Spotted lanternfly rules could bite you

By: Daren Hansen

Publication: Transportation Regulatory Alert

Date Posted: 10/10/2022

The list of states with training and permitting rules in place to help stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly is growing.

The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest from China that can do significant harm to more than 70 plant species. Drivers who inadvertently transport their eggs may contribute to the spread, so many eastern states are requiring motor carriers to take action.

Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia currently have infestations, according to the USDA.

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Quarantine zones

In an attempt to contain the spread, quarantine zones were established in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Delaware recently expanded its quarantine zone to include the entire state, and the zone is expanding in Virginia as well.

Any materials or equipment likely to carry the spotted lanternfly are to be inspected before leaving these zones. A current map of the quarantine zones is available from the New York Integrated Pest Management Program managed by Cornell University.

Training and permits

States with quarantine zones have training and permitting requirements, available from the states. For example, New Jersey and Pennsylvania offer training through the PennState Extension, College of Agricultural Sciences.

Once a motor carrier's representative has obtained the required training (from any state), that individual can then register the company and provide training and permits to employees and vehicles entering the quarantined areas.

Do you need the permit?

The requirements apply to companies based in the quarantine zones, including motor carriers. In some states, such as Pennsylvania, the permitting requirement also applies to carriers that load, unload, or make stops within the quarantine zone (if the stops are more than a few minutes in duration).

Criminal penalties for not complying with these requirements can be up to $300 per violation, and civil penalties can be as high as $20,000 per violation.

More state-by-state information is available from the USDA at https://bit.ly/3Q5K90D.


Key to remember: Many eastern states have training and permitting requirements in place to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly, and carrier operations may be affected. Check with your state or the USDA for details.

About the author
Daren Hansen - Transportation Safety Editor

Based on his expertise in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Daren is responsible for writing and editing content for safety-related products, publications, and services for the trucking industry.

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