firewood was produced, what phytosanitary treatment, if any, the firewood has received, and contact information for reporting detections of suspected plant pests are prominently and legibly displayed. We would also require firewood producers, distributors, and retailers to retain  records regarding the manufacturing, purchase, and sale of the firewood. Although the movement of commercial firewood in interstate commerce can be a pathway for numerous plant pests, this movement is currently largely unregulated. This action would aid in preventing the further dissemination of plant pests within the United States through the interstate movement of firewood.

               Action                    Date            FR Cite
NPRM................................   11/00/13
NPRM Comment Period End.............   01/00/14

    Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes.
    Agency Contact: Paul Chaloux, National Program Manager, Emergency
and Domestic Programs, PPQ, Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant
Health Inspection Service, 4700 River Road, Unit 137, Riverdale, MD
20737-1236, Phone: 301 851-2064.
    RIN: 0579-AD49

No comments:

Post a Comment