The DHS CISA has revised its earlier version of its Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce and has issued a 2.0 version. The new version specifically includes the word landscapers under Public Works. Click here to download the full document. The new language is now as follows:
Workers such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators, builders, contractors, HVAC Technicians, landscapers, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, businesses and buildings such as hospitals, senior living facilities, any temporary construction required to support COVID-19 response.
Let’s be clear. The CISA document from the federal government is just a guidance document. It is not a law or requirement that US states or local governments follow the guidance in establishing or enforcing their shelter-in-place orders. However, this does give our industry serious legitimacy in negotiations with local elected officials. Many local orders in Texas cite the CISA guidance memo directly.
TNLA has already sent a copy of this revised CISA memo and a letter to Travis County and the City of Austin requesting that they reverse their earlier decision to stop all construction and landscape install of non-critical infrastructure projects. (To view copy of full letter sent to Travis County Judge Eckhardt, click here.) We will continue to do this in any area where local officials disrupt landscape services.
What Can You Do? Share this document with your local elected officials and make sure they understand that the federal government recommends landscapers should be considered “essential business”.
For additional questions email Amy Graham at Agraham@tnlaonline.org.