Report to MNLA
By John Peter Thompson
Legislation attached at end of report
Legislation is being proposed to address invasive plant concerns and issues in Maryland. Invasive species which include more than just plants continue to affect Maryland's ecosystems. An invasive species according to US Executive Order 13112 is "an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health." Invasive plants introduced into Maryland are affecting the health and ecological functioning of plant and animal communities in natural areas such as wildlands, parks, forests, lakes and rivers, and managed areas such as farms and backyards. Invasive plants can cause ecological damage in numerous ways, which include outcompeting native species for resources, reducing biological diversity, disrupting food webs, degrading food and shelter for native animals, altering flooding and fire impacts, and modifying nutrient cycling. Some invasive plants have major economic consequences, including reducing, degrading or causing movement of valuable species, compromising farm production and food security and the mounting costs of control or management on public and private lands. Certain invasive plants can have human health impacts, due to toxins or allergens they contain. Many plants that are invasive in Maryland or elsewhere in the mid-atlantic region were introduced through ornamental horticultural commerce before their invasive habits were realized. Others have been inadvertently introduced through regular commercial shipping activities. Limitation of invasive plants' potential to negatively affect natural areas' species and functions provides a clear benefit to Maryland citizens.
Legislation was introduced into the Maryland General Assembly in 2009 that would have prohibited the production or distribution of over 100 plant species including burning bush, Chinese wisteria, and Japanese barberry. The Maryland Nursery & Landscape Association through its representatives on the Maryland Invasive Species Council reached out to interested parties in order to formulate a more equitable, science based strategy to deal with invasive plants in Maryland.
A working group of interested parties came together in early 2010 to begin crafting legislation that would address the concerns of all the stakeholders including state agencies, natural area land managers, gardeners and the nursery and landscape industries. The intent of the legislation is to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture to prohibit invasive plants from being introduced, produced, distributed, sold or planted in Maryland; to require the Secretary to adopt lists and protocols for identifying certain invasive plants; to provide notice and signage requirements; to require the Secretary to establish an invasive plant risk assessment protocol to designate certain invasive plants as prohibited; to create an Invasive Plant Advisory Committee; to define the membership and duties of the committee; to provide powers of the Secretary to stop prohibited activities; to provide civil penalties and injunctive relief for violations of this Act; and generally related to the Secretary of Agriculture's authority to enforce, prohibit or control invasive plant species.
The center piece of the proposed legislation is the creation of an invasive plant advisory committee within the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Unlike comprehensive efforts in many states that consider all invasive species,, Maryland's committee will focus solely on plants. Membership is defined as follows:
(1) The secretary or the designee of the secretary;
(2) The secretary of natural resources or the designee of the secretary of natural resources;
(3) The secretary of transportation or the designee of the secretary of transportation;
(4) The secretary of the environment or the designee of the secretary of the environment; and
(5) The dean of the university of maryland college of agriculture and natural resources or the designee of the dean of the university of Maryland college of agriculture and natural resources.
(d) The following six members shall be appointed by the secretary:
(1) A representative of the landscaping industry regulated by the department, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources;
(2) A member of the plant wholesale industry or plant retail industry regulated by the department, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources;
(3) A non-governmental environmental advocacy organization, in consultation with the secretary of natural resources;
(4) Two individuals with experience regarding invasive plants, agriculture, horticulture, gardening, conservation or other relevant experience; and
(5) A consumer member.
Within one year of the effective date of legislation, a science-based risk assessment protocol for invasive plants will be adopted that considers economic, ecological, environmental and human health harm within the state. A two-tiered system will be established. The first tier will consist of invasive plants that cause or are likely to cause severe harm within the state of Maryland. It shall be unlawful to propagate, import, transfer, sell, purchase, transport, or introduce any living part of an invasive plant classified by the secretary as a "tier 1 invasive plant," except with permission from the secretary for disposal, control, research, educational purposes, or for the purpose of exportation outside of Maryland
The second tier will consist of invasive plants that cause or are likely to cause substantial negative impact within the state. Tier 2 plants will need signage as prescribed by the legislation and recommended by the advisory committee. Retail outlets will have to post a sign as determined by the secretary in a conspicuous manner in proximity to all displays that include any "tier 2 invasive plant". Landscaping services will have to provide to their customer the list of "tier 2 invasive plants" developed by the legislation.
Invasive plants cause economic damage over 30 billion dollars a years; invasive species in general range as high as 132 billion dollars per year. This effort attempts to find a compromise between outright bans as found in other states and the recognition of the importance and value of the contributions of the nursery and landscape industries to the economic and aesthetic well being of the citizens of the State of Maryland. MNLA and other members of MaGIC (Md Green Industry Council) need your comments and suggestions.
A BILL ENTITLED
AN ACT concerning
Secretary of Agriculture – Invasive Plant Prevention and Control
FOR the purpose of authorizing the Secretary of Agriculture to prohibit certain invasive plants from being introduced, produced, distributed, sold or planted in Maryland; requiring the Secretary to adopt at certain times certain lists and protocols for identifying certain invasive plants; providing certain notice and signage requirements; requiring the Secretary to establish an invasive plant risk assessment protocol to designate certain invasive plants as prohibited; creating an Invasive Plant Advisory Committee; defining the membership and duties of the committee; providing powers of the Secretary to stop prohibited activities; providing civil penalties and injunctive relief for violations of this Act; and generally related to the Secretary of Agriculture's authority to enforce, prohibit or control invasive plant species under the Act.
BY adding to,
Article – Agriculture
Section 5-1001 through 5-1010 to be under "Subtitle 10, Invasive Plant Prevention and
Annotated Code of Maryland
(2007 Replacement Volume and 2010 Supplement)
SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF MARYLAND, That the Laws of Maryland read as follows:
Article – Agriculture
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY DECLARES THAT CERTAIN INVASIVE PLANTS INTRODUCED INTO MARYLAND ARE AFFECTING THE HEALTH AND ECOLOGICAL FUNCTIONING OF PLANT AND ANIMAL COMMUNITIES IN NATURAL AREAS SUCH AS WILDLANDS, PARKS, FORESTS, LAKES AND RIVERS, AND MANAGED AREAS SUCH AS FARMS AND BACKYARDS. INVASIVE PLANTS CAN CAUSE ECOLOGICAL DAMAGE IN NUMEROUS WAYS, WHICH INCLUDE OUTCOMPETING NATIVE SPECIES FOR RESOURCES, REDUCING BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, DISRUPTING FOOD WEBS, DEGRADING FOOD AND SHELTER FOR NATIVE ANIMALS, ALTERING FLOODING AND FIRE IMPACTS, AND MODIFYING NUTRIENT CYCLING. SOME INVASIVE PLANTS HAVE MAJOR ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES, INCLUDING REDUCING, DEGRADING OR CAUSING MOVEMENT OF VALUABLE SPECIES, COMPROMISING FARM PRODUCTION AND FOOD SECURITY AND THE MOUNTING COSTS OF CONTROL OR MANAGEMENT ON PUBLIC AND PRIVATE LANDS. CERTAIN INVASIVE PLANTS CAN HAVE HUMAN HEALTH IMPACTS, DUE TO TOXINS OR ALLERGENS THEY CONTAIN. MANY PLANTS THAT ARE INVASIVE IN MARYLAND OR ELSEWHERE IN THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION WERE INTRODUCED THROUGH ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURAL COMMERCE BEFORE THEIR INVASIVE HABITS WERE REALIZED. OTHERS HAVE BEEN INADVERTENTLY INTRODUCED THROUGH REGULAR COMMERCIAL SHIPPING ACTIVITIES. LIMITATION OF INVASIVE PLANTS' POTENTIAL TO NEGATIVELY AFFECT NATURAL AREAS' SPECIES AND FUNCTIONS PROVIDES A CLEAR BENEFIT TO MARYLAND CITIZENS.
(A) IN THIS SUBTITLE, THE FOLLOWING WORDS HAVE THE MEANINGS INDICATED.
(B) "COMMITTEE" MEANS THE INVASIVE PLANT ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
(C) "INVASIVE PLANT" MEANS A TERRESTRIAL PLANT SPECIES THAT DID NOT EVOLVE IN MARYLAND WHOSE INTRODUCTION, AS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY, CAUSES OR IS LIKELY TO CAUSE ECONOMIC OR ENVIRONMENTAL HARM OR HARM TO HUMAN HEALTH WITHIN THE STATE.
(D) "LANDSCAPING SERVICES" INCLUDES SERVICES FOR ORNAMENTAL HORTICULTURAL DESIGN, MAINTENANCE AND INSTALLATION OF LIVING PLANTS.
(A) THERE IS AN INVASIVE PLANT ADVISORY COMMITTEE IN THE DEPARTMENT.
(B) THE COMMITTEE CONSISTS OF 11 MEMBERS.
(C) THE FOLLOWING FIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS SHALL SERVE AS EX OFFICIO MEMBERS:
(1) THE SECRETARY OR THE DESIGNEE OF THE SECRETARY;
(2) THE SECRETARY OF NATURAL RESOURCES OR THE DESIGNEE OF THE SECRETARY OF NATURAL RESOURCES;
(3) THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION OR THE DESIGNEE OF THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION;
(4) THE SECRETARY OF THE ENVIRONMENT OR THE DESIGNEE OF THE SECRETARY OF THE ENVIRONMENT; AND
(5) THE DEAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES OR THE DESIGNEE OF THE DEAN OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES.
(D) THE FOLLOWING SIX MEMBERS SHALL BE APPOINTED BY THE SECRETARY:
(1) A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE LANDSCAPING INDUSTRY REGULATED BY THE DEPARTMENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE SECRETARY OF NATURAL RESOURCES;
(2) A MEMBER OF THE PLANT WHOLESALE INDUSTRY OR PLANT RETAIL INDUSTRY REGULATED BY THE DEPARTMENT, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE SECRETARY OF NATURAL RESOURCES;
(3) A NON-GOVERNMENTAL ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCACY ORGANIZATION, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE SECRETARY OF NATURAL RESOURCES;
(4) TWO INDIVIDUALS WITH EXPERIENCE REGARDING INVASIVE PLANTS, AGRICULTURE, HORTICULTURE, GARDENING, CONSERVATION OR OTHER RELEVANT EXPERIENCE; AND
(5) A CONSUMER MEMBER.
(E) THE TERM OF AN APPOINTED MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE APPOINTED IS 3 YEARS AND BEGINS ON JANUARY 1. AN APPOINTED MEMBER MAY NOT SERVE MORE THAN TWO CONSECUTIVE TERMS ON THE COMMITTEE.
(F) THE APPOINTED COMMITTEE MEMBERS SHALL SERVE AT THE PLEASURE OF THE SECRETARY.
THE COMMITTEE SHALL:
(1) ANNUALLY ELECT FROM ITS MEMBERS A CHAIRPERSON, A VICE CHAIRPERSON, AND A SECRETARY;
(2) HOLD MEETINGS AT LEAST ONCE DURING EACH CALENDAR QUARTER OF THE YEAR UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT THE SECRETARY HAS ADOPTED REGULATIONS PURSUANT TO THIS SUBTITLE, AND THEREAFTER AS NEEDED;
(3) ADVISE THE SECRETARY REGARDING REGULATIONS TO BE ADOPTED TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SUBTITLE; AND
(4) CONDUCT AN ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL ADOPTED PURSUANT TO §5-1005(1) OF THIS SUBTITLE AND REPORT TO THE SECRETARY REGARDING ANY PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL.
THE SECRETARY, WITH THE ADVICE OF THE COMMITTEE, SHALL:
(1) WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBTITLE, ADOPT REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING A SCIENCE-BASED RISK ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL FOR INVASIVE PLANTS THAT CONSIDERS ECONOMIC, ECOLOGICAL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN HEALTH HARM WITHIN THE STATE, AS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY;
(2) WITHIN TWO YEARS OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBTITLE:
(A) ADOPT REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING A LIST OF "TIER 1 INVASIVE PLANTS" ACCORDING TO THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION THAT INCLUDES INVASIVE PLANTS THAT CAUSE OR ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE SEVERE HARM WITHIN THE STATE;
(B) ADOPT REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING A LIST OF "TIER 2 INVASIVE PLANTS" ACCORDING TO THE RISK ASSESSMENT PROTOCOL REFERRED TO IN THIS SECTION THAT INCLUDES INVASIVE PLANTS THAT CAUSE OR ARE LIKELY TO CAUSE SUBSTANTIAL NEGATIVE IMPACT WITHIN THE STATE;
(C) ADOPT REGULATIONS THAT PROVIDE A PROCESS FOR THE CLASSIFICATION OR DECLASSIFICATION OF ANY INVASIVE PLANTS AS "TIER 1 INVASIVE PLANTS," OR "TIER 2 INVASIVE PLANTS";
(D) ADOPT REGULATIONS THAT PROVIDE FOR A PHASED-IN IMPLEMENTATION OF THE REGULATIONS ADOPTED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBTITLE TO CONSIDER ANY ECONOMIC IMPACT ON NURSERIES, LANDSCAPERS, PLANT WHOLESALERS, PLANT RETAILERS, AND ANY OTHER INDUSTRY THAT MIGHT BE AFFECTED BY THIS SUBTITLE AND THE REGULATIONS ADOPTED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBTITLE;
(E) ADOPT REGULATIONS THAT PROVIDE FOR THE FORMAT, SIZE AND CONTENT OF THE SIGNAGE AND NOTICE REQUIRED PURSUANT TO §5-1006(A)(2) AND (3) OF THIS SUBTITLE; AND
(F) ADOPT REGULATIONS THAT PROVIDE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF A LIST OF "TIER 2 INVASIVE PLANTS" TO LICENSED NURSERIES, PLANT DEALERS AND PLANT BROKERS ON AN ANNUAL BASIS.
(3) WITHIN ONE YEAR OF THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SUBTITLE, ADOPT REGULATIONS GOVERNING:
(A) ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS THAT THE SECRETARY MAY ISSUE TO ENFORCE THIS SUBTITLE; AND
(B) THE PERMISSION THAT IS TO BE OBTAINED FROM THE SECRETARY FOR THE PROPAGATION, IMPORTATION, SALE, PURCHASE, TRANSPORTATION, OR INTRODUCTION OF ANY "TIER 1 INVASIVE PLANTS" FOR DISPOSAL, CONTROL, RESEARCH, OR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES, OR FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPORTATION OUTSIDE OF MARYLAND;
(A) A PERSON MAY NOT:
(1) PROPAGATE, IMPORT, TRANSFER, SELL, PURCHASE, TRANSPORT, OR INTRODUCE ANY LIVING PART OF AN INVASIVE PLANT CLASSIFIED BY THE SECRETARY AS A "TIER 1 INVASIVE PLANT," EXCEPT WITH PERMISSION FROM THE SECRETARY FOR DISPOSAL, CONTROL, RESEARCH, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES, OR FOR THE PURPOSE OF EXPORTATION OUTSIDE OF MARYLAND;
(2) SELL, OFFER TO SELL, OR EXPOSE FOR SALE AT A RETAIL OUTLET ANY INVASIVE PLANT CLASSIFIED BY THE SECRETARY AS A "TIER 2 INVASIVE PLANT," UNLESS THE RETAIL OUTLET POSTS A SIGN AS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY IN A CONSPICUOUS MANNER IN PROXIMITY TO ALL DISPLAYS THAT INCLUDE ANY "TIER 2 INVASIVE PLANT"; OR
(3) PROVIDE LANDSCAPING SERVICES TO PLANT OR SUPPLY FOR PLANTING ANY INVASIVE PLANT CLASSIFIED BY THE SECRETARY AS A "TIER 2 INVASIVE PLANT," UNLESS THE PERSON IN THE BUSINESS OF PROVIDING LANDSCAPING SERVICES PROVIDES TO THE CUSTOMER REQUESTING THE SERVICE THE LIST OF "TIER 2 INVASIVE PLANTS" TO BE DEVELOPED AND DISTRIBUTED BY THE SECRETARY PURSUANT TO THIS SUBTITLE.
(B) THE PROHIBITION SET FORTH IN SUBSECTION (A)(1) OF THIS SECTION AGAINST TRANSFERRING, SELLING, OR PURCHASING ANY LIVING PART OF AN INVASIVE PLANT DOES NOT APPLY TO THE TRANSFER, LEASE, SALE, OR PURCHASE OF REALTY IF THE INVASIVE PLANT IS ALREADY GROWING IN, OR OTHERWISE AFFIXED TO AND A PART OF, THE REALTY.
- (1) IF THE SECRETARY FINDS ANY TIER 1 PLANT, THE SECRETARY SHALL ISSUE A CONDEMNATION SEIZURE ORDER AND MARK OR TAG THE PLANT IN A CONSPICUOUS MANNER. THE SECRETARY SHALL GIVE WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE OWNER, TENANT, OR PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE PREMISES.
(2) IF THE PERSON NOTIFIED DOES NOT DISPOSE OF THE TIER 1 PLANT PURSUANT TO THE DEPARTMENTAL RULES AND REGULATIONS, THE SECRETARY SHALL DESTROY THE PLANT. THE SECRETARY SHALL PREPARE A STATEMENT OF THE EXPENSES OF DESTRUCION AND SHALL TRANSMIT A COPY OF THE STATEMENT AND ACCOUNT TO THE STATE'S ATTORNEY OF THE COUNTY WHERE THE OWNER OF THE PREMISES RESIDES. THE STATE'S ATTORNEY SHALL COLLECT THE EXPENSES AND ACCOUNT TO THE SECRETARY. THE COPY OF THE STATEMENT AND ACCOUNT IS SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO PROVE THE CLAIM.
(B) IF THE SECRETARY FINDS ANY TIER 2 PLANT THAT DOES NOT HAVE THE REQUIRED SIGNAGE, THE SECREARY SHALL ISSUE A STOP SALE ORDER AND MARK OR TAG THE PLANT IN A CONSPICUOUS MANNER. THE SECRETARY SHALL GIVE WRITTEN NOTICE TO THE OWNER, TENANT, OR PERSON IN CHARGE OF THE PREMISES. THE STOP SALE SHALL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT THE PERSON NOTIFIED POSTS THE REQUIRED SIGNAGE.
(A) INSTEAD OF OR IN ADDITION TO ANY OTHER PENALTY AUTHORIZED UNDER THIS ARTICLE, THE SECRETARY MAY IMPOSE ON ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES ANY PROVISION OF THIS SUBTITLE OR ANY ORDER WHICH THE SECRETARY HAS ISSUED UNDER THIS SUBTITLE, A CIVIL PENALTY NOT EXCEEDING $500 FOR EACH VIOLATION.
(B) PENALTIES COLLECTED BY THE SECRETARY UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE PAID INTO THE GENERAL FUND OF THE STATE.
(A) THE SECRETARY MAY APPLY TO A COURT FOR RELIEF BY INJUNCTION, WITHOUT BOND, TO ENFORCE ANY PROVISION OF THIS SUBTITLE ANY ORDER OF THE SECRETARY OR TO RESTRAIN A VIOLATION OF ANY PROVISION OF THIS SUBTITLE.
(B) IN THESE PROCEEDINGS THE SECRETARY DOES NOT HAVE TO ALLEGE OR PROVE THAT:
(1) AN ADEQUATE REMEDY AT LAW DOES NOT EXIST; OR
(2) SUBSTANTIAL OR IRREPARABLE DAMAGE WOULD RESULT FROM THE CONTINUED VIOLATIONS.
ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES ANY PROVISION OF THIS SUBTITLE IS SUBJECT TO THE PENALTIES AND FINES SET FORTH IN TITLE 12 OF THIS ARTICLE.
SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take effect October 1, 2011.