Businesses in two central Pennsylvania counties will be inspected for spotted fly quarantine compliance
State agriculture officials will begin inspecting businesses in two counties in central Pennsylvania next week to ensure they are following spotted fly mitigation protocols.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture said on Wednesday it would begin permit audits and inspection records for businesses in Cumberland and York counties on October 25 as the state seeks to quell its infestation of flies spotted.
Currently free of charge permit are necessary for any Pennsylvania business that travels in and out of quarantined counties to ensure that “companies are trained to inspect items that house spotted lanterns prior to shipment,” according to the department.
The department said it would embark on canvassing efforts in the 34 counties quarantined earlier this summer after eight others the counties were added to the quarantine list in March.
So far in 2021, the department has conducted 237 surveys in five counties. Canvassing efforts began in Blair County in July, before moving to Lackawanna in August, and continued in Allegheny, Beaver and Westmoreland counties last month, according to the department.
“Canvassing consists of visiting companies to determine whether they have the required permits and whether they are inspecting the goods as required by quarantine”, Department spokeswoman Shannon Powers said.
Businesses found to be non-compliant with the permit requirements will have 30 days to resolve any issues before being fined up to $ 300 per violation.
To date, no fines have been imposed for non-compliance, Powers confirmed.
“All of the companies that have been cited for not complying with the quarantine have cooperated, obtained permits and trained their employees,” Powers told Capital-Star in an email. “The point is to alert them that the lanterns will hook onto any type of vehicle or cargo and travel to a new home.”