BUILDERS WORKING THROUGH THE NAHB are taking action to deal with members of the radical environmental group, Earth Liberation Front (ELF), which claimed responsibility for arson and attempted arson at three residential construction sites in Washington State in recent months.
The FBI reported that ELF has caused more than $100 million in damage since 1996. The group has been linked to arson and vandalism at logging operations and construction sites. The costliest incident to date involved a $50 million fire last year that destroyed a five-story apartment complex under construction in San Diego. The FBI further reports that attacks claimed by ELF are moving into more densely populated areas. ELF took credit for a $1.5 million arson fire in a Salt Lake City area lumberyard in early summer, where it spray-painted anti-sprawl messages including, “If you build it, we will burn it,” according to an Associated Press report.
In response, the NAHB set up meetings with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to discuss what efforts builders can take to secure their jobsites against potential attacks. At the Pacific Coast Builders Conference in June, Laer Pearce & Associates made a presentation that focused on how builders can keep themselves from becoming victims of “green collar crime” and get their projects out from under the barrage of community opposition. Suggestions included meeting with security companies, local law enforcement officials, fire departments, and insurance providers—and installing security video cameras and signage stating that the jobsite is monitored and protected via security cameras.