On April 8, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 122 (EO 122), which further limited non-essential business operations throughout the state during the COVID-19 pandemic. This Executive Order halts all non-essential construction as of 8:00 PM on Friday, April 10, 2020.
The Executive Order expressly identifies those limited projects that may continue construction during the state of emergency. Of note, these include:
- Projects necessary for the delivery of healthcare services, including, but not limited to, hospitals, other healthcare facilities, and pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities
- Transportation projects, including roads, bridges, and mass transit facilities or physical infrastructure, including work done at airports/seaports
- Utility projects, including those necessary for energy and electricity production and transmission, and any decommissioning of facilities used for electricity generation
- Residential projects that are exclusively designated as affordable housing
- Schools projects
- Projects involving single-family homes that are under contract, or a project underway on a single-family home or single apartment where an individual already resides
- Projects involving facilities for the manufacture, distribution, storage, or servicing of goods sold by online retailers or essential retailers
- Projects involving data centers or facilities that are “critical” to a business’s ability to function
- Projects necessary for the delivery of essential social services, including homeless shelters
- Projects necessary to support law enforcement agencies or first responder units in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Projects ordered or contracted for by federal, state, county, or municipal governments or any project that needs to be completed to meet a federal deadline
Additionally, the Executive Order expressly permits work on certain non-essential projects that are required to secure the site of a project, ensure the structural integrity of a building, abate any hazards on the property, remediate a site, or ensure that the site and its buildings are otherwise protected and safe during this suspension. It also permits all emergency repairs necessary for the health and safety of residents. This order, however, does not alter the relaxed rules governing inspections or certificate requirements under previous guidance issued by the Department of Community Affairs, which our colleague Damian Santomauro summarized here.
If you have questions about how this may impact your project, particularly if you’re already under construction, please feel free to contact an attorney in the Gibbons Real Property Department.