NYC DOB sets out rules for emergency work during COVID-19 shut-down

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The New York City Department of Buildings has issued a bulletin to provide answers and rules during the almost-total shutdown of the city’s construction industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision to shutter the industry last week leaves questions about how to handle exceptional circumstances where work must be done during the emergency. Here is what the DOB says:

COVID-19 Response: Suspension of all work on non-essential construction and demolition sites

As part of the ongoing COVID-19 public health emergency, in accordance with New York State Executive Order 202.6, Empire State Development guidance and New York City Emergency Executive Order 103, all work on non-essential construction and demolition sites is suspended for the duration of this state of emergency.

See Buildings Bulletin 2020-004 for guidance on securing suspended construction and demolition sites and DOB Guidance Document on Enforcement of Essential vs. Nonessential Construction. The Department of Buildings will regularly inspect all construction sites to ensure compliance with emergency orders.  Non-compliance will result in the issuance of a violation carrying a penalty of up to $10,000.

Essential Construction Requests

Beginning Tuesday, March 31, 2020, to perform emergency or solitary work at sites, go to www.nyc.gov/dobnow and submit an Essential Construction request as set forth in Empire State Development guidance on NYS Executive Order 202.6 and the DOB Guidance Document on Enforcement of Essential vs. Nonessential Construction.

For jobs in approved status, an Essential Construction request must be submitted to proceed with an initial work permit application (PW2). Hub Self-Service will not accept or process applications.

Antenna, Construction Fence, Curb Cut and Sidewalk Shed work types are exempt and can proceed without submission of an Essential Construction request.

Permits

Permits already in effect, are required to remain active until the end of the term for which they were issued and must be renewed for as long as work remains suspended. There are no changes to the permit renewal process and all applicable fees apply.

After Hours Variances (AHV)

All After Hours Variance (AHV) permits will be rescinded. Initial AHVs can only be requested for jobs that have an approved Essential and Emergency Construction request. All approved jobs seeking a permit can drop off initial AHV applications at a borough office; it cannot be submitted in eFiling or DOB NOW. See the Application Processing Service Notice for information about drop off procedures.

Place of Assembly/Temporary Place of Assembly (PA/TPA)

The approval process for PA and TPA requests is suspended for the duration of this state of emergency.

See the DOB COVID-19 Response page for additional service updates.

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