ALBANY - After several years of education, outreach and enforcement of the state Department of Environmental Conservation's firewood regulation, DEC Commissioner Joe Martens Tuesday announced that the 2009 regulations have been revised to help ease regulatory compliance and enforcement.
The basics and purpose of the revised regulation remain the same and still prohibit untreated firewood from entering the state and restrict intrastate movement of untreated firewood to no more than 50 miles from its source.
"Without the existence of this regulation, firewood infested with invasive insects such as emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle could be transported throughout the state spreading infestations from one place to another," Martens said in a press release. "To help reduce damages to New York's forests and community trees, New Yorkers and visitors are urged to comply with the state's regulations, which restrict the major vector for the introduction of these pests."
The revised regulation focuses enforcement on untreated firewood that is in transit, and any firewood possessed on state lands. The revisions also articulate DEC's authority to confiscate and destroy non-compliant firewood under the Environmental Conservation Law.
The updated definition of "firewood" now specifically excludes logs being moved to manufacturing facilities for processing (sawmills, pulp and paper mills, biomass power plants, etc.) from regulation as "firewood," as this regulation is intended to regulate firewood specifically.
Other regulations exist for log transport, which are enforced by state Department of Agriculture and Markets, including transport restrictions from the 20 counties in New York that are under state and federal emerald ash borer quarantines.
For information on the restrictions on transporting firewood, visit the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov/animals/28722.html. The DEC?urges New Yorkers to take the following steps to keep invasive species from spreading to other areas of the state:
It is best to leave all firewood at home - do not bring it to campgrounds or parks.
Get firewood at the campground or from a local vendor - make sure to receive a receipt or label that lists the firewood's local source.
If transporting firewood within New York state:
It must have a receipt or label that has the firewood's source and it must remain within 50 miles of that source.
For firewood not purchased (i.e., cut from your own property) you must have a Self-Issued Certificate of Origin (the new certificate is on the DEC's website), and it must be sourced within 50 miles of your destination.
Only firewood that meets New York's heat treatment standards (heated at 160 degrees F for 75 minutes) to kill pests and labeled as "New York-Approved Treated Firewood/Pest-Free" may be transported into the state and farther than 50 miles from the firewood's source.
For more information on invasive forest pests, visit www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7253.html or call toll free 1-866-640-0652.