Alyn Kiel (301) 734-5222
WASHINGTON, Aug. 17, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is today announcing the opening of a new plant inspection station in Miami, Fla.
The new $25 million, state-of-the-art facility was built to meet the increasing demand for plant inspection and processing services. The Miami facility is the busiest plant inspection station in the United States, handling 78.5 percent of all propagative plant material imported into the United States in 2009. The original facility was no longer able to handle the volume of plant materials received at the Miami port on a daily basis. The square footage of the new facility is more than double the size of the previous plant inspection station. The update will enable APHIS to better meet the needs of importers and protect Florida’s $87 billion agriculture industry and natural resources from foreign plant pests and diseases.
Through its activities at plant inspection stations, as well as other monitoring and safeguarding activities overseas, on the border and across the country, APHIS works to ensure the health and safety of America’s agriculture and natural resources. APHIS works closely with its partners at the federal, state, county and local levels, and at universities and nongovernmental organizations.
Individual citizens also play a vital role in detecting and fighting invasive pests and diseases. To raise public awareness about these threats, APHIS has declared August as “Invasive Plant Pest and Disease Awareness Month.” Throughout the month, APHIS employees across the country will give presentations and provide information on invasive pests, the damage they cause and what APHIS is doing to prevent their entry into the country and to stop their spread once they are here. To learn more about what you can do to protect America’s agriculture and natural resources from invasive plant pests, visit HungryPests.com.
For more information about plant inspection stations, visit http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/plants/
Note to Reporters: USDA news releases, program announcements and media advisories are available on the Internet and through Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds. Go to the APHIS news release page at www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom and click on the RSS feed link. To sign up to receive APHIS releases automatically, send an e-mail message to email@example.com and leave the subject blank. In the message, type subscribe press_releases.
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