A Spotted Lanternfly (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Flickr photo).
State agriculture officials will begin inspecting businesses in two central Pennsylvania counties next week to ensure that they are following Spotted Lanternfly mitigation protocols.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that it would begin permit and inspection record checks for businesses in Cumberland and York counties on Oct. 25 as the state looks to quell its Spotted Lanternfly infestation.
Currently, no-cost permits are required for any Pennsylvania business that travels in-and-out of quarantined counties to ensure that “businesses are trained to inspect articles that harbor Spotted Lanternflies prior to transport,” according to the department.
The department announced that it would embark on canvassing efforts across the 34 quarantined counties earlier this summer after eight more counties were added to the quarantine list in March.
So far in 2021, the department has conducted 237 canvasses across five counties. Canvassing efforts began in Blair County in July, before moving on to Lackawanna in August, and continued in Allegheny, Beaver and Westmoreland counties last month, according to the department.
“Canvassing consists of visiting businesses to determine whether they have the required permits and whether they are inspecting goods as required by the quarantine,” department spokesperson Shannon Powers said.
Businesses found to be not in compliance with the permit requirements will be given 30 days to address any issues before receiving a fine of up to $300 per violation.
To date, no fines have been levied for non-compliance, Powers confirmed.
“All of the businesses that were cited for not complying with the quarantine have cooperated, gotten permits and trained their employees,” Powers told the Capital-Star in an email. “The point is to alert them to the fact that lanternflies will latch onto any type of vehicle or cargo and hitch a ride to a new home.”
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