Empire State Development has issued updated guidance regarding essential construction activity. Section 9 of the the guidance is reproduced below:

9. Construction

All non-essential construction must safely shut down, except emergency construction, (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone, but only to the point that it is safe to suspend work).

Essential construction may proceed, to the extent that:

  • the construction is for, or your business supports, roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or healthcare facilities, homeless shelters, or public or private schools;

  • the construction is for affordable housing, as defined as construction work where either (i) a minimum of 20% of the residential units are or will be deemed affordable and are or will be subject to a regulatory agreement and/or a declaration from a local, state, or federal government agency or (ii) where the project is being undertaken by, or on behalf of, a public housing authority;

  • the construction is necessary to protect the health and safety of occupants of a structure;

  • the construction is necessary to continue a project if allowing the project to remain undone would be unsafe, provided that the construction must be shut down when it is safe to do so;

  • the construction is for projects in the energy industry in accordance with Question No. 14 in the FAQ;

  • the construction is for existing (i.e. currently underway) projects of an essential business; or

  • the construction work is being completed by a single worker who is the sole employee/worker on the job site.

Members should note the social distancing requirements and fines levied on violators of the Order.


Empire State Development has issued a comprehensive FAQ that seeks to clarify the status of certain businesses as an "essential employer" for purposes of receiving an exemption under Executive Order 202.


ACEC New York spoke with high-level Executive Branch staffers to confirm interpretation of Executive Order 202.6 and the impact of the essential business designation on the consulting engineering industry. Following that meeting, Empire State Development released guidance that gave greater detail to the exemptions listed in the Order.



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