Illinois ending in-state Emerald Ash Borer quarantine

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SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Agriculture has announced that state officials are joining three other states in the deregulation of the Emerald Ash Borer.

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive species of beetle that feeds on, and eventually kills, ash trees.  The species is said to have killed more than 250 million ash trees in the nation since its first appearance in 2002.

IDOA officials say the beetles have been found in 60 of Illinois' 102 counties, prompting the lift of the quarantine.  Agriculture Department Plant and Pesticide Specialist Supervisor Scott Schirmer adds that the quarantine was put into place to slow the insect's spread, but "there comes a time when the pest is too widespread to continue to regulate, and this is our time.”

With the in-state quarantine lifted, the movement of any cut, non-coniferous firewood within Illinois' borders will no longer be restricted.  However, Illinois will remain part of a federal quarantine, preventing the movement of wood into states that have regulations.

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