DHS Reiterates Longstanding Status Of Mining As Critical Infrastructure Sector

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Mining Association (NMA) today applauded the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for reiterating that mining is explicitly included in its list of 16 critical infrastructure sectors that should maintain their work schedules to help the response to the coronavirus outbreak. The clarification came in an update to its “Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response.”

“Our nation needs stability right now. We need a dependable supply chain for our manufacturing sector. And we need to know that our power sector is secure across the country,” said Rich Nolan, NMA President and CEO. “Mining underpins every aspect of our economy, providing the metals, minerals and coal that are essential to nearly every sector identified as critical infrastructure under DHS’ Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) National Infrastructure Protection Plan. It was gratifying to see DHS reiterate the importance of our industry during this crisis.”

There are 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof. Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21): Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience advances a national policy to strengthen and maintain secure, functioning and resilient critical infrastructure. This directive supersedes Homeland Security Presidential Directive 7.

Mining has for years been expressly recognized as essential in the DHS plan (https://www.cisa.gov/energy-sector, see the sector overview’s discussion of coal) and (https://www.cisa.gov/critical-manufacturing-sector, see the sector overview’s breakdown on minerals activities), and today’s updated memorandum confirms and re-emphasizes this longstanding status.

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