Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and U.S. Department of Agriculture officials on Thursday celebrated the opening of a new $5 million plant inspection facility at the airport. The 16,000-square-foot facility built by New South Construction and Circle D Enterprises opened in September, tripling the space available to inspect live plants from places like Central and South America for pests and diseases. It will enable growers in the region to expand their international shipments of live plants and cuttings to Atlanta, instead of having to route shipments through Miami. The new facility should speed shipping time, cut costs and reduce the risk of plants deteriorating before they arrive at nurseries. After several years of growth, Atlanta now has the second-largest USDA plant inspection station in the nation with 200 million plants imported annually, trailing only Miami.
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