COVID-19 Virus Information

Information updated regularly, please check back!

US EPA COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program

COVID-19 Enforcement Guidance Webinar

Montana Directive Implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020, Travel and Quarantine

On March 30, 2020, Governor Bullock Issued a “Directive Implementing Executive Orders 2-2020 and 3-2020 and Providing Mandatory Quarantine for Certain Travelers Arriving in Montana from Another State or Country.”  The Governor directed that

Any person coming to Montana from another state or country for non-work-related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. If a person will be present in Montana for fewer than 14 days, that person must self-quarantine for the duration of the visit.

Any person who has already arrived in Montana from another state or country for a non-work-related purpose before the date of this Directive must immediately self-quarantine for the remainder of a 14-day period beginning on the date of their arrival in Montana, or until their departure from Montana—whichever is sooner.

Various questions have arisen with respect to this directive, after discussions with the State, we wanted to provide you the following information as you and your businesses implement this directive.

  1. There is currently no requirement for an employee to carry authorization from his or her employer regarding working in an essential industry;
  2. If a worker has been out of state, regardless of reason for leaving the State, if they are returning to the State in order to work, either on a specific project or to return home and return to their primary job in an essential industry, the 14-day self-quarantine does not apply.  Some additional things related to this situation:
    1. If arriving by plane or train, the worker should be expected to be asked about purposes of travel, and have their temperature taken at the airport;
    2. If, after a temperature check the worker is suspect he or she will be asked to quarantine and their name will be submitted to the local health agency;
    3. If a worker is sick, he or she should stay home;
    4. Continue with social distancing directive, and a robust on the job monitoring and screening program;
  3. As appropriate communicate with the local public health agency, especially if work entails bringing a significant number of workers into the state or local community.
  4. Hotels should be receiving guidance from the State clarifying that the quarantine does not apply to those staying for work related purposes.

If you have further questions or would like to discuss please contact the MPA at 406-442-7582 or email us at mpa@montanapetroleum.org.

Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses

Late yesterday afternoon (March 26th) Governor Bullock issued a “stay at home” order in response to the COVID 19 outbreak. The executive order goes into effect at 12:01 am tomorrow, March 28th and runs through midnight April 10th.

The executive order lists numerous exemptions from compliance including businesses and operations identified in a Department of Homeland Security,  Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (DHS) guidance document released on March 19, 2020. The Governor’s order clarifies that the definition of Essential Businesses and Operations is meant to encompass the workers identified in that Memorandum.

The following positions in the petroleum industry have been identified by the DHS as essential critical infrastructure workers so are covered as exempt from Governor Bullock’s “stay at home” order. An addition to the DHS guidance and included in the Governor’s order are supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services in and for industries such as  petroleum and fuel.

Petroleum workers:

Petroleum product storage, pipeline, terminals, rail transport, road transport

  • Crude oil storage facilities, and pipeline transport
  • Petroleum refinery facilities
  • Petroleum security operations center employees and workers who support emergency response services
  • Petroleum operations control rooms/centers
  • Petroleum drilling, extraction, production, processing, refining, terminal operations, transporting, and retail for use as end-use fuels or feedstocks for chemical manufacturing
  • Operations for maintenance and emergency response
  • Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them

Natural and propane gas workers:

  • Natural gas transmission and distribution pipelines, including compressor stations
  • Underground storage of natural gas
  • Natural gas processing plants, and those that deal with natural gas liquids
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facilities
  • Natural gas security operations center, natural gas emergency response and customer emergencies, including natural gas leak calls
  • Natural gas operations dispatch and control rooms/centers
  • Drilling, production, processing, refining, and transporting natural gas for use as end-use fuels, feedstocks for chemical manufacturing, or use in electricity generation
  • Propane gas dispatch and control rooms and emergency response and customer emergencies, including propane leak calls
  • Propane gas service maintenance and restoration, including call centers

Urge your employees to stop all non-essential travel, business or personal. Travel increases risk of infection for your personal as well as business contacts.

Enable your employees to practice “social distancing.” Facilitate work from home for all non-critical employees. Cancel in person gatherings. Arrange for six-foot buffers. Supply hand sanitizer.

Maintain essential or critical services. Minimize non-essential activities. Work with local and State agencies to develop clear guidelines to protect employees who provide critical services to the public.

Understand that your employees look to you for leadership in these tough times. Share trusted information from health agencies and communicate consistently and clearly with your employees. Review latest guidance and show your employees what you’re doing to support it.

COVID-19 Energy Sector Response Efforts and Frequently Asked Questions
(U.S. Department of Energy)

COVID-19 Implications for EPAs Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program (March 26 2020)
(U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)

FEMA has established a rumor control website debunking COVID-related rumors. Check this site regularly and please share widely in your network. Thanks for your assistance in combating bad information during this stressful time.
https://www.fema.gov/coronavirus-rumor-control

MPA Letter to Governor Steve Bullock – 3-24-20

MPA Letter to US Senator Steve Daines 3-24-20
MPA Letter to US Senator Jon Tester 3-24-20
MPA Letter to Congressman Greg Gianforte 3-24-20