Casey Calls on USDA to Provide Emergency Funding to Berks County As County Battles New Invasive Species

Spotted Lanternfly is Highly Destructive Invasive Species from East Asia / Recently Spotted Species Could Attack Region’s Robust Fruit and Forestry Industry

Casey Calls on USDA to Provide Emergency Funding to Berks County As County Battles New Invasive Species

Washington DC- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide emergency funding to help combat a new invasive species that was recently spotted in Berks County- the Spotted Lanternfly. The species was recently spotted in Berks County but has its origins in East Asia. The species attacks fruit, grape and forest species. If left unchecked, the species could impact the region’s robust fruit and forestry industries.

“It’s important that USDA move quickly to combat this invasive insect in Berks County and throughout the state,” Senator Casey said. “We’ve seen before the significant economic impact that invasive species can have. Taking action will protect two of the Commonwealth’s strongest industries- fruit and forestry.”  

November 18, 2014

The Honorable Tom Vilsack

Secretary of Agriculture

1400 Independence Avenue SW

Washington, DC 20250

Dear Mr. Secretary:

I am concerned to hear that the Spotted Lanternfly, a highly destructive insect from East Asia, has been detected in Berks County, Pennsylvania. I request your urgent attention and assistance to combat this potentially devastating pest.

The Spotted Lanternfly has the potential to voraciously attack fruit tree, grape and forest species. We must take swift and comprehensive steps to prevent the lanternfly from spreading throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the Nation. I am extremely concerned about the ramifications the Spotted Lanternfly could have on Pennsylvania’s robust fruit and forestry industries.

I ask that your department provide immediate assistance with emergency funding and appropriate technical assistance to Pennsylvania.

The arrival of the Spotted Lanternfly is most unwelcome news. The introduction of this invasive pest underscores the importance of full and proper screenings of imports and arriving passengers to safeguard our country and American agriculture from invasive pests and diseases.

I remain confident that with your assistance, we can work quickly to contain and eradicate the new Spotted Lanternfly detection in Pennsylvania. I look forward to your response and our continued work together.


Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator


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