The DEC is fighting an invasive plant that can be toxic if its sap touches the skin.
The department is warning people about the dangers of hogweed. The sap can cause blistering and in severe cases burning of the skin and blindness.
They say it can grow over 5 feet tall. It’s distinguishable by purple splotches on its stem. DEC Research Scientist Naja Kraus says they've spent 11 years controlling the plant. They say they've learned of new cases but that doesn't mean the plant is spreading.
“Forty percent of the sites right now have no plans due to DEC and other partner agency control. So that's great, that's like 904 sites last year. Properties owners didn't have giant hogweed on their property because we've been controlling it," said Naja Kraus, a DEC research scientist.
If you do come in contact with it they say to wash the affected area as soon as possible, and if you to see the plant to call their hotline at 845-256-311