On March 25, 2020, Gov. Jay Inslee issued a guidance memorandum declaring that the construction industry as a whole is not exempt from the statewide stay-at-home order he issued earlier. The clarification has shut down all projects not deemed “Essential Critical Infrastructure.”
“In general, commercial and residential construction is not authorized under the Proclamation because construction is not considered to be an essential activity,”
The memo outlines three exceptions:
a) Construction related to essential activities as described in the order; (see essential functions detailed below);
b) To further a public purpose related to a public entity or governmental function or facility, including but not limited to publicly financed low-income housing; or
c) To prevent spoliation and avoid damage or unsafe conditions, and address emergency repairs at both non-essential businesses and residential structures.
This now shortens the list of exemptions that the order spelled out: still considered essential are construction related to essential activities described in the order; construction related to a government function, such as publicly financed low-income housing, school construction and construction to address unsafe conditions or emergency repairs.
Still Considered Essential:
- Essential Workforce – Public Works
• Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential dams, locks and levees
• Workers who support the operation, inspection, and maintenance of essential public works facilities and operations, including bridges, water and sewer main breaks, fleet maintenance personnel, construction of critical or strategic infrastructure, traffic signal maintenance, emergency location services for buried utilities, maintenance of digital systems infrastructure supporting public works operations, and other emergent issues
• Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.
• Support, such as road and line clearing, to ensure the availability of needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications. Support to ensure the effective removal, storage, and disposal of residential and commercial solid waste and hazardous waste.
- Essential Workforce – Communications:
• Maintenance of communications infrastructure- including privately owned and maintained communication systems- supported by technicians, operators, call-centers, wireline and wireless providers, cable service providers, satellite operations, undersea cable landing stations, Internet Exchange Points, and manufacturers and distributors of communications equipment
• Workers who support radio, television, newspapers and media service, including, but not limited to front line news reporters, studio, and technicians for newsgathering and reporting, and workers involved in the printing and distribution of newspapers.
• Workers at Independent System Operators and Regional Transmission Organizations, and Network Operations staff, engineers and/or technicians to manage the network or operate facilities
• Engineers, technicians and associated personnel responsible for infrastructure construction and restoration, including contractors for construction and engineering of fiber optic cables
• Installation, maintenance and repair technicians that establish, support or repair service as needed
• Central office personnel to maintain and operate central office, data centers, and other network office facilities
• Customer service and support staff, including managed and professional services as well as remote providers of support to transitioning employees to set up and maintain home offices, who interface with customers to manage or support service environments and security issues, including payroll, billing, fraud, and troubleshooting
• Dispatchers involved with service repair and restoration.
- Government/Other Community –
• Construction workers who support the construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of construction sites and construction projects (including housing construction) for all essential facilities, services and projects included in this document, and for residential construction related to emergency repairs and projects that ensure structural integrity.
• Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of construction sites and construction projects (including those that support such projects to ensure the availability of needed facilities, transportation, energy and communications; and support to ensure the effective removal, storage, and disposal of solid waste and hazardouswaste).
For more information, contact our office at (360) 906-1007.
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