Wolf signs Pashinski’s legislation targeting harmful and invasive weeds

HARRISBURG, Oct. 31 – Gov. Tom Wolf signed H.B. 790 into law yesterday, creating the Controlled Plants and Noxious Weeds Act that was introduced by Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, D-Luzerne, Democratic chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee.

“I’m extremely appreciative to Governor Wolf and my fellow legislators on both sides of the aisle,” Pashinski said. “This commonsense legislation will help our state be proactive as we do everything we can to prevent the spread of harmful weeds and protect our valuable land for agriculture and tourism purposes.”

The Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act, which passed the House and Senate unanimously and is supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Pennsylvania Invasive Species Council, Western Pennsylvania Conservancy, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Pennsylvania Landscape and Nursery Association, replaces and updates the Noxious Weed Control Law of 1982, which states that it is illegal to propagate, sell or transport certain noxious weeds in Pennsylvania.

House Bill 790 also creates a category of controlled plants that typically are fast growing and include those grown for biomass and biofuel production. If left uncontrolled, the plants could become noxious and spread rapidly while having negative impacts on Pennsylvania’s land.