HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) announced the Spotted Lanternfly Compliance and Enforcement Team will be conducting spotted lanternfly permit and inspection record checks for businesses in Allegheny, Beaver, and Westmoreland Counties beginning on September 20.
“We’ve been saying for a long time now that businesses are an important part of the fight against the spotted lanternfly, they should protect with a permit,” said Redding. “With a spotted lanternfly business permit and an educated workforce, we can stop this threat in its tracks while keeping business and commerce moving, trade and consumers protected.”
In March of this year, the department added eight counties to the commonwealth’s quarantine zone which now spans from east to west across the commonwealth. Businesses that operate or do business in quarantined counties are required to obtain a free permit which comes with the responsibility of maintaining a trained, engaged workforce. Violators of permit requirements are subject to up to $300 per violation plus associated court costs.
In July, the department announced it would begin canvassing Pennsylvania’s 34 counties quarantined for the pest to ensure businesses were doing their part to slow the spread.
In August, the department canvassed Lackawanna County. There, 71 site visits were made. Non-compliance notices were issued to 49 of the 71 businesses. Those given notice of non-compliance have 30 days before they could be subject to fines for non-compliance.
The spotted lanternfly business permit and inspection canvassing program aims to raise awareness of the value of quarantine compliance actions that work to slow the spread in this invasive pest. Department canvassers will always show their commonwealth ID and will ask to see proof of permit in addition to inspection and training records.
A Spotted Lanternfly Business Toolkit is available to help operations learn about why the spotted lanternfly is bad, how the quarantine works, if they need a permit, and responsibilities of holding a permit.
For more information on Spotted Lanternfly, visit agriculture.pa.gov/
–Shannon Powers, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture