Pennsylvania: New Noxious Weed Act Signed Into Law

The new Pennsylvania Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act will help protect your farm or property from some newer invasive noxious weeds.

This new noxious weed law will go into effect with the new year and will replace the old “Noxious Weed Control Law”, which has been in place since 1982. The old law had 13 weed species considered noxious. The new law classifies noxious weeds based on the ability to manage and eradicate and groups weeds into one of three classes (A, B, or C).

Controlled plants require permits that can allow propagation. Class A noxious weeds receive the most attention as they are still geographically limited in the Commonwealth and intended to be eradicated.

Class A noxious weeds includes 10 different species with the two new invasive pigweeds, Palmer amaranth and waterhemp being included on the list. Additional species include animated oat, dodder species, goatsrue, giant hogweed, hydrilla, wavyleaf basketgrass, broomrape, and kudzu.

Class B noxious weeds are widely established in the Commonwealth and cannot be feasibly eradicated. This includes eight weed species including Canada thistle and Johnsongrass.

Class C noxious weeds are not known to exist in the Commonwealth, but pose a potential threat if introduced and include weeds listed as Federal noxious weeds.

In a nutshell, the PA Department of Agriculture may issue a control order requiring any landowner or manager to implement treatment measures for noxious weeds. This could be an agricultural field or a nonagricultural setting.

In our mind, the clear advantage for this new law is that this will help build awareness about the most invasive plant species of concern and better management guidelines will be developed and implemented, while we still have a chance.

Contact the Bureau of Plant Industry at the Department of Agriculture for more information.

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