2020 Florida Statutes
Department; powers and duties.
Department; powers and duties.
581.031 Department; powers and duties.—The department has the following powers and duties:
(1) To make all rules governing nurseries and the movement of nursery stock as may be necessary for the eradication, control, or prevention of the dissemination of plant pests or noxious weeds.
(2) To make and publish standard grades for nursery stock.
(3) To make rules governing the grading, marking, sale, and distribution of nursery stock by nurserymen, stock dealers, agents, and plant brokers.
(4) To make rules under which plants and plant products, including nursery stock, may be brought into this state from other states, territories, and foreign countries.
(5) To make such rules with reference to plants and plant products in transit through this state as necessary to prevent the introduction into and dissemination within this state of plant pests and noxious weeds.
(6) To declare a plant pest, noxious weed, or arthropod a nuisance as well as any plant or other thing infested or infected therewith or that has been exposed to infestation or infection and is therefore likely to contaminate other plants or things.
(7) To declare a quarantine against all or part of any area, place, nursery, grove, orchard, county, or counties within this state, or against all or part of other states, territories, or foreign countries, because of plant pests or noxious weeds or genetically engineered plant or plant pests, or arthropods, which are determined after due investigation to pose a potential threat to the agricultural, horticultural, or public interest of this state, and to prohibit their movement into or within this state. The quarantine may be made absolute or rules may be adopted prescribing the method and manner under which the prohibited articles may be moved into or within, sold, or otherwise disposed of in this state.
(8) To make and publish reasonable rules governing the application for, and issuance, suspension, and revocation of, certificates of registration and of inspection.
(9) To enter into cooperative arrangements with any person, municipality, county, and other department of this state and with boards, officers, and authorities of other states and the United States, including the United States Department of Agriculture, for the inspection of plants, plant parts, and plant products and the control or eradication of plant pests or noxious weeds and to contribute a just proportionate share of the expenses incurred under these arrangements.
(10) To publish at regular intervals an official organ of the department and other publications.
(11) To suspend or revoke certificates of inspection and of registration of nurserymen, stock dealers, agents, and plant brokers in the state.
(12) To purchase all necessary materials, supplies, office and field equipment, and other things and make other expenditures as necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter within the limits of the funds appropriated by law.
(13) To enforce the provisions of this chapter by writ of injunction in the proper court as well as by criminal proceedings.
(14)(a) To test nursery stock or any other articles to determine freedom from specific plant pests and to certify or register the stock or such articles.
(b) To propagate and distribute to qualified persons for further propagation, if approved by the owner, nursery stock that is free of the plant pest for which it was tested.
(c) To prescribe standards and procedures for the propagation and distribution of such stock and of new or superior strains of plants when not provided for by other agencies and upon recommendation of the industry concerned.
(d) To prescribe a fee for these services, provided the fee does not exceed the cost of the services rendered. Annual citrus source tree registration fees shall not exceed $5 per tree. If the fee has not been paid within 30 days of billing, a penalty of $10 or 20 percent of the unpaid balance, whichever is greater, shall be assessed.
(e) To sell at a reasonable price any plant or plant part resulting from the propagation of tested plants as sources of propagating material for distribution to the industry, and to sell in the best interest of the state any fruit produced incidental to such propagation.
(15)(a) To inspect plants, plant products, or other things and substances that may be capable of disseminating or carrying plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods, and for this purpose shall have power to enter into or upon any place and to open any bundle, package, or other container containing, or thought to contain, such material, and to take possession of such material if determined by the department to pose a threat to the agricultural or public interests of this state.
(b) To obtain, through a subpoena duces tecum, if necessary, and examine any records pertaining to these or other plant materials to facilitate determination of the origin of plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods.
(16) To investigate methods of control, eradication, and prevention of dissemination of plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods.
(17) To supervise, or cause to be supervised, the treatment, cutting, and destruction of plants, plant parts, fruit, soil, containers, equipment, and other articles capable of harboring plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods, if they are infested or located in an area which may be suspected of being infested or infected due to its proximity to a known infestation, or if they were reasonably exposed to infestation, to prevent or control the dissemination of or to eradicate plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods, and to make rules governing these procedures.
(18) To inspect, or cause to be inspected, all nurseries and nursery stock in the state as necessary and to keep a complete, accurate, and current list of all certified nurseries, which includes:
(a) The name of the nursery and its owner.
(b) The mailing address of the nursery.
(c) The location of the nursery.
(d) The type of crop grown.
(e) The acreage of the nursery.
(f) The type of stock dealer or plant broker.
(19) To demand of any person full information as to the origin and source of plants or plant products or other things likely to carry plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods, which the person has in her or his possession or under her or his control.
(20) To intercept and hold for inspection, or cause to be inspected while in transit or after arrival at their destination, all plants, plant products, or other things likely to carry plant pests, noxious weeds, or arthropods being moved into this state from another state, a territory, or a foreign country; and, if, upon inspection, such material is found to be infested or infected with a plant pest, noxious weed, or arthropod or if the material is believed to be likely to transmit the pest, weed, or arthropod or is being or has been transported in violation of any of the rules of the department, the plants, plant products, or other things may be treated when necessary and released, returned to the sender, or destroyed.
(21) To make and issue certificates of registration and of inspection to nurserymen, stock dealers, agents, and plant brokers, after proper certification of their nursery stock, authorizing them to do business as nurserymen, stock dealers, agents, or plant brokers within the state.
(22) To collect or accept from other agencies or individuals specimens of arthropods, nematodes, fungi, bacteria, parasitic plants, or other organisms for positive identification and to provide suitable space for their storage and maintenance.
(23)(a) To provide, when requested by farmers, growers, or other interested parties, special inspections, identifications, diagnostic services, treatments, publications, certifications, investigations, and special regulatory activities not otherwise specifically provided for in these statutes.
(b) To prescribe a fee for such services. However, the fee may not exceed the cost, including the salaries and expenses of the personnel involved, of the service rendered. If the fee has not been paid within 30 days of billing, a penalty of $10 or 20 percent of the unpaid balance, whichever is greater, shall be assessed.
(c) To waive such fees by rule of the department for governmental agencies, based upon the amount of service requested and the department’s ability to handle the request.
(24) To prescribe the duties of assistants, authorized representatives, inspectors, and other employees as may be required and delegate to them and other employees the powers and authority deemed proper within the limits of the powers and authority conferred upon the director by this chapter.
(25) To enter into cooperative arrangements with any person, firm, agency, company, or other entity for the production and distribution of organisms, pesticides, chemical compounds, or other methods of control investigated, discovered, or developed by, or with the assistance of, the department through the Division of Plant Industry and to accept a royalty or other remuneration for its services or contributions, any proceeds from which shall be deposited in the Plant Industry Trust Fund.
(26) To enter into compliance agreements with any person engaged in growing, handling, or moving articles, plants, or plant products regulated under this chapter.
(27) To make rules governing the importation, transportation, cultivation, collection, and possession of aquatic plants necessary for the eradication, control, or prevention of the dissemination of noxious aquatic plants from nurseries or nursery stock dealer establishments.
(28) To declare a quarantine against aquatic plants, including the vats, pools, or other containers or bodies of water in which such plants are growing in a nursery or nursery stock dealer establishment, to prevent the dissemination of any noxious aquatic plant.
(29) To enter upon and inspect any aquatic plant nursery or other facility or place where aquatic plants are cultivated, held, packaged, shipped, stored, or sold, or any vehicle of conveyance of aquatic plants, to determine whether the provisions of this section and department rules are being complied with, and to seize and destroy, without compensation, any aquatic plants imported, transported, cultivated, collected, or otherwise possessed in violation of this section or department rules.
(30) To issue and enforce a stop-sale notice or hold order to the owner or custodian of any plants, plant products, arthropods, or other regulated articles that the department finds or has good reason to believe are in violation of any provision of this chapter or any rule promulgated under this chapter, which notice or order shall prohibit further sale, barter, exchange, or distribution of such plants, plant products, arthropods, or other regulated articles until the department is satisfied that the law has been complied with and has issued a written release or notice to the owner or custodian of the plants or plant products.
(31) To conduct, assist, or cooperate with others in conducting a commercial citrus inventory and to expend funds therefor as may be deposited in the Plant Industry Trust Fund for such purposes.
(32) To conduct or cause to be conducted research projects, including, but not limited to, citrus canker and citrus greening, which are recommended by the Citrus Research and Development Foundation, Inc., within the limits of appropriations made specifically for such purpose.
History.—s. 3, ch. 59-261; s. 1, ch. 61-409; ss. 1, 2, ch. 65-202; ss. 14, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 70-38; s. 1, ch. 70-49; s. 1, ch. 70-439; s. 598, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 75-165; s. 1, ch. 76-95; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 3, ch. 77-386; s. 6, ch. 78-95; s. 2, ch. 79-158; s. 2, ch. 80-41; s. 1, ch. 84-60; s. 2, ch. 84-355; s. 2, ch. 85-283; s. 2, ch. 87-32; s. 2, ch. 88-31; s. 2, ch. 90-155; s. 3, ch. 92-147; s. 45, ch. 93-169; s. 6, ch. 95-317; s. 916, ch. 97-103; s. 9, ch. 98-396; s. 14, ch. 2007-67; ss. 24, 54, ch. 2007-73; ss. 8, 11, ch. 2010-277; HJR 5-A, 2010 Special Session A.