PA 09-52—HB 5277
Planning and Development Committee
AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE INVASIVE PLANT COUNCIL
SUMMARY: This act prohibits, from July 1, 2009 to October 1, 2014, municipalities from adopting ordinances regulating the retail sale or purchase of invasive plants. It allows these plants to be moved for specific purposes and makes other changes in invasive plant laws.
EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2009
BAN ON MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES
A law prohibiting municipalities from regulating the retail sale or purchase of invasive plants expired October 1, 2005. The act reinstates this ban, starting July 1, 2009. The ban expires on October 1, 2014.
MOVING INVASIVE PLANTS
Prior law barred people from importing, moving, selling, buying, transplanting, cultivating, or distributing any of 81 listed invasive plants. The act removes water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) from the list. It allows people to (1) move any of the remaining 80 plants for research, eradication, or educational purposes and (2) cultivate them only for research. It also bars anyone from moving (except for eradication, research, or educational purposes), cultivating (except for research purposes), importing, selling, transplanting, buying, or distributing any of the reproductive portions of a listed invasive plant, including seeds, flowers, roots, and tubers.
By law, violators are subject to a fine of up to $100 per plant. Prior law treated violations as an infraction with regard to plants listed as invasive before October 1, 2005. Under the act, violations of the invasive plant law for plants listed as invasive on or after that date, as well as violations concerning the reproductive portions of any listed invasive plant, also are treated as infractions.
STATE AGENCY TRANSPORT OF INVASIVE PLANTS
The law allows state agencies, departments, and institutions to transport invasive and potentially invasive plants for educational or research purposes. The act allows agencies to also transport them to eradicate them. It allows agents of state agencies, departments, and institutions to transport these plants for the same three purposes.
INSPECTION FOR VIOLATIONS OF INVASIVE PLANT LAWS
By law, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station director may prohibit or regulate the transport of plants and plant material liable to carry dangerous pests and enforce other provisions of the law concerning plant and insect disease and infestation. The act authorizes the director to inspect nurseries and nursery stock for violations of the invasive plant laws. As under current law, the inspection by the director or his or her designee must occur at a reasonable time, and anyone who interferes with the director or the designee or violates any quarantine or regulation is subject to a fine of $5 to $100. The act also authorizes the agriculture commissioner to inspect pet shops for violations of the invasive plant laws. By law, the commissioner may issue orders to correct unsatisfactory conditions.