Parking Lot and Street Sweeping ARE Essential Services

When widespread crisis occurs, the Department of Homeland Security is responsible for securing our nation. Beginning February 2020, a vast part of the United States has been asked to self-quarantine, virtually shutting down commerce and normal life as we know it. When crisis mode is enacted, essential services are required to maintain business operations.

Unfortunately, businesses, consumers and government entities themselves aren’t sure what services are considered essential. The Department of Homeland Security assigns responsibilities of essential workforce designation to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). Under these guidelines, waste management, including power sweeping services, are found in many areas of essential operations including but not limited to:

  • Healthcare/Public Health
  • Public Works
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Water and Wastewater

It is important for the community at large to understand the significance of sweeping in an emergency as sweeping services provide so much more than aesthetics and asset preservation. The employees of a power sweeper do their duty in order to improve the sanitary conditions of the customers and community that they service. A professional power sweeper will collect and appropriately dispose of hazardous material such as medical gloves, masks or needles. During a time of crisis, there may be a rise in this waste among other. A power sweeper also removes random trash such as cigarette butts and food wrappers but also more intense debris such human waste. Left unaddressed, these items create serious unsanitary conditions in the business community which can include grocery stores, pharmacies and hospitals.

Power sweeping is performed on roadways, construction sites, and airports to remove waste and debris which could cause damage to transportation and freight services. Supply and freight movement is critical to recovery in a crisis and the greater the level of debris on the pavement, the slower the response time will be for freight and transportation services.

Lastly but certainly not least, power sweeping is critical to the survival of human, plant and animal life. Power sweeping and proper disposal of the debris protects the delicate balance of our water sources, waterways and shed areas which are affected through storm water drain-off. Anything that is not swept up will make its way into the storm water after sitting on the surface of the pavement. Examples of this include brake dust, oil, antifreeze or rubber from tires. The EPA has designated power sweeping as a best management practice BMP for MS4 stormwater permits.

It is for these reasons and more that power sweeping is an essential service during crisis. Keeping NAPSA members on the road will facilitate stability in many of the critical areas needed to recover from crisis.

Please frequently check the NAPSA website for these resources and tools as we have developed a page for disasters such as the Covid 19 pandemic and continue to update and add information as it becomes available.

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