USDA builds new plant inspection facility in Miami
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service broke ground Wednesday on construction of its new 45,000-square-foot plant inspection facility in Miami.
“Construction of this $25 million, state-of-the-art facility represents USDA’s commitment to meeting the increasing demand for inspection services while protecting Florida’s $87 billion agriculture industry and environmental resources,” said Bruce Knight, undersecretary for USDA’s marketing and regulatory programs, in a statement.
The USDA noted that since 1994, the number of plants processed through Miami has increased by about 13 percent per year. The new inspection facility will be nearly double the size of the current building.
One of 17 plant inspection stations nationwide, USDA’s Miami facility processes more than 74 percent of all plant materials imported into the United States, including 84 percent of all imported cut flowers and 54 percent of all imported fruits and vegetables. In 2007, the Miami facility’s agricultural specialists intercepted 1,607 exotic plant pests and identified more than 28,000 plant pests overall.
Construction of the new inspection station in Miami should take about 18 months, the USDA said.