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New legislation may spread awareness about invasive plants

Legislation aimed at educating consumers on invasive plant species passed in the Virginia General Assembly, but not without debate over where signage would be placed.

Invasive plant species are not native to the region and can negatively impact ecosystems. The Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation has identified 90 invasive plant species, by rank of most to least invasive. Species on the list include kudzu, English ivy, golden bamboo, and periwinkle.

Sen. Saddam Salim (D-Fairfax) introduced Senate Bill 306 and Del. Holly Seibold (D-Fairfax) introduced House Bill 47. Lawmakers at the end of the legislative session smoothed out the differences between the bills and passed a final proposal.

The final bill passed will require any place that sells an invasive plant species to display a sign nearby that warns consumers and encourages them to ask about alternatives. There is a penalty of no more than $500 for retailers who fail to post the signs and a stop sale order un...

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