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Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2004

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

AGRICULTURE, RURAL DEVELOPMENT, FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2004

ASIAN LONG-HORNED BEETLE

Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I rise to engage in a colloquy with the distinguished senior Senator from Michigan and the distinguished ranking member of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. As the ranking member knows, on September 4, 2003, the Asian long-horned beetle was discovered in Woodbridge, Ontario, and the area is under quarantine as the Canadians try to eradicate the infestations. Despite the quarantine in Ontario, the Asian long-horned beetle presents a real threat to Michigan. Currently, there are 180 trash trucks from Ontario that are sent to Michigan's landfills every day. Despite the fact that it is illegal to dump yard waste in Michigan's landfills, these trash trucks have been found to contain this illegal waste. According to a September 22, 2003 report by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, MDEQ, entitled, "Report on Waste Inspections at Michigan Landfills," more than 25 percent of the Ontario waste inspected contained yard waste. Waste originating in Ontario had the highest percentage of loads containing yard waste of all out-of-state waste that comes into Michigan, despite Michigan's prohibition. Our Michigan communities are extremely concerned that APHIS has not thoroughly examined the potential threat of infestation that these Canadian trash trucks present.

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I join the junior Senator from Michigan in her concern for this potentially devastating problem. The Canadian yard waste, which includes tree branches and trimmings, poses a serious threat of spreading the Asian long-horned beetle to Michigan. According to the USDA, these beetles lay their eggs in grooves that they chew into the tree's branches and trunk. The beetle requires 1 to 2 years to completely develop from an egg to an adult and feeds on the host tree during that time. Branches and tree scraps brought into Michigan as yard waste could contain beetle eggs and larvae that are embedded in the bark. The Asian long-horned beetle is extremely destructive to hardwood trees, particularly maple, poplar and willow trees. Michigan's tree population has already been severely damaged by the spread of the emerald ash borer beetle, which has killed over 6 million trees in Southeast Michigan and caused over $162 million in damage. The USDA must act immediately to prevent another devastating infestation, the Asian long-horned beetle, from spreading into Michigan.

Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senators from Michigan and concur with them that this is a problem that must be immediately addressed. I will work in conference to include in the statement of managers language requiring APHIS to do a comprehensive review of their procedures and regulations, and report to Congress by January 1, 2004, on whether or not these regulations and procedures are adequate to prevent the Asian long-horned beetle from entering into Michigan in Canadian trash trucks.

Mr. LEVIN. I thank the distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee.

Ms. STABENOW. I thank the distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee.

PHYTOPHTHORA ROOT ROT

Ms. STABENOW. Mr. President, I rise to engage in a colloquy with the distinguished senior Senator from Michigan and the ranking member of the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. As the ranking member knows, phytophthora root rot is destroying crops and ravaging soil throughout the State of Michigan. Many growers are reporting major losses, despite following recommended control strategies, and it is devastating our cucumber, pole bean and soybean crops. Michigan State University is examining ways to contain and eradicate root rot and they need $184,000 to conduct this critical research. Would the distinguished ranking member work with us in conference to obtain this critical funding?

Mr. LEVIN. Mr. President, I join the Senator from Michigan in asking the distinguished ranking member to give this important project consideration in conference. Phytophthora root rot is a fungus that is destroying crops and once the soil is infested, it must be taken out of production for 10 years. Currently, methyl bromide, which has been used by fresh market growers to control the disease, is scheduled to be phased out in 2005. New research is needed to develop tools that can effectively contain and eradicate this devastating disease.

Mr. KOHL. Mr. President, I thank the distinguished Senators from Michigan, and I will be happy to work with them in conference to obtain funding for this critical phytophthora root rot research at Michigan State University.

Mr. LEVIN. I thank the distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee.

Ms. STABENOW. I thank the distinguished ranking member of the subcommittee.

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