MABA and MGEA Company Leaders:
Please find below updated information on federal activities related to our industry and implications of COVID-19.
Bullock Order re Shelter in Place -- 3-36-2020
This Directive is effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 28, 2020 through April 10, 2020.
1. Stay at home or place of residence. With exceptions as outlined below, all individuals currently living within the State of Montana are directed to stay at home or at their place of residence to the greatest extent possible, except as allowed in this Directive. As used in this Directive, homes or residences include hotels, motels, shared rental units, shelters, and similar facilities.
Non-essential social and recreational gatherings of individuals outside of a home or place of residence are prohibited, regardless of size, if a distance of at least six feet between individuals cannot be maintained.
All persons may leave their homes or place of residence only for Essential Activities or to operate Essential Businesses and Operations, all as defined below.
Individuals whose residences are unsafe or become unsafe, such as victims of domestic violence, are permitted and urged to leave their home and stay at a safe alternative location.
PLEASE SEE THE SPECIFIC INFORMATION BELOW REGARDING ESSENTIAL BUSINESS OPERATIONS.
Please refer to 11. in Governor Bullock's order (below) that is specific to agriculture. I have spoken with Director Thomas and the Governor's order is following the guidance of Department of Homeland Security regarding what is "essential".
11. Essential Businesses and Operations. For the purposes of this Directive, Essential Businesses and Operations means Health Care and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Infrastructure, and the following:
(On March 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, issued a Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response, available at: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce. The definition of Essential Businesses and Operations in this Order is
meant to encompass the workers identified in that Memorandum.)
a. Stores that sell groceries and medicine. Grocery stores, pharmacies, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of groceries, canned food, dry goods, frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supplies, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries, medicine, including medication not requiring a medical prescription, and also that sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences and Essential Businesses and Operations;
b. Food and beverage production and agriculture. Food and beverage manufacturing, production, processing, and cultivation, including farming, livestock, fishing, baking, and other production agriculture, including cultivation, marketing, production, and wholesale or retail distribution of animals and goods for consumption; licensed medical cannabis dispensaries and licensed cannabis cultivation centers; and businesses that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for animals, including veterinary and animal health services, animal shelters, rescues, shelters, kennels, and adoption facilities; businesses that provide equipment, transportation, seed, feed, fertilizer, or other products or services critical to food and livestock production;
c. Organizations that provide charitable and social services. Businesses and religious and secular nonprofit organizations, including food banks, when providing food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities;
d. Media. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;
e. Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation. Gas stations and auto supply, auto repair, and related facilities and bicycle shops and related facilities;
f. Financial and real estate services and institutions. Banks, consumer lenders, including but not limited, to pawnbrokers, accountants, consumer installment lenders and sales finance lenders, credit unions, appraisers, realtors or others providing real estate services, title companies, financial markets, trading and futures exchanges, affiliates of financial institutions, entities that issue bonds, related financial institutions, and institutions selling financial products;
g. Hardware and supply stores. Hardware stores and businesses that sell electrical, plumbing, and heating material;
h. Critical trades. Building and Construction Tradesmen and Tradeswomen, and other trades including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and governmental properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses and Operations;
i. Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services. Post offices and other businesses that provide shipping and delivery services, and businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, goods or services to end users or through commercial channels;
j. Educational institutions. Educational institutions—including public and private pre-K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating remote learning, performing critical research, or performing other essential functions consistent with prior Directives on school closures and the continued provision of certain services, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible. This Directive is consistent with and does not amend or supersede the March 24, 2020 Directive closing non-residential public schools through April 10, 2020;
k. Laundry services. Laundromats, dry cleaners, industrial laundry services, and laundry service providers;
l. Restaurants for consumption off-premises. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for consumption off-premises, through such means as in-house delivery, third-party delivery, drive-through, curbside pick-up, and carry-out. Schools and other entities that typically provide food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Directive on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site due to the virus’s propensity to physically impact surfaces and personal property.
This exception is to be interpreted consistent with the restrictions on on-premises dining and beverage businesses, as well as the expanded options for delivery and take out, provided in the March 24, 2020 Directive, Section 2.;
m. Supplies to work from home. Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply products needed for people to work from home;
n. Supplies for Essential Businesses and Operations. Businesses that sell, manufacture, or supply other Essential Businesses and Operations with the support or materials necessary to operate, including computers, audio and video electronics, household appliances; IT and telecommunication equipment; hardware, paint, flat glass; electrical, plumbing and heating material; sanitary equipment; personal hygiene products; food, food additives, ingredients and components; medical and orthopedic equipment; optics and photography equipment; diagnostics, food and beverages, chemicals, soaps and detergent; and firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security;
o. Transportation. Airlines, taxis, transportation network providers (such as Uber and Lyft), vehicle rental services, paratransit, and other private, public, and commercial transportation and logistics providers necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Directive;
p. Home-based care and services. Home-based care for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness, including caregivers such as nannies who may travel to the child’s home to provide care, and other in-home services including meal delivery;
q. Residential facilities and shelters. Residential facilities and shelters for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness;
r. Professional services. Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, insurance services, information technology services, real estate services (including appraisal and title services);
s. Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries. Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as pharmaceutical, technology, biotechnology, Health Care, chemicals and sanitization, waste pickup and disposal, agriculture, food and beverage, transportation, energy, steel and steel products, petroleum and fuel, forest products, mining, construction, national defense, communications, as well as products used by other Essential Businesses and Operations.
t. Critical labor union functions. Labor union essential activities including the administration of health and welfare funds and personnel checking on the wellbeing and safety of members providing services in Essential Businesses and Operations – provided that these checks should be done by telephone or remotely where possible.
u. Hotels and motels. Hotels and motels, to the extent used for lodging and delivery or carry-out food services.
v. Funeral services. Funeral, mortuary, cremation, burial, cemetery, and related services.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Today, FMCSA released a second FAQ document to provide guidance on it emergency declaration that provides hours-of-service relief to truck drivers assisting the pandemic. Both FAQ documents are attached and pasted below. The emergency declaration that kicked off everything is attached.
Pasted below and italicized, you’ll find the types of “essential” items for the COVID-19 relief effort that are eligible for the hours-of-service relief. The “essential” items that apply to the food and agricultural sectors are highlighted.
There is a positive development in the new FAQ document. It states that wood pulp, feed and fertilizer are eligible for hours-of-service relief under the emergency declaration because they are precursor to items that are “essential” for the emergency relief effort.
The previous FAQ document listed livestock as eligible for hours-of-service relief because livestock are an immediate precursor to “essential” items for the COVID-19 relief effort. It now seems that FMCSA is dropping the “immediate” precursor requirement and allowing more precursors.
If you are unsure if your products are eligible to be considered a precursor to essential items for the COVID-19 relief effort, I recommend reaching out to FMCSA for their review.
Part 2: 03/25/2020
Note: This guidance document does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way. This guidance is intended only to provide clarity regarding existing requirements under the law.
Is wood pulp covered under the expanded emergency declaration?
Wood pulp is covered if it is being used as a precursor to one of the essential items listed in the exemption as follows: (1) medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19; (2) supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants or (3) food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores;
Are the raw materials used to manufacture bleach, disinfectants, hand sanitizers and similar items covered under the expanded emergency declaration?
Yes, these items and their precursors are covered as “supplies necessary for community safety, sanitation and community prevention of. . .COVID 19.”
Does the Declaration cover packaging for food -- for example, produce containers?
Yes, packaging is covered as a precursor necessary to the production and transportation of products covered under the emergency exemption.
Are feed and fertilizer covered under the emergency declaration?
Yes, both are covered as precursors to essential items.
Is pet food covered under the emergency declaration?
No, pet food is not covered.
The emergency declaration states that after completed work under the declaration and returning to normal operations, a commercial vehicle driver must take 10 hours off. What if there is nowhere at the location for the driver to park?
The driver may proceed to the nearest reasonable, safe location to obtain the required 10 hours of rest.
Is the time spent driving to pick up a truck regulated as on duty time?
No. Time spent travelling to work in a personal vehicle does not meet the definition of on duty time in 49 CFR 395.2.
Last updated: Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Guidance document can be found HERE.