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TPWD News Release — Nov. 5, 2009

Permit Process Approved for Water Spinach Growers

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has approved new rules allowing the culture and sale of water spinach by permit in Texas. Water spinach is a restricted exotic plant.

Only individuals who grow water spinach will be required to obtain an exotic species permit. Those who purchase water spinach for a commercial purpose will be required to maintain invoices and sales receipts. Individuals who purchase water spinach for personal consumption will not be required to obtain a permit or maintain purchase records.

The new rules establish facilities standards, require facility inspections, impose recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and prescribe processing and packaging standards, including standards for transportation.

The rules are designed to ensure the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department can identify and monitor the points of origin of water spinach, and react quickly to protect native ecosystems in the event that water spinach is detected in the wild.

Implementation of the water spinach permit process is anticipated for January 2010. The initial application fee for an exotic species permit from TPWD is $263 and the annual renewal fee is $27.