EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 2020-21 - What does it mean for the Concrete Industry?

The Governors Executive Order No. 2020 – 21 has created more questions than answers. The Order was written with the intent of protecting the citizens of Michigan from COVID-19. The Order states that some of our work is specifically authorized while it does not clearly include the full scope of our market. 
If the Governor provides additional clarification to other parts of our market, we will pass that information onto you.  Our operations must not contribute to the spread of this virus. We urge all of our members to comply to their best ability to the letter and intent of the Executive Order.   
Ready Mix Producers and Allied Suppliers should receive written documentation from the contractor/owner that the project that you are supplying is a critical infrastructure project. We recommend that the delivery driver has a copy of the document when delivering the project. 
Lastly, please keep in mind that a violation of the Executive Order is considered a misdemeanor and could result in fines and arrests.
The MCA will be working to keep you updated as we get new or additional information.
The Governor’s office has published some answers to questions about the Order. (See More Below)
The Home Builders Association of MI has provided some guidance to its members. They are also considering an effort to have home construction specifically added to the list of “critical infrastructure work.” (See More Below)
For those companies that perform work primarily in the infrastructure sector, MITA has published some guidance for working on infrastructure projects. (See More Below)

The Governor’s office has published supplements to the Order in an answer to the following questions.

Q: Are people who repair homes considered critical infrastructure employees for the purposes of Executive Order 2020-21?
In general, yes. Under the order, critical infrastructure workers include workers ‘who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.’ To the extent your workers perform jobs that are necessary to the safety, sanitation, and operation of homes, they may be designated as critical infrastructure workers
Q: Is construction allowed under the executive order?
A: Some limited forms of construction are permissible, including construction to maintain and improve essential public works like roads, bridges, the telecommunications infrastructure, and public health infrastructure. Construction workers may also undertake such projects as necessary to maintain and improve the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. In addition, businesses may designate construction firms to provide necessary support to the work of the businesses' critical infrastructure workers. All construction work that is carried out while the order is in effect must be done in accordance with the mitigation measures required under section 5(c) of the order.

The Home Builders Association of Michigan have published the following guidance to their members. Below are the excerpts from their statements. 

March 23, 2020 - HBA MI

Q: Are people who repair homes considered critical infrastructure employees for the purposes of Executive Order 2020-21? 

It’s clear from this answer home repairs and workers performing home repairs are critical infrastructure and critical infrastructure workers under the terms of the EO. The Michigan Residential Code defines “repair” as the “construction or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance or to correct damage.”
It’s also clear starting any new construction would not qualify for this exemption, including new remodeling projects.
Our belief, and it is only our belief, is any remodeling project currently underway can be completed provided finishing that work was necessary to the safety, sanitation and essential operation of the house. We also believe new work could be started to correct damage to a structure, again provided that work was necessary to the safety, sanitation and essential operation of the house. Beginning a new kitchen or bathroom remodel would not qualify. It is still an open question whether homes already under construction can be completed or if they can be “buttoned up” to provide safety.
March 24, 2020 - HBA MI
First, late last night we sent out an update regarding the ability to do repairs under the Governor’s Executive Order.
Unfortunately, that update contained a very critical typo. The definition of repair under the Michigan Residential Code is “RECONSTRUCTION or renewal of any part of an existing building for the purpose of its maintenance or to correct damage,” not “construction” as it stated in the update.
We apologize for this error and want to remind everyone beginning new construction is not allowed under the Executive Order.
We are advocating that such work should be allowed to keep various supply chains open and workers available for emergency work that may be needed in the future but in the meantime, if you are uncertain if a project falls under the definition of repair and is necessary to the safety, sanitation and essential operation of the house, we strongly advise you to err on the side of caution.
Second, it has come to our attention that a document is circulating among builders and subcontractors stating that essential infrastructure includes construction of housing. The language in this document is taken from Ohio’s “shelter in place” Executive Order, not the Executive Order for Michigan issued by Governor Whitmer yesterday.
It does not apply in Michigan and should not be relied on.

You can find regularly updated information on the Home Builders of Michigan main site:

MITA has issued the following:

Governor Issues “Stay at Home” Order for State of Michigan
At a press conference this morning, Governor Whitmer issued a “stay at home” order for the entire state of Michigan due to the COVID-19/Coronavirus outbreak. This order has some exemptions for essential services, and it takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am, and it is scheduled to continue through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm. As the number of cases has risen over 1,000 in Michigan, Governor Whitmer is following several other Governors across the U.S., Ohio and Illinois being two of the most recent, in issuing a stay at home order.  
The Executive Order specifically lists out certain exemptions, including the heavy construction industry, citing the federal guidance on essential critical infrastructure workforce.
Based on conversations MITA has had with the Whitmer administration and based on our interpretation of the federal guidance, “critical infrastructure workers” are considered to be the workforce involved in ALL modes of heavy construction, including but not limited to, road and bridge, airport, rail, water sewer, power distribution, underground, etc.. The Executive Order also explicitly states that “critical infrastructure workers” includes “workers at designated suppliers and distribution centers.”.
It is up to every owner agency to decide the status of their construction projects in the context of this Executive Order. It is recommended that since construction is an essential service under this Order, that contractors allow the owner agency to make the “shutdown” decision in order to protect contractual rights.
MDOT’s top leadership has affirmed with MITA that their construction projects will proceed. MDOT has indicated that all of their construction office field staff will be working.
The Executive Order does require that employers who employ critical infrastructure workers, designate that status in writing to those employees who may maintain “in-person” operations. This “designated critical infrastructure worker” documentation is critical should the employee be stopped and asked why they are violating the “Stay at Home” order.
Employers can supply this documentation on their own corporate letterhead. To ALL employees “This individual is an employee of (insert company name here) company, working on a critical infrastructure construction project, and is lawfully working per a directive of Governor Whitmer under the Executive Order issued on March 23, 2020.” This should be signed by a corporate owner.
In addition, under the executive order those businesses that support the essential critical infrastructure workforce are also considered essential and exempt. Therefore, suppliers and service providers who support infrastructure projects are exempt under the order as well. Supplier and service providers may need to be “designated” by an owner and this request should be made at the project level.
Those workers who are exempt under the order are still required to maintain the CDC’s guidance on social distancing as much as possible, and businesses should maintain strict cleaning procedures within the confines of their business.
We have attached a document to help you with these processes.
If you have questions or concerns, please contact the following staff members:
Mike Nystrom, Executive Vice President - 517-896-1493
Rob Coppersmith, VP of Membership Services - 517-896-1495
Glenn Bukoski, VP of Engineering Services - 517-256-0741
Rachelle VanDeventer, VP of Industry Relations - 517-331-1106
Lance Binoniemi, VP of Government Affairs - 517-282-2851
Greg Brooks, Director of Safety & Compliance - 517-507-2531
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