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State to begin inspecting businesses in Cumberland, York counties to ensure they have permits to operate in spotted lanternfly quarantine areas

Businesses that operate in quarantined counties must obtain a free permit, which comes with the responsibility of training workers to prevent spread of the insects.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that the Spotted Lanternfly Compliance and Enforcement Team will be conducting spotted lanternfly permit and inspection record checks for businesses in Cumberland and York counties next week.

The inspections are scheduled to begin Monday, the department said.

“We’ve been saying for a long time now that businesses are an important part of the fight against the spotted lanternfly and they should protect with a permit,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding in a press release. “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, 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, the department said.

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. Canvassing began in Blair County in July, followed by Lackawanna County in August. 

Most recently Allegheny, Beaver and Westmoreland counties were canvassed in September, according to the department.

The most recent Western Pennsylvania county canvassing included 100 business site visits, of which 58 received non-compliance notices. 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.

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