State Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) is encouraged by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue’s announcement of $17.5 million in emergency funding to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly in southeastern Pennsylvania.
“USDA has recognized how important it is to support us in our fight against the spotted lanternfly,” Schwank said. “With USDA, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, as well as local farmers, businesses and homeowners, we have a strong chance of controlling how far the spotted lanternfly spreads, and minimizing the physical and economic damage created by this insect.”
The emergency funding comes at a key time, Schwank said, because spotted lanternfly eggs have not yet hatched. The funds will allow for a two-pronged approach with USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service managing the outer perimeter of the infestation and PDA focusing on a 3-mile perimeter surrounding the core infested area, according to a USDA press release.
Pennsylvania also remains committed to the cause. Earlier this week Gov. Tom Wolf proposed $1.6 million in his budget address to fight the spotted lanternfly.