Pennsylvania pressing training for spotted lanternfly permits

A spotted lanternfly.
Photo credit Paul Kurtz/KYW Newsradio
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With the spotted lanternfly population exploding into urban and suburban areas, officials are urging trucking and delivery businesses to step up now, if they haven't already, to get state permits to operate in the quarantine zone.

The permits are required for any business delivering or picking up goods within a zone that includes all the counties of southeastern Pennsylvania, stretches north into the Poconos and west to Lancaster and Harrisburg.

Amy Korman, a Penn State Extension Service educator, said training programs are being held in the region during the next three months. 

"Unfortunately, the spotted lanternfly is even a better hitchhiker than we thought it was," Korman said. "And, the reason why we now see spotted lanternfly in Delaware and New Jersey and Virginia is because it came from Pennsylvania."

Korman said the two-hour training qualifies the person attending on behalf of their company state permits for all of their vehicles, provided the individual pledges to pass along the training to employees — essentially a train-the-trainer arrangement.

"The training is all about explaining to people who are moving things through our state and into other places what to look for in order to help us stop us from moving the spotted lanternfly around," Korman said.

State agriculture officials, in cooperation with state police, are doing spot checks for permits and spotted lanternfly on trucks in the quarantine zone. Violators could face fines ranging from $300 to $20,000.