From the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS):
"Soil is strictly controlled under APHIS quarantine regulations because it can readily provide a pathway for the introduction of a variety of dangerous organisms into the United States. Importation of soil into the United States from foreign sources is prohibited, and movement within the continental U.S. is restricted unless authorized by APHIS under specific conditions, safeguards and controlled circumstances described in a permit and/or compliance agreement."
What does this mean?
- Transport of soil from outside the state of Oregon to our lab could pose a biological threat to soils of our state. Soils in these areas that pose the biological threat are referred to as 'quarantine' soils. Quarantine designation is identified on a county level in each state.
- The Soil Health Lab is authorized by APHIS to accept soils from quarantine areas (domestic and some international), as we are a permit-holding facility.
- Contact MUST always be made via email with the lab before submitting samples from outside the state of Oregon.
- See the Common FAQ's section for more information.
- In-Lab Quarantine Soil Standard Operating Procedures (PDF)
If you are submitting a sample from outside the state of OR, contact the Soil Health Lab and we will inform you as to whether you sample is from a quarantine area. APHIS provides maps that help us determine quarantine status on a county level in each state. Not all samples coming from out-of-state are quarantine soils. You can have an out-of-state, non-quarantine sample, but the Soil Health Lab will determine this status.
- Contact the Soil Health Lab to determine if your sample is from a quarantine area.
If your sample is from a quarantine area, you will:
- Receive a permit via email from the lab to ship WITH samples
- Double bag each of the samples
- Double box the samples
- Follow other normal shipping requirements asked by the Soil Health Lab (see appropriate testing page)
Yes, sending the lab quarantine soils results in a small additional fee per analysis (not per sample). See Fees Per Analysis (PDF), under Quarantine Handling (per analysis). This fee accounts for extra documentation and cleaning procedures that are required for handling batches of quarantine soils. You can learn more about these handling steps in our In-Lab Quarantine Soil Standard Operating Procedures (PDF).