The US National Demolition Association has stepped up its federal lobbying activity as it seeks to secure essential status for demolition and remediation during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Since March 20, the association has contacted President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf as Congress debated an emergency financial support package to keep Coronavirus affected businesses open.
And it is urging members to send their own letters to the Department of Homeland Security requesting that demolition is added to the list of essential industries published in an advisory document by the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on March 19.
The NDA letter to President Trump said: “The demolition industry is essential in supporting the infrastructure needed to successfully combat this pandemic. The demolition and remediation industry is vital to the health and safety of all Americans, including decontamination of affected areas, remediation of environmental hazards or contaminated property to ensure vital services, including hospitals and emergency services remain open.
“Therefore, we recommend that your administration issue guidance on these orders to clarify ‘essential infrastructure’ and ‘essential businesses and services’ to include demolition contractors, along with businesses involved in material recycling, including hazardous material, and businesses conducting remediation work. In addition to the crucial support that these businesses give to the construction and demolition industry, these businesses work to protect the health and safety of workers and the general public.”
The association called on President Trump to allow exemptions from quarantine for essential business “that allows individuals to leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of ‘essential infrastructure’, including, but not limited to, demolition, industrial recycling, remediation and other related tasks.”
It also asked the administration to remain open to adding further industries to the list as conditions change.