WASHINGTON (March 25, 2020) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) today joined more than 100 other business and trade associations
representing a wide swath of the business community in pressing the White House, Governors, Mayors, and other elected officials to come together with uniform practices and policies by adopting the definition of “critical infrastructure” as defined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
. In addition to ACC, the letter was signed by groups including, the American Cleaning Institute; the American Petroleum Institute; the Biotechnology Innovation Organization; the Consumer Brands Association; and the National Association of Manufacturers, as well as many others. DHS has made clear that the chemical manufacturing sector and its workers are identified as Essential Critical Infrastructure
. The DHS guidance also explicitly states that those supporting the chemical and industrial gas supply chain, including those working in distribution, transportation, packaging, and maintenance are included, in addition to anyone supplying the production of protective cleaning and medical solutions, and personal protective equipment.
The letter urges: 1) national coordination; 2) prevention of artificial barriers to the safe shipment of goods; and, 3) freedom for a healthy workforce to get to and from manufacturing facilities and retailers during all necessary hours of operation.
The role of chemistry is particularly important today. Chemicals enable countless products that will be needed to support life-saving medical care, including personal protective gear for front line health workers; chemical biocides and disinfectants that are the active ingredients in cleaning products that eliminate bacteria and viruses on a personal, household and industrial scale: and plastic products and packaging that help prevent contamination of food, medicine, personal care and medical products while helping prevent person-to-person transmission of disease-causing microorganisms.
As state and local governments make their decisions regarding COVID-19 we fully expect them to rely on this DHS guidance and not place any undue restrictions that would impede chemical production, including the ability of employees to travel to work and the transportation of material to and from chemical facilities.