A concerning bug infestation in central and Eastern Pennsylvania has the potential to cause tens of millions of dollars to area farmers, but the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is going to great lengths to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The potential plant pest – the spotted lanternfly – may adversely affect the production of grapes, stone fruits and other plants important to Pennsylvania’s agricultural economy.
Because the extent of the potentially devastating infestation is unknown, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture instituted a quarantine for the areas known to be affected by the insect to help slow its spread.
This quarantine initially included areas of Berks, Montgomery, Lehigh and Chester counties, but has since expanded and currently includes Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill. The area is subject to further expansion.
The quarantine restricts the movement of certain articles that may harbor the spotted lanternfly or its larvae from any location within the quarantined area to any location outside of it. Articles that are considered to harbor the insect include:
- Any living state of the insect
- Brush, debris and yard waste
- Landscaping, construction or remodeling waste
- Logs, stumps and tree parts
- Nursery stock
- Crated materials
- Outdoor household items such as RV’s, grills, lawn tractors, tarps, furniture covers, stone, and vehicles and equipment not stored indoors
Fallen leaves are not considered to harbor the spotted lanternfly at this time.
The articles listed above may be moved from the quarantined area under certain circumstances. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture may consider entering into a compliance agreement for a person or entity that demonstrates an understanding of the quarantine and can comply with it. The agreement may also allow the person to issue a Certificate or Limited Permit, which allow the specified articles to be moved if that item is free of the spotted lanternfly in any life stage, or if the article is to be moved to a specified location for specific processing determined to destroy the spotted lanternfly.
Articles may be moved without a Certificate or Limited Permit if all of the flowing conditions are met:
- The points of origin and destination are indicated on the waybill
- They are moved in an enclosed container or are covered by a tarp or covering that is destroyed by burning or is left behind prior to leaving the quarantined area
- The article is moved through the quarantined area without stopping or has only been handled at locations approved by the department as not posing a risk of spotted lanternfly infestation
- Articles are not moved from an infested area interstate
- The article has not been comingled with other materials so as to lose its identity.
All documentation that a person has authorization to move any of the articles out of the quarantined area must be attached to the article itself or the container carrying the articles, and attached to the waybill at all times during movement. These records must also be maintained by the seller, carrier and buyer of the materials for two years.
If you have any questions regarding how the spotted lanternfly quarantine affects you or your business, or if you would like assistance in entering into a compliance agreement for the quarantine, please contact me or anyone in Barley Snyder’s Food & Agribusiness Practice Group.