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Airport Opens Plant Inspection Station
By DeAllous Smith

Department of Aviation officials have received permission from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (UDSA) to begin importing all types of propagated material through its recently opened Plant Inspection Station.

The USDA’s action signifies Atlanta’s classification as an official U.S. port-of-entry for propagated materials.

The cleared list of items include post-entry plant material for research purposes, plants, unrooted cuttings, tissue culture plant material, seeds and herbarium specimens.

“The City of Atlanta is experiencing a surge in the total volume of propagated material traveling through the Airport,” said USDA Supervisor Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer-in-Charge Carlos Perez. “A major factor for the increased capacity includes airline expansion into new markets such as Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe.”

Between October 2006 and May 2007, Hartsfield-Jackson handled more than 24 million units of plants from 1,650 shipments to become the fifth busiest Plant Inspection Station in the nation. Miami and Los Angeles Plant Inspection Stations hold the two top spots, respectively. There are a total of 17 Plant Inspection Stations operating in the U.S.

Currently, Hartsfield-Jackson’s PIS is operated in a temporary 2,200-square-foot facility inside the former equine quarantine facility. If propagated material imports continue to increase, USDA officials anticipate building a permanent facility by 2009.


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