The National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) wrote to the National Governors Association, the National League of Cities, and the National Association of Counties, urging regulatory flexibility from state and local governments. “Every state and Washington, DC have declared a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to limit the spread and threat of the disease and to ensure necessary services are available. With this in mind, NWRA members would like to be prepared for what we anticipate may be upheavals in the way material is managed. We are requesting flexibility from state and local regulations to ensure our member companies can continue to operate to uphold public health,” said NWRA President and CEO Darrell Smith.
This request of the state and local governments follows NWRA engagement with the federal government. In response to requests of certain federal agencies by NWRA, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Motor Carrier Administration extended regulatory relief to the waste and industry. On March 19, 2020 DHS Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recognized the solid waste industry in their initial list of essential critical infrastructure workers. Based on DHS’s designation, FMCSA expanded its emergency declaration to include essential workers providing regulatory relief from hours of service rules and additional enforcement discretion for expired licenses and medical cards.