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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 6, 2017 08:55 AM
From: Representative Eddie Day Pashinski
To: All House members
Subject: Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act
In the near future, I will introduce legislation that would repeal the Noxious Weed Control Law (Act 74 of 1982) and replace it with the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act. This bill will take a proactive approach to controlling existing and potentially noxious weeds, maximizing invasive species control resources and protecting Commonwealth lands. The newly proposed controlled plant section will also enable the controlled use of plants with economic value for biofuel or other uses that have the potential for unwanted spread if not properly managed.

My proposal will update the current list of noxious weeds to include several new weeds that are having an adverse impact on agriculture and wildlife species, as well as, the use of water and land in Pennsylvania. In addition, it updates the current list of noxious weeds to include several new weeds (Animated Oat, Broomrape, Dodder, Hydrilla, Palmer amaranth, Tropical Soda Apple and Waterhemp) that are having a negative impact on economic profitability and use of waters and lands of the Commonwealth.

The bill will allow the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee, consisting of public and private sector stakeholders, to conduct studies and risk assessments on any plant the committee is considering adding or deleting from the noxious weed list. By default, it will also incorporate those weeds that are on the Federal Noxious Weed List.

The addition of permitting for controlled plants allows beneficial plants that could have the potential to become invasive to be used with a permit for research, cultivation, or other uses. One such use is the production of the grass Miscanthus, which is grown and harvested for use as a biofuel.

The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Plant Industry worked extensively on this proposal to address and respond to dangerous plant species in order to protect the public as well as the state’s agriculture and wildlife resources.

The Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council (PISC), which consists of several state agencies and other organizations, including the PA Landscape and Nursery Association (PLNA); and the PA Lake Management Society (PALMS) etc., all support the bill.

Introduced as HB790