AGRICULTURE CODE (3 PA.C.S.) - OMNIBUS AMENDMENTS
                  Act of Dec. 13, 2001, P.L. 876, No. 97              Cl. 03
                             Session of 2001
                               No. 2001-97

     HB 437

                                  AN ACT

     Amending Title 3 (Agriculture) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated
        Statutes, adding provisions relating to the labeling, sale
        and distribution of fertilizer and of soil and plant
        amendments; providing for the powers and duties of the
        Department of Agriculture; establishing the Agronomic
        Regulatory Account; prescribing penalties; and making a
        repeal.

        The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
     hereby enacts as follows:

        Section 1.  Title 3 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes
     is amended by adding chapters to read:
                                CHAPTER 67
                                FERTILIZER
     Sec.
     6701.  Short title of chapter.
     6702.  Definitions.
     6703.  Licensing.
     6704.  Registration of specialty fertilizers.
     6705.  Labels and labeling.
     6706.  Inspection fees.
     6707.  Tonnage reports.
     6708.  Inspection, sampling and analysis.
     6709.  Plant food deficiency.
     6710.  Commercial value.
     6711.  Misbranding.
     6712.  Adulteration.
     6713.  Publications.
     6714.  Short weight.
     6715.  Refusal, suspension or revocation of registration or
            license.
     6716.  Stop-sale orders.
     6717.  Seizure and condemnation.
     6718.  Appeal process.
     6719.  Cooperation with other entities.
     6720.  Rules and regulations.
     6721.  Unlawful conduct.
     6722.  Interference with officer or employee of department.
     6723.  Enforcement and penalties.
     6724.  Exchanges between manufacturers.
     6725.  Disposition of funds.
      § 6701.  Short title of chapter.
        This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the
     Fertilizer Act.
      § 6702.  Definitions.
        The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
     shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
     context clearly indicates otherwise:
        "Brand."  A term, design or trademark used in connection with
     one or several grades of fertilizer.
        "Bulk fertilizer."  A fertilizer distributed in a nonpackaged
     form.
        "By-product."  Municipal waste or residual waste as defined
     in the act of July 7, 1980 (P.L.380, No.97), known as the Solid
     Waste Management Act, that contains a plant nutrient and meets
     all the applicable regulations of the Department of
     Environmental Protection.
        "Consumer."  A person who purchases fertilizer for the end
     use of the product.
        "Deficiency."  The amount of nutrient found by analysis to be
     less than that guaranteed.
        "Department."  The Department of Agriculture of the
     Commonwealth.
        "Distribute."  To import, consign, offer for sale, sell,
     barter or otherwise supply fertilizer in this Commonwealth.
        "Facility."  Each separate mill or plant that manufactures
     fertilizer.
        "Fertilizer."  Any substance, including fertilizer material,
     mixed fertilizer, specialty fertilizer and bulk fertilizer,
     containing one or more recognized plant nutrients which is used
     for its plant nutrient content and which is designed for use or
     claimed to have value in promoting plant growth, except
     unmanipulated animal and vegetable manure, agricultural liming
     materials, wood ashes and other materials exempted by regulation
     by the Department of Agriculture.
        "Fertilizer material."  A fertilizer which:
            (1)  contains only one of the following primary plant
        nutrients: nitrogen, phosphate or potash;
            (2)  has 85% or more of its plant nutrient content
        present in the form of a single chemical compound; or
            (3)  is derived from a plant or animal residue, by-
        product, coproduct as defined in regulation or natural
        material deposit which has been processed in such a way that
        its content of plant nutrients has not been materially
        changed except by purification and concentration.
        "Grade."  The percentage of total nitrogen, available
     phosphate and soluble potash stated in whole numbers in the same
     terms, order and percentages as in the guaranteed analysis
     except that, with respect to specialty fertilizers, fertilizer
     materials, bone meal, manures and similar materials, the
     guaranteed analysis may be stated in fractional units.
        "Guaranteed analysis."  The minimum percentage of plant
     nutrients claimed in the following order and form:
                Total nitrogen (N)                        %
                Available phosphate (P2O5)                %
                Soluble potash (K2O)                      %
     For other organic phosphatic materials, the total phosphate or
     degree of fineness may also be guaranteed. Guarantees for plant
     nutrients other than nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium may be
     established by regulation.
        "Guarantor."  The person whose name and address appears on
     the label of a fertilizer.
        "Label."  The display of all written, printed or graphic
     matter upon the immediate container or a statement accompanying
     a fertilizer.
        "Labeling."  All written, printed or graphic matter upon or
     accompanying any fertilizer or advertisements, brochures,
     posters or electronic media used in promoting the distribution
     of fertilizer.
        "Manufacture."  To produce, mix, blend, repackage or further
     process fertilizer or fertilizer material for distribution.
        "Micronutrient."  Any of the following: boron, chlorine,
     cobalt, copper, iron, manganese, molybdenum, sodium and zinc.
        "Official sample."  A sample of fertilizer taken by the
     Department of Agriculture or its agent to effect the provisions
     of this chapter and designated as official.
        "Overall index value."  The value obtained from the
     calculation: (commercial value found) x 100/(commercial value
     guaranteed).
        "Percent" or "percentage."  A percentage by weight.
        "Person."  An individual, partnership, association, firm,
     corporation or any other legal entity.
        "Plant nutrient."  Any of the following: primary nutrient,
     secondary nutrient and micronutrient.
        "Primary nutrient."  Any of the following: total nitrogen,
     available phosphate and soluble potash.
        "Secondary nutrient."  Any of the following: calcium,
     magnesium and sulfur.
        "Secretary."  The Secretary of Agriculture of the
     Commonwealth or the secretary's designee.
        "Specialty fertilizer."  A fertilizer distributed for nonfarm
     use and fertilizer material primarily intended to supply plant
     nutrients other than nitrogen, phosphate or potash.
        "Tolerance."  A permitted variation from the guarantee of an
     official sample of fertilizer.
      § 6703.  Licensing.
        (a)  General rule.--Every person engaged in the manufacture
     of fertilizer to be distributed in this Commonwealth and every
     guarantor of fertilizer shall, on or before July 1 of each year
     or prior to manufacture or distribution, apply for and obtain an
     annual license for each guarantor and each facility located in
     this Commonwealth. The application for licensure must be on the
     form prescribed by the department and shall be accompanied by a
     $25 application fee. All licenses shall expire on June 30 of
     each year.
        (b)  Labeling and typical analysis.--The department may
     require an applicant for a license or a current licensee to
     submit the labeling that the person is using or intends to use
     for the fertilizer. The department may also require an applicant
     or licensee to provide a typical analysis of selected components
     that may be in the fertilizer.
      § 6704.  Registration of specialty fertilizers.
        (a)  Application.--Each brand and grade of specialty
     fertilizer shall be registered by the guarantor with the
     department before being offered for sale, sold or distributed in
     this Commonwealth. An application for each brand and grade of
     specialty fertilizer shall be made on a form prescribed by the
     department and shall be accompanied by a fee of $25 per each
     grade of each brand. Labels for each brand and grade shall
     accompany the application. Upon the approval of an application
     by the department, a copy of the registration shall be furnished
     to the applicant. All registrations shall expire on June 30 of
     each year.
        (b)  Contents of application.--An application for
     registration shall include:
            (1)  The brand and grade.
            (2)  The guaranteed analysis.
            (3)  The name and address of the guarantor.
            (4)  The net weight.
        (c)  Exemption.--A distributor shall not be required to
     register a specialty fertilizer which is already registered
     under this chapter by another person, providing the label does
     not differ in any material respect.
        (d)  Late fee.--If the application for renewal of the
     specialty fertilizer registration required in this section is
     not filed prior to June 30 of each year, a penalty of $25 or 10%
     of the registration fee, whichever is greater, may be assessed
     and added to the original fee and shall be paid by the applicant
     before the renewal specialty fertilizer registration is issued.
     The penalty shall not apply if the applicant furnished an
     affidavit that the applicant has not distributed the specialty
     fertilizer subsequent to the expiration of the applicant's prior
     registration.
      § 6705.  Labels and labeling.
        (a)  General rule.--Any fertilizer distributed in a container
     in this Commonwealth shall have placed on or affixed to the
     container a label setting forth in legible and conspicuous form:
            (1)  The brand and grade of the fertilizer, provided that
        the grade shall not be required when no primary nutrients are
        claimed.
            (2)  The guaranteed analysis.
            (3)  The name and address of the guarantor.
            (4)  The net weight.
        (b)  Bulk fertilizer.--In the case of bulk fertilizer
     shipments, the information required by subsection (a) shall
     accompany delivery and shall be provided in writing to the
     purchaser at time of delivery.
        (c)  Other guarantees.--Guarantees for other nutrients shall
     be expressed in the form of the element. The department may
     require by regulation that the source of such other nutrients be
     stated on the application for registration and may be required
     on the label. The department may require by regulation that
     other beneficial substances or compounds be guaranteed. When any
     plant nutrients or other substances or compounds are guaranteed,
     they shall be subject to inspection and analysis in accordance
     with the methods and regulations prescribed by the department.
        (d)  Proof of labeling claims.--The department may require
     proof of any labeling claims made for fertilizer. Any research
     in support of such claims shall be performed by an institution
     approved by the department utilizing acceptable scientific
     methodology.
        (e)  Consumer-specified fertilizer formulations.--A
     fertilizer formulated according to specifications which are
     furnished by a consumer prior to mixing shall be labeled to
     show:
            (1)  The net weight.
            (2)  The guaranteed analysis.
            (3)  The name and address of the guarantor.
        (f)  Bulk storage.--Fertilizer in bulk storage that is
     intended for distribution shall be identified with a label
     attached to the storage bin or container giving the name and
     grade of the product.
      § 6706.  Inspection fees.
        (a)  Amounts.--
            (1)  The guarantor whose name appears on the label of a
        fertilizer distributed in this Commonwealth shall pay
        semiannually and not later than January 31 and July 31 of
        each year an inspection fee at the rate of 15¢ per ton. In no
        case shall the inspection fee paid semiannually amount to
        less than $25.
            (2)  On packages of 15 pounds or less, there shall be
        paid in lieu of the inspection fee of 15¢ per ton provided
        for in paragraph (1), annually and not later than January 31
        of each year, an inspection fee of $25 for each brand and
        grade of fertilizer distributed.
            (3)  If the guarantor whose name appears on the label
        distributes fertilizers in this Commonwealth in both packages
        of less and more than 15 pounds, the $25 inspection fee shall
        be paid for its brands and grades sold in packages of 15
        pounds or less, and the 15¢ per ton fee shall be paid for its
        packages of more than 15 pounds.
        (b)  Adjustment to fees by secretary.--
            (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), if
        the secretary determines following notice to the registrants
        and licensees that moneys derived from the registration and
        inspection fees are either greater or less than that required
        to administer this chapter, the secretary may reduce or
        increase the inspection fee so as to maintain revenues
        sufficient to administer this chapter.
            (2)  An inspection fee established under this subsection
        may not be changed by more than 2¢ in one year and may not
        exceed 25¢ per ton.
            (3)  The secretary shall announce the adjustment of fees
        by publishing a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The
        adjusted fees shall take effect 60 days after publication of
        such notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
      § 6707.  Tonnage reports.
        (a)  General rule.--The guarantor whose name appears on the
     label shall submit, along with the requisite inspection fee, a
     report in a manner prescribed by the department listing by
     county the net tons of each brand and grade of fertilizer
     distributed in this Commonwealth for the period covered by the
     inspection fee.
        (b)  Multiple guarantors.--When more than one guarantor is
     involved in the distribution of fertilizer, the guarantor who
     distributed the fertilizer last shall report the tonnage and pay
     the inspection fee unless the report and payment have been made
     by a prior distributor.
        (c)  Late fee.--A penalty of $25 or 10% of the inspection
     fee, whichever is greater, shall be imposed for any fee or
     report not submitted at the required time.
        (d)  Examination permitted.--The department or its authorized
     representative may examine the records of the guarantor to
     verify the information contained in the reports filed with the
     department. Reports containing fraudulent or incorrect
     information shall be considered a violation of this chapter for
     which the department may assess any penalty as provided for in
     this chapter.
        (e)  Confidentiality of information.--
            (1)  No proprietary information furnished to the
        department under this section shall be disclosed in such a
        way as to knowingly or intentionally divulge a trade secret
        of any person subject to the provisions of this chapter.
            (2)  This subsection shall not apply to information
        furnished to a court or administrative tribunal in accordance
        with law.
      § 6708.  Inspection, sampling and analysis.
        (a)  General rule.--The department shall inspect, sample,
     make analyses of and test fertilizers distributed within this
     Commonwealth and shall inspect the storage of bulk fertilizer at
     any time and place and to such an extent as the department may
     deem necessary to determine whether such fertilizers are in
     compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The department
     or its agent may enter upon any public or private premises or
     carriers during regular business hours in order to have access
     to fertilizer subject to provisions of this chapter and the
     records relating to this chapter.
        (b)  Laboratory methodology.--The department shall establish
     by regulation the methods of fertilizer sampling and analysis.
     In promulgating such regulations, the department shall consider
     methods such as those adopted by the Association of Official
     Analytical Chemists International. In cases not covered by such
     methods or in cases where improved methods are available, the
     department may issue a temporary order defining the method to be
     utilized. The method defined in the temporary order shall be
     effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The
     temporary order shall remain in effect for a period not to
     exceed one year unless reissued or until such order is
     promulgated as a regulation.
        (c)  Deficiency determination.--The department, in
     determining whether any fertilizer is deficient, shall be guided
     solely by the official sample obtained and analyzed as provided
     for in subsections (a) and (b).
        (d)  Retention of official samples.--Official samples
     maintained by the department and that require imposition of a
     penalty for nutrient deficiency shall be retained for a minimum
     of 90 days from issuance of a deficiency report. Upon request,
     the department shall furnish to the guarantor a portion of any
     sample that is subject to penalty or other legal action. Such
     requests must be made within 30 days of notification of sample
     violations.
      § 6709.  Plant food deficiency.
        (a)  Penalties.--The following penalties shall be assessed
     for deficiencies from the guaranteed analysis:
            (1)  A penalty payment of five times the commercial value
        of each deficiency shall be assessed when the analysis shows
        that a fertilizer is deficient:
                (i)  in one or more of its guaranteed primary
            nutrients beyond a tolerance of 10% (two unit maximum);
            or
                (ii)  when the overall index value of the primary
            nutrients in the fertilizer is below 97.
            (2)  When a fertilizer is subject to a penalty payment
        under both paragraph (1)(i) and (ii), the larger penalty
        payment shall apply. Any such penalties assessed may not
        exceed the retail price of the lot of fertilizer represented
        by the official sample.
            (3)  Deficiencies beyond the tolerance as established by
        regulation in a component other than a primary nutrient shall
        be evaluated by the department and shall be subject to any
        penalty under this chapter.
        (b)  Payment of penalties.--All penalties assessed under this
     section shall be paid by the guarantor to the consumer of the
     lot of fertilizer represented by the sample analyzed within 90
     days after the date of notice from the department to the
     guarantor. Receipts of payment shall be promptly forwarded by
     the guarantor to the department. If the consumer cannot be
     found, the penalties shall be paid to the department.
        (c)  Deficiencies in mixed fertilizers.--A deficiency in an
     official sample of mixed fertilizer resulting from nonuniformity
     shall not be deemed distinguishable from a deficiency due to
     actual plant nutrient shortage and shall be deemed a violation
     of this chapter for which the department may assess any penalty
     as provided for in this chapter.
      § 6710.  Commercial value.
        For the purpose of determining the commercial value to be
     applied under section 6709 (relating to plant food deficiency),
     the department shall determine and publish annually the values
     per pound of nitrogen, available phosphate and soluble potash in
     fertilizers in this Commonwealth. The amounts determined and
     published shall be used in determining and assessing penalty
     payments.
      § 6711.  Misbranding.
        No person shall distribute a misbranded fertilizer. A
     fertilizer shall be deemed to be misbranded if:
            (1)  its labeling is false or misleading in any
        particular;
            (2)  it is distributed under the name of another
        fertilizer product;
            (3)  it is not labeled as required in section 6705
        (relating to labels and labeling) and in accordance with
        regulations prescribed under this chapter; or
            (4)  it purports to be or is represented as a fertilizer
        or is represented as containing a plant nutrient or
        fertilizer unless such plant nutrient or fertilizer conforms
        to the definition of identity, if any, prescribed by
        regulation.
      § 6712.  Adulteration.
        (a)  General rule.--No person shall distribute an adulterated
     fertilizer product. A fertilizer shall be deemed to be
     adulterated if:
            (1)  it contains any deleterious or harmful substance in
        sufficient amount to render it injurious to beneficial plant
        life, animals, humans, aquatic life, soil or water when
        applied in accordance with its intended use or directions for
        use on the label;
            (2)  adequate warning statements or directions for use
        which may be necessary to protect plant life, animals,
        humans, aquatic life, soil or water are not shown upon the
        label;
            (3)  its composition falls below or differs from that
        which it is purported to possess by its labeling; or
            (4)  it contains viable weed seed in amounts exceeding
        the limits which the department establishes by regulation.
        (b)  Exception.--A fertilizer shall not be considered
     adulterated under this section if the quantity of the substance
     in the fertilizer does not ordinarily render it injurious.
      § 6713.  Publications.
        The department shall publish at least annually and in such
     form as it deems proper such information concerning the
     distribution of fertilizers and results of analyses based on
     official samples of fertilizer distributed within this
     Commonwealth as compared with analyses guaranteed under sections
     6704 (relating to registration of specialty fertilizers) and
     6705 (relating to labels and labeling).
      § 6714.  Short weight.
        If any fertilizer in the possession of a consumer is found by
     the department to be short in weight, the guarantor of that
     fertilizer shall, within 30 days after official notice from the
     department, submit to the consumer a penalty payment of two
     times the value of the actual shortage.
      § 6715.  Refusal, suspension or revocation of registration or
                license.
        The department may refuse, suspend or revoke the registration
     of any fertilizer or refuse, suspend or revoke the license of
     any person where the registrant or licensee has not complied
     with the provisions of this chapter or of any person who has
     used fraudulent or deceptive practices in the evasion of the
     provisions of this chapter.
      § 6716.  Stop-sale orders.
        (a)  General rule.--The department may issue and enforce a
     written or printed stop-sale, use or removal order to the owner
     or custodian of any lot of fertilizer and to hold at a
     designated place when the department finds the fertilizer is
     being offered or exposed for sale in violation of any of the
     provisions of this chapter. The order shall remain in effect
     until the law has been complied with and the fertilizer is
     released in writing by the department or the violation has been
     otherwise legally disposed of by written authority.
        (b)  Release by department.--The department shall release
     fertilizer held under a stop-sale order when the requirements of
     the provisions of this chapter have been complied with and all
     costs and expenses incurred in connection with the withdrawal
     have been paid by the person responsible for the violation.
      § 6717.  Seizure and condemnation.
        A lot of fertilizer not in compliance with the provisions of
     this chapter shall be subject to seizure and condemnation by the
     department, provided that in no instance shall the disposition
     of the fertilizer be ordered by the department without first
     giving the claimant an opportunity for a hearing as provided for
     in section 6718 (relating to appeal process) or for opportunity
     to apply for permission to process or relabel the fertilizer to
     bring it into compliance with this chapter.
      § 6718.  Appeal process.
        All appeals shall be taken and hearings conducted in
     accordance with the provisions of 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A
     (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies)
     and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth
     agency action).
      § 6719.  Cooperation with other entities.
        The department may cooperate with and enter into agreement
     with governmental agencies of the Federal Government, agencies
     of this Commonwealth and any other state in order to carry out
     the purpose and provisions of this chapter.
      § 6720.  Rules and regulations.
        The department shall promulgate and enforce rules and
     regulations necessary for administration and implementation of
     this chapter.
      § 6721.  Unlawful conduct.
        It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to comply with or
     to cause or assist in the violation of any order or any of the
     provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations adopted
     under this chapter.
      § 6722.  Interference with officer or employee of department.
        A person who willfully or intentionally interferes with an
     employee or officer of the department in the performance of that
     employee's or officer's duties or activities authorized under
     this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and
     shall, upon conviction, be subject to a term of imprisonment of
     not more than one year or a fine of not more than $2,500, or
     both.
      § 6723.  Enforcement and penalties.
        (a)  Criminal penalties.--Unless otherwise specified, any
     person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or a
     rule or regulation adopted thereunder or any order issued
     pursuant thereto:
            (1)  For the first offense, commits a summary offense and
        may, upon conviction, be sentenced for each offense to pay a
        fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100 and costs of
        prosecution or to undergo imprisonment for a term which shall
        be fixed at not more than 90 days, or both.
            (2)  For a subsequent offense committed within three
        years of a prior conviction for any violation of this chapter
        or any rule, regulation or order made under this chapter,
        commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and shall, upon
        conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $500
        nor more than $1,000 and costs of prosecution or to
        imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.
        (b)  Trade secrets.--
            (1)  Any person who uses to that person's own advantage
        or reveals to anyone other than the department,
        administrative tribunal or the courts when relevant in any
        judicial proceeding any information acquired under the
        authority of this chapter concerning any method, records,
        formulations or processes which as a trade secret is entitled
        to protection under the law commits a misdemeanor of the
        third degree and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay
        a fine of not less than $500 or to imprisonment for not less
        than one year, or both.
            (2)  This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit
        the department from exchanging information of a regulatory
        nature with governmental agencies of the Federal Government,
        agencies of this Commonwealth or any other state to implement
        the provisions of this chapter.
        (c)  Civil penalties.--
            (1)  In addition to any other remedy available at law or
        in equity for a violation of this chapter, the department may
        assess a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 upon any
        person for each violation of this chapter. The civil penalty
        assessed shall be payable to the department and shall be
        collectible in any manner provided by law for the collection
        of debt.
            (2)  No civil penalty shall be assessed unless the person
        assessed the penalty has been given notice and an opportunity
        for a hearing on the assessment in accordance with the
        provisions of 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A (relating to practice
        and procedure of Commonwealth agencies) and 7 Subch. A
        (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency action).
        (d)  Certified copy of official analysis.--In prosecution
     under this chapter involving the composition of a lot of
     fertilizer, a certified copy of the official analysis signed by
     the secretary or the secretary's designee shall be accepted as
     prima facie evidence of the composition.
        (e)  De minimis violations.--Nothing in this chapter shall be
     construed as requiring the department to report a violation and
     to institute seizure proceedings as a result of de minimis
     violations of this chapter when the department concludes that
     the public interest will be best served by a suitable notice of
     warning in writing.
      § 6724.  Exchanges between manufacturers.
        Nothing in this chapter shall be construed as restricting or
     avoiding sales or exchanges of fertilizers to each other by
     importers, manufacturers or manipulators who mix fertilizer
     materials for sale or as preventing the free and unrestricted
     shipments of fertilizer to manufacturers or manipulators who are
     licensed as required by provisions of this chapter.
      § 6725.  Disposition of funds.
        Moneys received from license fees, registration fees,
     inspection fees, fines and penalties shall be paid into a
     special restricted account in the General Fund to be known as
     the Agronomic Regulatory Account. All moneys in the Agronomic
     Regulatory Account are hereby appropriated to the department for
     the purposes of this chapter and Chapter 69 (relating to soil
     and plant amendment).
                                CHAPTER 69
                         SOIL AND PLANT AMENDMENT
     Sec.
     6901.  Short title of chapter.
     6902.  Definitions.
     6903.  Licensing.
     6904.  Registration.
     6905.  Labels and labeling.
     6906.  Inspection fees.
     6907.  Tonnage reports.
     6908.  Inspection, sampling and analysis.
     6909.  Misbranding.
     6910.  Adulteration.
     6911.  Short weight.
     6912.  Refusal, suspension or revocation of registration or
            license.
     6913.  Stop-sale orders.
     6914.  Seizure and condemnation.
     6915.  Appeal process.
     6916.  Cooperation with other entities.
     6917.  Rules and regulations.
     6918.  Unlawful conduct.
     6919.  Interference with officer or employee of department.
     6920.  Enforcement and penalties.
     6921.  Disposition of funds.
      § 6901.  Short title of chapter.
        This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Soil and
     Plant Amendment Act.
      § 6902.  Definitions.
        The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
     shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
     context clearly indicates otherwise:
        "Active ingredient."  A soil-amending or plant-amending
     ingredient that is not a plant nutrient.
        "Brand."  The term, designation, trademark, product name or
     other specific designation under which individual soil
     amendments or plant amendments are offered for sale.
        "Consumer."  A person who purchases a soil amendment or plant
     amendment for the end use of the product.
        "Department."  The Department of Agriculture of the
     Commonwealth.
        "Distribute."  To import, consign, offer for sale, sell,
     barter or otherwise supply soil amendments and plant amendments
     in this Commonwealth.
        "Facility."  Each separate mill or plant manufacturing a soil
     amendment or plant amendment.
        "Guarantor."  The person whose name and address appears on
     the label of a soil amendment or plant amendment.
        "Label."  The display of all written, printed or graphic
     matter upon the immediate container or statement accompanying a
     soil amendment or plant amendment.
        "Labeling."  All written, printed or graphic matter upon or
     accompanying any soil amendment or plant amendment or
     advertisements, brochures, posters or electronic media used in
     promoting the distribution of such soil amendment or plant
     amendment.
        "Manufacture."  To produce, mix, blend, repackage or further
     process a soil amendment, plant amendment, soil-amending
     ingredient or plant-amending ingredient for distribution.
        "Minimum percentage."  That percent of soil-amending
     ingredient or plant-amending ingredient that must be present in
     a product before the product will be accepted for registration.
        "Official sample."  A sample of soil amendment or plant
     amendment taken by the department or its agent to effect the
     provisions of this chapter and designated as official.
        "Other ingredients."  Non-soil-amending or non-plant-amending
     inert ingredients present in soil amendments or plant
     amendments.
        "Person."  An individual, partnership, association, firm,
     corporation or any other legal entity.
        "Plant amendment."  Any substance applied to plants or seeds
     which is intended to improve germination, growth, yield, product
     quality, reproduction, flavor or other desirable characteristics
     of plants, except fertilizers, soil amendments, agricultural
     liming materials, unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures,
     pesticides and other materials which may be exempted by
     regulation.
        "Plant-amending ingredient."  A substance that will improve
     germination, growth, yield, product quality, reproduction,
     flavor or other desirable characteristics of plant.
        "Secretary."  The Secretary of Agriculture of the
     Commonwealth or the secretary's designee.
        "Soil amendment."  Any substance which is intended to change
     the chemical or physical characteristics of soil. The term does
     not include fertilizers, agriculture liming materials,
     unmanipulated animal and vegetable manures, pesticides and other
     materials exempted by regulation.
        "Soil-amending ingredient."  A substance which changes the
     chemical or physical characteristics of soil.
        "Tolerance."  A permitted variation from the guarantee of an
     official sample of soil amendment or plant amendment.
      § 6903.  Licensing.
        (a)  General rule.--Every person engaged in the manufacture
     of a soil amendment, plant amendment, soil-amending ingredient
     or plant-amending ingredient to be distributed in this
     Commonwealth and every guarantor of such products shall, on or
     before July 1 of each year or prior to manufacture or
     distribution, apply for and obtain an annual license for each
     guarantor and each facility located in this Commonwealth. The
     application for licensure must be on the form prescribed by the
     department and shall be accompanied by a $25 application fee.
     All licenses shall expire on June 30 of each year.
        (b)  Labeling and typical analysis.--The department may also
     require an applicant for a license or a current licensee to
     submit the labeling that the person is using or intends to use
     for their soil amendments or plant amendments. The department
     may also require an applicant or licensee to provide a typical
     analysis of selected components that may be in the soil
     amendment or plant amendment.
      § 6904.  Registration.
        (a)  Application.--Each brand and separately identified soil
     amendment and plant amendment product shall be registered by the
     guarantor with the department before being offered for sale,
     sold or distributed in this Commonwealth. An application for
     registration shall be submitted to the department on a form
     prescribed by the department and shall be accompanied by a fee
     of $25 per product. Labels and labeling shall accompany the
     application. Upon approval of an application by the department,
     a copy of the registration shall be furnished to the applicant.
     All registrations shall expire on June 30 of each year.
        (b)  Contents of application.--An application for
     registration shall include:
            (1)  The brand name.
            (2)  The active ingredients:
                (i)  Name and percentage of soil-amending
            ingredients.
                (ii)  Name and percentage of plant-amending
            ingredients.
            (3)  The total percentage of other ingredients.
            (4)  The purpose of the product.
            (5)  The directions for application.
            (6)  The name and address of the guarantor.
            (7)  The net weight.
        (c)  Exemption.--A distributor shall not be required to
     register a brand of soil amendment or plant amendment which is
     already registered under this chapter by another person,
     providing the label does not differ in any material respect.
        (d)  Minimum percentage to be established.--The department
     may by regulation establish the minimum percentage of soil-
     amending ingredients or plant-amending ingredients that must be
     present before a soil amendment or plant amendment may be
     registered and distributed.
        (e)  Late fee.--If the application for renewal of the soil
     amendment or plant amendment registration required in this
     section is not filed prior to June 30 of each year, a penalty of
     $25 or 10% of the registration fee, whichever is greater, may be
     assessed and added to the original fee and shall be paid by the
     applicant before the renewal soil amendment or plant amendment
     registration is issued. The penalty shall not apply if the
     applicant furnished an affidavit that the applicant has not
     distributed the soil amendment or plant amendment subsequent to
     the expiration of the applicant's prior registration.
      § 6905.  Labels and labeling.
        (a)  General rule.--Any soil amendment or plant amendment
     distributed in a container in this Commonwealth shall have
     placed on or affixed to the container a label setting forth in
     legible and conspicuous form:
            (1)  The brand name.
            (2)  The active ingredients:
                (i)  Name and percentage of soil-amending ingredient.
                (ii)  Name and percentage of plant-amending
            ingredient.
            (3)  The total percentage of other ingredients.
            (4)  The purpose of the product.
            (5)  The directions for application.
            (6)  The name and address of the guarantor.
            (7)  The net weight.
        (b)  Bulk shipments.--In the case of bulk shipments of soil
     or plant amendments, the information required by subsection (a)
     shall accompany delivery and shall be provided in writing to the
     purchaser at time of delivery.
        (c)  False or misleading information prohibited.--No
     information or statement shall appear on any package, label,
     delivery slip or advertising matter which is false or misleading
     to the purchaser as to the use, value, quality, analysis, type
     or composition of the soil amendment or plant amendment.
        (d)  Proof of labeling claims.--The department may require
     proof of any labeling claims made for a soil amendment or plant
     amendment. Any research in support of such claims shall be
     performed by an institution approved by the department utilizing
     acceptable scientific methodology.
        (e)  Ingredient identification.--When a soil-amending
     ingredient or plant-amending ingredient is identified on a
     label, it must be determinable by laboratory methods such as
     those set forth in section 6908(b) (relating to inspection,
     sampling and analysis).
        (f)  Volume labeling authorized.--The department may allow
     labeling by volume rather than weight in subsection (a). The
     department may allow payment of inspection fees on a calculated
     equivalent of volume to tons.
        (g)  Bulk storage.--Soil amendments and plant amendments in
     bulk storage intended for distribution shall be identified with
     a label attached to the storage bin or container giving the
     brand and name of the product.
      § 6906.  Inspection fees.
        (a)  Amounts.--
            (1)  The guarantor whose name appears on the label of a
        soil amendment or plant amendment distributed in this
        Commonwealth shall pay semiannually and not later than
        January 31 and July 31 of each year an inspection fee at the
        rate of 15¢ per ton. In no case shall the inspection fee paid
        semiannually amount to less than $25.
            (2)  On packages of 15 pounds or less, there shall be
        paid in lieu of the inspection fee of 15¢ per ton provided
        for in paragraph (1), annually and not later than January 31
        of each year, an inspection fee of $25 for each brand and
        grade of soil amendment or plant amendment distributed.
            (3)  If the guarantor whose name appears on the label
        distributes soil amendments or plant amendments in this
        Commonwealth in both packages of less and more than 15
        pounds, the $25 inspection fee shall be paid for its brands
        sold in packages of 15 pounds or less, and the 15¢ per ton
        fee shall be paid for its packages of more than 15 pounds.
        (b)  Adjustment to fees by secretary.--
            (1)  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), if
        the secretary determines following notice to the registrants
        and licensees that moneys derived from the registration and
        inspection fees are either greater or less than that required
        to administer this chapter, the secretary may reduce or
        increase the inspection fee so as to maintain revenues
        sufficient to administer this chapter.
            (2)  An inspection fee so established may not be changed
        by more than 2¢ in one year and may not exceed 25¢ per ton.
            (3)  The secretary shall announce the adjustment of fees
        by publishing a notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. The
        adjusted fees shall take effect 60 days after publication of
        such notice in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.
      § 6907.  Tonnage reports.
        (a)  General rule.--The guarantor whose name appears on the
     label shall submit, along with an inspection fee, a report in a
     manner prescribed by the department listing by county the net
     tons of each brand of soil amendment or plant amendment
     distributed in this Commonwealth for the period covered by the
     inspection fee.
        (b)  Multiple guarantors.--When more than one guarantor is
     involved in the distribution of a soil amendment or plant
     amendment, the guarantor who distributed the soil amendment or
     plant amendment last shall report the tonnage and pay the
     inspection fee unless the report and payment have been made by a
     prior distributor.
        (c)  Late fee.--A penalty of $25 or 10% of the inspection
     fee, whichever is greater, shall be imposed for any fee or
     report not submitted at the required time.
        (d)  Examination permitted.--The department or its authorized
     representative may examine the records of the guarantor to
     verify the information contained in the reports filed with the
     department. Reports containing fraudulent or incorrect
     information shall be considered a violation of this chapter for
     which the department may assess a penalty.
        (e)  Confidentiality of information.--
            (1)  No proprietary information furnished to the
        department under this section shall be disclosed in such a
        way as to knowingly or intentionally divulge a trade secret
        of any person subject to the provisions of this chapter.
            (2)  This subsection shall not apply to information
        furnished to a court or administrative tribunal in accordance
        with law.
      § 6908.  Inspection, sampling and analysis.
        (a)  General rule.--The department shall sample, inspect,
     make analysis of and test soil amendments and plant amendments
     distributed within this Commonwealth and shall inspect the
     storage of soil amendments and plant amendments at any time and
     place and to such an extent as the department may deem necessary
     to determine whether such soil amendments and plant amendments
     are in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. The
     department or its agent may enter upon any public or private
     premises or carriers during regular business hours in order to
     have access to soil amendments and plant amendments subject to
     provisions of this chapter and the records relating to this
     chapter.
        (b)  Laboratory methodology.--The department shall establish
     by regulation the methods of soil and plant amendment sampling
     and analysis. In promulgating such regulations, the department
     shall consider methods such as those adopted by the Association
     of Official Analytical Chemists International. In cases not
     covered by such methods or in cases where improved methods are
     available, the department may issue a temporary order defining
     the method to be utilized. The method defined in the temporary
     order shall be effective upon publication in the Pennsylvania
     Bulletin. The temporary order shall remain in effect for a
     period not to exceed one year unless reissued or until such
     order is promulgated as a regulation.
        (c)  Deficiency determination.--The department, in
     determining whether any soil amendment or plant amendment is
     deficient, shall be guided solely by the official sample
     obtained and analyzed as provided for in subsections (a) and
     (b).
        (d)  Retention of official samples.--Official samples
     maintained by the department and that require imposition of a
     penalty shall be retained for a minimum of 90 days from issuance
     of the penalty report. Upon request, the department shall
     furnish to the guarantor a portion of any sample found subject
     to penalty or other legal action. Such requests must be made
     within 30 days of notification of sample violations.
      § 6909.  Misbranding.
        No person shall distribute a misbranded soil amendment or
     plant amendment. A soil amendment or plant amendment shall be
     deemed to be misbranded if:
            (1)  its labeling is false or misleading in any
        particular manner;
            (2)  it is distributed under the name of another soil
        amendment or plant amendment product;
            (3)  it is not labeled as required in section 6905
        (relating to labels and labeling) and in accordance with
        regulations prescribed under this chapter;
            (4)  it purports to be or is represented as a soil
        amendment or plant amendment or is represented as containing
        a soil amendment or plant amendment unless such soil
        amendment or plant amendment conforms to the definition of
        identity, if any, prescribed by regulation of the department;
        or
            (5)  it does not conform to ingredient form, minimums,
        labeling and tolerances prescribed by regulation.
      § 6910.  Adulteration.
        (a)  General rule.--No person shall distribute an adulterated
     soil amendment or plant amendment product. A soil amendment or
     plant amendment shall be deemed to be adulterated if:
            (1)  it contains any deleterious or harmful substance in
        sufficient amount to render it injurious to beneficial plant
        life, animals, humans, aquatic life, soil or water when
        applied in accordance with its intended use or directions for
        use on the label;
            (2)  adequate warning statements or directions for use
        which may be necessary to protect plant life, animals,
        humans, aquatic life, soil or water are not shown upon the
        label;
            (3)  its composition falls below or differs from that
        which it is purported to possess by its labeling; or
            (4)  it contains viable weed seed in amounts exceeding
        the limits which the department establishes by regulation.
        (b)  Exception.--A soil amendment or plant amendment shall
     not be considered adulterated under this section if the quantity
     of the substance in the soil amendment or plant amendment does
     not ordinarily render it injurious.
      § 6911.  Short weight.
        If any soil amendment or plant amendment in the possession of
     a consumer is found by the department to be short in weight, the
     guarantor of that soil amendment or plant amendment shall,
     within 30 days after official notice from the department, submit
     to the consumer a penalty payment of two times the value of the
     actual shortage.
      § 6912.  Refusal, suspension or revocation of registration or
                license.
        The department may refuse, suspend or revoke the registration
     of any soil amendment or plant amendment or refuse, suspend or
     revoke the license of any person where the registrant or
     licensee has not complied with the provisions of this chapter or
     of any person who has used fraudulent or deceptive practices in
     the evasion of the provisions of this chapter.
      § 6913.  Stop-sale orders.
        (a)  General rule.--The department may issue and enforce a
     written or printed stop-sale, use or removal order to the owner
     or custodian of any lot of soil amendment or plant amendment and
     to hold at a designated place when the department finds the soil
     amendment or plant amendment is being offered or exposed for
     sale in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter. The
     order shall remain in effect until the law has been complied
     with and the soil amendment or plant amendment is released in
     writing by the department or the violation has been otherwise
     legally disposed of by written authority.
        (b)  Release by department.--The department shall release the
     soil amendment or plant amendment held under a stop-sale order
     when the requirements of the provisions of this chapter have
     been complied with and all costs and expenses incurred in
     connection with the withdrawal have been paid by the person
     responsible for the violation.
      § 6914.  Seizure and condemnation.
        A lot of soil amendment or plant amendment not in compliance
     with the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to seizure
     and condemnation by the department, provided that in no instance
     shall the disposition of the soil amendment or plant amendment
     be ordered by the department without first giving the claimant
     an opportunity for a hearing as provided for in section 6915
     (relating to appeal process) or for opportunity to apply for
     permission to process or relabel the soil amendment or plant
     amendment to bring it into compliance with this chapter.
      § 6915.  Appeal process.
        All appeals shall be taken and hearings conducted in
     accordance with the provisions of 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A
     (relating to practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies)
     and 7 Subch. A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth
     agency action).
      § 6916.  Cooperation with other entities.
        The department may cooperate with and enter into an agreement
     with governmental agencies of the Federal Government, agencies
     of this Commonwealth and any other state in order to carry out
     the purpose and provisions of this chapter.
      § 6917.  Rules and regulations.
        The department shall promulgate and enforce rules and
     regulations necessary for administration and implementation of
     this chapter.
      § 6918.  Unlawful conduct.
        It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to comply with or
     to cause or assist in the violation of any order or any of the
     provisions of this chapter or the rules and regulations adopted
     under this chapter.
      § 6919.  Interference with officer or employee of department.
        A person who willfully or intentionally interferes with an
     employee or officer of the department in the performance of that
     employee's or officer's duties or activities authorized under
     this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the third degree and
     shall, upon conviction, be subject to a term of imprisonment of
     not more than one year or a fine of not more than $2,500, or
     both.
      § 6920.  Enforcement and penalties.
        (a)  Criminal penalties.--Unless otherwise specified, any
     person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter or a
     rule or regulation adopted thereunder or any order issued
     pursuant thereto:
            (1)  For the first offense, commits a summary offense and
        shall, upon conviction, be sentenced for each offense to pay
        a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $100 and costs of
        prosecution or to serve a term of imprisonment for not more
        than 90 days, or both.
            (2)  For a subsequent offense committed within three
        years of a prior conviction for any violation of this chapter
        or any rule, regulation or order made under this chapter,
        commits a misdemeanor of the second degree and shall, upon
        conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $500
        nor more than $1,000 and costs of prosecution or to serve a
        term of imprisonment for not more than two years, or both.
        (b)  Trade secrets.--
            (1)  Any person who uses to that person's own advantage
        or reveals to anyone other than the department,
        administrative tribunal or the courts when relevant in any
        judicial proceeding any information acquired under the
        authority of this chapter concerning any method, records,
        formulations or processes which as a trade secret is entitled
        to protection under the law commits a misdemeanor of the
        third degree and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay
        a fine of not less than $500 or to serve a term of
        imprisonment for not less than one year, or both.
            (2)  This subsection shall not be construed to prohibit
        the department from exchanging information of a regulatory
        nature with governmental agencies of the Federal Government,
        agencies of this Commonwealth or any other state in order to
        implement the purpose and provisions of this chapter.
        (c)  Civil penalties.--
            (1)  In addition to proceeding under any other remedy
        available at law or in equity for a violation of this
        chapter, the department may assess a civil penalty of not
        more than $2,500 upon any person for each violation of this
        chapter. The civil penalty assessed shall be payable to the
        department and shall be collectible in any manner provided by
        law for the collection of debt.
            (2)  No civil penalty shall be assessed unless the person
        assessed the penalty has been given notice and opportunity
        for a hearing on the penalty assessment in accordance with
        the provisions of 2 Pa.C.S. Chs. 5 Subch. A (relating to
        practice and procedure of Commonwealth agencies) and 7 Subch.
        A (relating to judicial review of Commonwealth agency
        action).
        (d)  Certified copy of official analysis.--In prosecutions
     under this chapter involving the composition of a lot of soil
     amendment or plant amendment, a certified copy of the official
     analysis signed by the secretary or the secretary's designee
     shall be accepted as prima facie evidence of the composition.
        (e)  De minimis violations.--Nothing in this chapter shall be
     construed as requiring the department to report a violation and
     to institute seizure proceedings as a result of a de minimis
     violation of this chapter when the department concludes that the
     public interest will be best served by a suitable notice of
     warning in writing.
      § 6921.  Disposition of funds.
        Moneys received from license fees, registration fees,
     inspection fees, fines and penalties shall be paid into the
     Agronomic Regulatory Account established in section 6725
     (relating to disposition of funds). All moneys in the Agronomic
     Regulatory Account are hereby appropriated to the department for
     the purposes of this chapter and Chapter 67 (relating to
     fertilizer).
        Section 2.  (a)  A license granted or registration made under
     the act of May 29, 1956 (1955 P.L.1795, No.598), known as the
     Pennsylvania Fertilizer, Soil Conditioner and Plant Growth
     Substance Law, in effect on the effective date of this act shall
     remain valid and in effect until its scheduled expiration date.
        (b)  Except to the extent that they are inconsistent with any
     provisions of this act, regulations promulgated under the act of
     May 29, 1956 (1955 P.L.1795, No.598), known as the Pennsylvania
     Fertilizer, Soil Conditioner and Plant Growth Substance Law, in
     effect on the effective date of this act shall continue in
     effect unless subsequently modified by regulations promulgated
     by the department under this act.
        (c)  All funds made available to the department pursuant to
     the act of May 29, 1956 (1955 P.L.1795, No.598), known as the
     Pennsylvania Fertilizer, Soil Conditioner and Plant Growth
     Substance Law, which remain unexpended, uncommitted and
     unencumbered as of the effective date of this act, shall be
     transferred to the Agronomic Regulatory Account.
        Section 3.  The act of May 29, 1956 (1955 P.L.1795, No.598),
     known as the Pennsylvania Fertilizer, Soil Conditioner and Plant
     Growth Substance Law, is repealed.
        Section 4.  This act shall take effect in 60 days.

     APPROVED--The 13th day of December, A. D. 2001.

     MARK S. SCHWEIKER