Authorities in Pennsylvania will start ‘hard enforcement’ of a new permit for truckers who make stops in the quarantine zone for an invasive species of insect starting this week.
Starting on May 1, some businesses that operate in one of the fourteen Pennsylvania counties that are considered to be Spotted Lanternfly quarantine zones must obtain and carry a permit showing that the company is in compliance with insect inspection and control training. Companies that are based in the quarantine zone, load in the quarantine zone, or that make stops in the quarantine zone all must obtain the permit.
Trucking companies that travel through but do not make any stops in the quarantine area are not required to obtain a permit.
The ‘hard enforcement’ will include random roadside stops conducted by state police and the Department of Agriculture to ensure that drivers are carrying the proper permit. Law enforcement officers in neighboring states may also check bills of ladling or other records to determine if truck drivers have stopped in a quarantine zone.
Those companies that fail to obtain their Spotted Lanternfly permit could be refused entry or face fines of up to $20,000.
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture only requires that a manager takes the course to obtain the permit but then requires that the company document that the manager provides proper training for other employees:
“The company should designate one or more supervisors/managers in charge of warehousing or trucking to take the permit training and exam, and request enough permits to cover all vehicles under his/her authority. That designated person should then train all workers in the product movement/transport stream and maintain a record of who has been trained. They should place a permit in each company vehicle, along with documentation to show that inspections are being done and control measures (such as vehicle washes) are done at appropriate times to keep spotted lanternfly from moving with the product or vehicle. Training and inspection/control records must be kept for two years.”
The 14 counties under quarantine include Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, and Schuylkill.
The Spotted Lanternfly is an invasive species native to Asia that poses a major threat to crops like grapes and hops. You can learn more about the invasive insect in the video below.