On March 19 Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-33-20 ordering all California residents to “stay home or at their place of residence except as needed to maintain continuity of operations of the federal critical infrastructure sectors….” Our clients in the energy and water sectors have asked how the latest Executive Order affects their staffing, management and operations. While the Executive Order is restrictive on most individuals, it expressly recognizes the need to preserve the operation of critical infrastructure, including electric, gas and water utility services. We provide a brief summary and links below. Please call an ESHD attorney with your specific questions.
Executive Order N-33-20 directs residents to follow the Order of the State Public Health Officer, which exempts individuals who are needed to maintain continuity in 16 critical infrastructure sectors. These sectors and exempted workers are described in the March 19, 2020 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response. The CISA Memorandum emphasizes that critical infrastructure workers “have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.” The initial list of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers provided with the CISA Memorandum identifies workers who conduct a “range of operations and services that are essential to continued critical infrastructure viability, including staffing operations centers, maintaining and repairing critical infrastructure, operating call centers, working construction, and performing management functions, among others,” and include the energy, water and wastewater industries. The CISA Memorandum emphasizes that the list is not intended to be exhaustive, and that state and local officials and critical infrastructure industry partners should “use their own judgment” in determining how to ensure continued services and functions, while balancing public safety. The list will be updated as the national response to COVID-19 evolves.
The Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce List includes the following, by sector:
Water and Wastewater:
Employees needed to operate and maintain drinking water and wastewater/drainage infrastructure, including:
We are here to support our clients in this confusing and difficult time. Please call if you have questions about the above or other matters.
Contact: Jeff Harris, Andy Brown, Brian Biering, Lynn Haug