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RULE §21.61Facility Structural Requirements

(a) All quarantined articles, as defined in §21.5 of this chapter (related to Quarantined Articles), that are grown after January 1, 2018, from seed, cuttings, budding, cell culture or other means must be produced inside a certified pest exclusionary facility that meets USDA-APHIS-PPQ structural requirements, and requirements found in 7 CFR Part 301 (Subpart-Citrus Greening and Asian Citrus Psyllid, and Subpart-Citrus Canker).

(b) To qualify as an exclusionary structure which meets certification requirements, a facility must include, at a minimum, each of the following:

  (1) Exterior walls and top;

    (A) Any combination of solid surfaces and screening may be used, as long as the structure meets or exceeds USDA-APHIS-PPQ insect exclusionary and citrus canker prevention requirements, including resistance to wind-blown rain.

    (B) Mesh size for any screening used in walls, doors, vent covers, or other parts of a structure to be operated under a certificate of registration shall not exceed 0.3 square millimeters (e.g., 0.547 x 0.547 mm or 0.5 x 0.6 mm).

  (2) Each approved structure must have a citrus free buffer area around the exterior of the approved structure of at least 100 feet. If a buffer area of 100 feet or more is not feasible, a minimum buffer area of 25 feet is allowed if the side of the structure facing citrus nursery plant material is constructed with a water-proof wall, or double-walled screening with a minimum of a 4-inch space between each screen.

  (3) Doors, doorways, and entryways must be designed and constructed to exclude wind-blown rain, and pest organisms;

    (A) All doorways shall have a positive pressure air curtain, double doors, or other mechanisms sufficient to prevent the entrance of any insect pests, both during operation of the door and while the door is closed.

    (B) All doors shall fit against the floor and door frame, so that no pest organisms or rain can enter the facility.

    (C) All facility emergency exit doors must be marked ‘Emergency Exit Only’ and may not be used as an entrance.

    (D) Each entrance to the facility shall be equipped so that, prior to entering the facility, personnel must disinfect hands and arms and spray clothing and footwear with a product approved by the Department or USDA-APHIS-PPQ as effective against citrus canker. A footbath containing a product approved by the Department as effective against citrus canker must be located at each entrance and must be properly utilized on footwear by all persons prior to entering the facility.

    (E) Vehicles, equipment, and other articles used to handle or move citrus nursery stock must be treated in accordance USDA-APHIS-PPQ requirements, immediately before entering the premises.

  (4) Other openings. Except for doors, all exterior openings for cooling pads, fans, vents or other parts of a structure to be operated under a certificate of registration must be covered with screening, specified in subsection (b)(1)(B) of this section; and

  (5) The facility perimeter must facilitate drainage away from the structure.

(c) The owner of the facility is responsible for maintaining the integrity of the facility and ensuring it remains pest-free.

(d) The Department must be notified in writing immediately if a breach is detected at any time during the life cycle of the citrus stock, from propagation to point of sale.

Source Note: The provisions of this §21.61 adopted to be effective March 22, 2018, 43 TexReg 1629

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