Philadelphia City Council passes rat abatement bill

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All of it must be kept on-site until construction is completed and is subject to inspection by the city’s Departments of Public Health and Licenses and Inspections, which will be responsible for implementing and enforcing the bill if it’s signed into law by Mayor Jim Kenney.

“Site owners need to be held accountable and that’s what this bill is meant to do,” said Councilmember Cindy Bass, who chairs the Council’s Public Health Committee, in a statement. “Our residents shouldn’t have to fear rodents from building sites intruding on their personal space, or the neighborhood. This has been a public safety and health concern, and I’m glad to see steps being taken in the right direction.”

The Building Industry Association of Philadelphia agrees.

“We saw this as a bill that formalized what good builders do. It’s a small amount of effort relative to the project to be a good neighbor and to address something that could be a problem,” said treasurer Sarina Rose.

The legislation also requires owners of vacant lots to pay for annual inspections and rat remediation by a licensed pest control company. Records for both must be filed with the city within seven days of completion.

Last October, residents and business owners in Hunting Park told news partner 6ABC that rats were running wild in parts of the neighborhood, particularly on the 3600 block of Germantown Avenue.

“It’s more than a problem…it’s like a catastrophe,” said barbershop owner Deejay Da Singa.

Last year, Orkin, the pest control company, named Philadelphia the seventh “rattiest city” in the country.

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