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For Release: Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DEC Penalizes Tennessee Nursery for Violating New York State's Invasive Species Regulation

State Issues $2,500 Penalty, Company Required to Submit Monthly Reports to Continue Operating in New York

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced a final Order on Consent (Order), including a $2,500 penalty, with Tennessee Wholesale Nursery, LLC, Dennis Sons, and Tammy Sons for violating New York's invasive species regulations. The Tennessee nursery transported eastern hemlock seedlings infested with hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), a prohibited invasive species, to Oswego and Schenectady counties. Under the terms of the order, the nursery is required to provide DEC with monthly nursery stock orders for New York State through 2020 in order to continue doing business in New York State.

"DEC is committed to vigorously enforcing New York's comprehensive environmental rules and regulations to protect our environment and our economy," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "Prevention is the most cost-effective and efficient way to manage invasive species and limit the spread of these pests. It's imperative that nurseries have a thorough inspection process for all materials that leave their facilities and be held accountable when and if they fail to do so."

Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, and diseases that harm or can cause harm to the environment, the economy, and human health. New York's Part 575 Invasive Species Regulation, adopted in July 2014, prohibits or regulates the possession, transport, importation, sale, purchase, and introduction of select invasive species. The regulation helps reduce new introductions and the spread of existing invasive populations. For more information on Part 575, visit DEC's Invasive Species Regulations web page.

HWA is a tiny insect from Asia that attacks North American hemlock trees. Damage from the insect has led to widespread hemlock mortality throughout the Appalachian Mountains and the southern Catskills with considerable ecological damage, as well as economic and aesthetic losses. HWA infestations can be most noticeably detected by the small, white, woolly masses produced by the insects attached to the underside of the twig, near the base of the needles. For more information on HWA, including identification, control techniques, and reporting possible infestations, visit DEC's website or Cornell's New York State Hemlock Initiative (link leaves DEC website).

DEC encourages the public to learn more about how to report unusual forest insects, plants, and diseases by visiting the Forest Health web page and reporting possible infestations to foresthealth@dec.ny.gov. DEC encourages anyone with information on environmental crimes and violations to call its 24-hour hotline, at 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267).

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