Rep. Costello Applauds USDA Announcement on Spotted Lanternfly Funding
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) applauded the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announcement of $17.5 million to help address the Spotted Lanternfly, a pest that is native to Southeastern Asia and first appeared in the United States in Berks County, Pennsylvania. The funding will support coordinated control treatments, detection surveys, and outreach to farmers, businesses, and the public.
Rep. Costello represents parts of Berks, Chester, Lebanon, and Montgomery Counties, and each county is currently under quarantine for the Spotted Lanternfly. The Congressman has heard from constituents on how the pest is causing problems on farming operations and at their homes.
“This is an immediate and timely solution for my constituents in Southeastern Pennsylvania, whose farms and daily lives have been impacted by the Spotted Lanternfly. I have heard their concerns and have been working with my colleagues and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase funding for combatting this pest. This announcement means we will now have funds for coordinated treatments, outreach to farmers and others who have been impacted, and for detection surveys that will result in critical data. Thank you to the USDA and Secretary Perdue for his focus on solving an issue that is important to so many Pennsylvanians.” said Rep. Costello.
“I am pleased to see USDA acting quickly on the invasive Spotted Lanternfly, which is wreaking havoc on Pennsylvania’s agricultural producers and landowners in 13 counties,” U.S. Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson said. “This pest is a threat to apples, grapes, peaches, stone fruits and various tree species throughout Pennsylvania. These funds will go a long way in helping the Commonwealth treat, gather data and perform the coordination needed to contain the spread of this devastating threat. I thank Secretary Perdue and USDA for its commitment to combatting this destructive and invasive pest so we can hopefully eradicate it for good.”
“This is fantastic news for my constituents and all of Pennsylvania. I want to thank Reps. Costello, Thompson, and Secretary Perdue for their prompt response to my request. Discussing the challenges that we have with Rep. Costello, I was pleased to see that treatment for the core of the Spotted Lanternfly will be addressed, along with the perimeter. This request, separate from federal Farm Bill considerations, will go a long way in helping our communities,” said Pennsylvania State Representative David Maloney.
Rep. Costello has been working to secure additional funding in the Fiscal Year 2018 Farm Bill to help prevent the Spotted Lanternfly from disrupting the local economy any more than it already has. In January, Rep. Costello joined Reps. Smucker, Dent, and Meehan in writing to the House Committee on Agriculture to request a funding increase of $20 million to $40 million each year to the USDA Animal and Health Inspection Service (APHIS)’s Plant Pest and Disease Management and Disaster Protection Program.
To read the USDA’s press release on this funding announcement, click here.