Senator LINDA R. GREENSTEIN
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Senator BOB SMITH
District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)
Senators Turner, Diegnan, Zwicker and Durr
Prohibits sale, distribution, or propagation of certain invasive plant species without permit from Department of Agriculture; establishes NJ Invasive Species Council.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Senate Environment and Energy Committee on December 15, 2022, with amendments.
An Act concerning 1[the sale, distribution, and propagation of certain]1 invasive plant species and supplementing Title 4 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. As used in this act:
“Department” means the Department of Agriculture.
“Invasive plant species” means any living part of the following species or any cultivar, variety, or subspecies thereof, including the seeds or spores of such species: Norway maple (Acer platanoides); 1tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima);1 mimosa or silk tree (Albizia julibrissin); porcelain berry (Ampelopsis glandulosa var. brevipedunculata); Japanese angelica tree (Aralia elata); Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii); Japanese clematis (Clematis terniflora); autumn olive (Elaeagnus umbellata); weeping lovegrass (Eragrostis curvula); winged burning bush (Euonymus alatus); English ivy (Hedera helix); Japanese hop (Humulus japonicas); sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneate); European privet (Ligustrum vulgare); Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii); Morrow’s honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii); purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria); Japanese crabapple (Malus toringo); Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis); Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum); Oriental photinia (Photinia villosa); Callery or Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana); common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica); jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens); multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora); European water chestnut (Trapa natans); Siebold's arrowwood (Viburnum sieboldii); Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda); Chinese wisteria (Wisteria sinensis); and any other species designated by the department pursuant to section 4 of this act.
“Permit” means a permit issued by the department pursuant to section 3 of this act.
2. No person may sell, offer for sale, distribute, or propagate for sale or distribution, an invasive plant species in the State without a permit.
3. The department shall, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt rules and regulations to create a permitting program for the safe sale, distribution, and propagation of invasive plant species in the State. These rules and regulations shall include, but need not be limited to:
a. criteria for permits
for limited propagation for sale of an invasive plant species, in ways that prevent
or minimize the risk of
escape and unintentional propagation in the wild;
b. 1criteria for exempting a cultivar of a restricted plant species that proves to be non-invasive by virtue of sterility factors or other stable genetic traits unique to that cultivar;
c.1 criteria for permits for propagation or distribution of an invasive plant species for educational or research purposes;
1[c.] d.1 general permits as may be necessary for the implementation of this act;
1[d.] e.1 warning labels to be required at the point of sale of invasive plant species that describe appropriate cultivation practices to avoid escape of the invasive plant species;
1[e.] f.1 procedures for the submission of an application for a permit;
1[f.] g.1 a schedule of fees to pay for the costs of the permitting program; and
1[g.] h.1 any other rules or regulations as may be necessary for the implementation of this act.
4. a. The department, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers, the State University, the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council established pursuant to P.L.2004, c.120 (C.13:20-1 et seq.), the Pinelands Commission established pursuant to P.L.1979, c.111 (C.13:18A-1 et seq.), and any other relevant State entity, shall, from time to time, adopt regulations pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to designate additional plant species as “invasive plant species” for purposes of this act.
b. When determining whether to add a species to the list of invasive plant species, the department shall consider:
(1) the threat the species poses to native species in the State;
(2) the threat the species poses to any sensitive habitats or endangered or threatened species in the State;
(3) the threat the species poses to any historical, cultural, or infrastructure resources in the State; and
(4) the likelihood that the species will escape intended cultivation areas and propagate uncontrolled in the State.
c. In order to designate a plant species an invasive plant species pursuant to this section, the department shall make a finding that the plant species threatens ecological, cultural, historical, or infrastructure resources of the State, and may not designate a plant species an invasive plant species solely because that plant species is not native to New Jersey.
5. The department shall, in consultation with the Department of Environmental Protection, the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station at Rutgers, the State University, the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council established pursuant to P.L.2004, c.120 (C.13:20-1 et seq.), the Pinelands Commission established pursuant to P.L.1979, c.111 (C.13:18A-1 et seq.), and any other relevant State entity, develop education materials for distribution, in a manner the department deems most effective, which identify invasive plant species, cultivation practices to avoid the spread of invasive plant species, and safer alternative plant species for cultivation in the State, where applicable. These educational materials shall be distributed at the point of sale of invasive plant species, and any other locations deemed appropriate by the department.
6. a. Any person who violates this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $100 for a first offense, up to $200 for a second offense, and up to $500 for a third or subsequent offense. Any civil penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection may be collected with costs in a summary proceeding pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.). The Superior Court shall have jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999” in connection with this act.
b. The department may institute a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction for injunctive relief to prohibit or prevent a violation of this act, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, and the court may proceed in the action in a summary manner.
c. The department shall conduct nursery inspections contemporaneously and in a manner and form similar to inspections conducted pursuant to R.S.4:7-21. The department shall not charge a separate inspection fee pursuant to this section.
d. The department may seize and destroy any invasive plant species that forms a basis of a violation of this act or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto.
e. The department may compromise and settle any claim for a penalty under this act in such amount in the discretion of the department as may appear appropriate and equitable under all of the circumstances.
1f. Nothing in this act shall be construed to impose liability on any news media that accepts or publishes advertising for any product that may fall within the scope of this act.1
17. a. There is hereby established a New Jersey Invasive Species Council. The council shall consist of 13 members to be appointed as follows:
(1) the Commissioner of Environmental Protection or the commissioner's designee, who shall serve ex-officio;
(2) the Secretary of Agriculture or the secretary's designee, who shall serve ex-officio;
(3) the Commissioner of Transportation or the commissioner's designee, who shall serve ex-officio;
(4) the Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, created pursuant to section 3 of P.L.1998, c.44 (C.52:27C-63), or the secretary's designee, who shall serve ex-officio; and
(5) nine additional members appointed by the Governor, no later than 60 days after the effective date of this section, as follows:
(a) three representatives from conservation organizations;
(b) one representative from the agricultural sector;
(c) two representatives of the nursery and landscape sector;
(d) one representative of the New Jersey Agricultural Invasive Species Council;
(e) one representative from academia;
(f) one representative from the general public.
b. The co-chairpersons of the council shall be the Commissioner of Environmental Protection and the Secretary of Agriculture, or their designees. A majority of the membership of the council shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of council business, and action may be taken at any meeting by the affirmative vote of a majority of the membership of the council.
c. The council shall request the participation of the United States Department of Agriculture, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of the Interior.
d. The council shall develop a comprehensive New Jersey Invasive Species Management Plan to be submitted to the Governor and, pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), to the Legislature, no later than one year after the effective date of this section. The management plan shall include but not be limited to: a statement of policy and mission; definitions; findings concerning the current status of non-indigenous plant species in New Jersey and their impact on habitat, biota, and natural ecosystems; identification of prevention methods and procedures for early detection and rapid response, and control measures; identification of restoration and research needs and pilot projects; establishment of information management, education, and interpretation measures; and coordination among State agencies and adjacent states.
e. The council shall undertake the following tasks and any other reasonable measures necessary to prevent the introduction of invasive species and to eliminate or minimize invasive species already established in the State. These tasks, as appropriate, may become components of the New Jersey Invasive Species Management Plan:
(1) recommend measures necessary for State departments and agencies, and non-governmental organizations to cooperate with federal agencies and other states in complying with federal Executive Order No. 13112 and the National Invasive Species Management Plan;
(2) identify research needs to better assess the sources, degree, distribution, and threat posed by invasive species, and methods for preventing the introduction and control of invasive species;
(3) review ongoing invasive species control efforts being carried out by State departments and agencies, and recommend new or revised measures to limit the introduction and effectuate the control of invasive species;
(4) produce educational materials for public distribution regarding the threats posed by invasive species, outlining measures to prevent the introduction of invasive species and to control invasive species, and encourage the use of local native genotypes propagated in New Jersey in landscaping and planting, including drought tolerant native plants;
(5) develop partnerships with federal, State, and local government agencies and private organizations, including the horticultural industry, necessary to implement the policies and recommendations of the council;
(6) identify funding sources for research, monitoring, control, and outreach programs; and
(7) identify legislative or regulatory actions necessary to implement or further the policies and recommendations of the council.1
1[7. This act] 8. Section 7 of the bill shall take effect immediately, and sections 1 through 6 of the bill1 shall take effect on the first day of the 24th month next following enactment, except that the department may take any anticipatory administrative action in advance as may be necessary for the implementation of this act.