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NSSGA Offers Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) sent the following memo to members and it applies to all aggregates producers. 

"As you are aware, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released its updated “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance (2.0)” over the weekend. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) revised its approach to the 'essential' definition by including aggregates operators and determining mining as an essential industry.

"We are in a unique position under this designation as the exemption for 'essential infrastructure' allows our people and industry to continue working and supporting local economies. Construction materials (including aggregates) and connected industries are essential to America’s economy. It’s imperative that we maintain our nation’s critical infrastructure and enable the necessary work to continue by those that provide essential labor, materials and support for the construction industry.

"Shutting down the ability of our industries to serve our nation and maintain our physical infrastructure will impact the economic viability of the entire nation, not to mention numerous businesses. Already, the industry has experienced the economic impact with halted or delayed projects; disruptions in the supply chain; permit and inspection delays; and equipment or materials shortages.

"COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our daily lives, and we understand the unique challenges our members are facing to keep our business and work sites fully functional. We have been closely monitoring the situation, and we realize that continuing to operate as an “essential” workforce impacts our members in different ways.

"We are working diligently to safeguard the collective interests of our members and advocate for supportive legislative and regulatory developments. Changing our position on the aggregates industry as an 'essential' workforce would produce more negative consequences in the long-run than the benefits we could realize in the short-term. 

"First and foremost, it would negatively impact our ability to advocate effectively with legislators on future considerations, if we are then not seen as essential. As a 'non-essential' workforce, unemployment would increase, along with the closure or delay of critical state projects and infrastructure bills that help bolster our nation’s economy at both a local and national level.

"As always, our priority remains the health and safety of our people. Operating as an essential business does not necessarily place us in an “either/or” situation. As long as we continue to follow CDC guidelines and social distancing best practices at work and at home, we can be a safe and essential provider of construction materials NSSGA has many resources on our website to aid our members in protecting their workers, including a Best Management Practices Guide, Online Resources for Addressing COVID-19 and additional mine operator resources. We thank you for helping us enable operations to continue during such uncertain times.

"Thank you for your support and understanding. Working together as member companies empowers NSSGA to best serve and support you during these unprecedented times."

Darin Matson – NSSGA Chairman

Michael W. Johnson – NSSGA President and CEO