Mar. 23, 2020
- Rep. David Rowe (R-Snyder/Union) joined Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) in urging Gov. Tom Wolf to allow residential home construction projects and all other construction projects already underway to continue. The governor’s emergency declaration has shut down the construction industry in Pennsylvania, which industry professionals have warned poses a health and safety risk to current customers and taxpayers, as well as an unreasonable financial burden on their businesses.
“It’s disappointing that the governor chose to act without the Legislature in making a monumental decision that will have long-term impacts on our economy and public safety,” said Rowe. “Bureaucrats in Harrisburg have decided that the construction industry, along with dozens of other supply chain businesses, are ‘non-essential’ when in fact that could not be further from the truth. The governor must listen to his constituents and relieve the construction industry of this mandate immediately.”
Many projects under construction are partially built and, as a result, pose risks to public health and safety that must be immediately addressed. Additionally, leaving partially built homes and other construction sites exposed to the elements will compromise the integrity of building material and will add additional financial loss.
In addition to protecting public health and safety, the performing of this work is essential to home builders' and other building trades' adherence to applicable regulatory requirements, including local building codes and ordinances, state requirements governing stormwater discharge and federal rules related to the Occupational and Health Safety Act (OSHA).
Pennsylvania is also the only state in the country that apparently does not recognize the critical nature of highway and infrastructure construction and maintenance during efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-I9.
Turzai sent letters on March 21 and March 22 to Wolf, urging him to allow the construction industry to remain open and operational during this crisis.
Representative David Rowe
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Alison Haas