What Are Regulated Soil Samples?

Regulated soil sample is a term used at ALGL to identify a soil sample the requires special handling to avoid the spread of unwanted pests and diseases. These soil samples can originate inside or outside the continental US.

ALGL maintains a USDA Animal and Plant Health and Inspection Service (APHIS) permit to import soil and plant samples from outside the continental United States. These samples are allowed to flow through customs with an inspection, when accompanied by the correct permit. These permits are not to avoid import duties, rather they are part of a bigger effort to control the spread of pests and diseases. Regardless of trade relations with a country, these permits are required when shipping samples to our lab.

These permits are more than a piece of paper. They represent documented protocols as to how the lab will contain and dispose of these samples, in accordance with USDA/APHIS guidelines. These processes and procedures are created to avoid introduction of an undesirable pest or disease into the US.  Within the ALGL lab there are separate sample preparation facilities for these materials. These facilities and protocols are inspected by USDA/APHIS on a regular basis. These samples incur an additional handling fee.

While USDA-APHIS permit addresses the introduction of pests from outside the continental US, there are federal domestic soil quarantines within the continental US. These quarantine areas are designed for the same reason, to slow the spread of pests and diseases. The map below shows the areas of concern and is updated by USDA-APHIS regularly. The current map can be found at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/plant_health/permits/organism/soil/downloads/Fed-SoilRegs.pdf

Here at ALGL we process samples from quarantine counties the same as soils from outside the continental US. These samples also incur an additional handling fee.

While shipping address on an inbound box help identify soils potentially from these areas. The origination of the soil sample may not align with a shipping address with the larger regions being covered by our customer today. We do ask if your soil samples originate from the areas marked in green or yellow that you indicate on your soil submission form that the soil originated from a quarantined county. If the soil samples originate from a county marked in orange, please contact the USDA before shipping the sample.


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