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Emergency Route Working Group

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Emergency Route Working Group?

The purpose of the Emergency Route Working Group (ERWG) is to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary related to the best practices for State approval of special permits for vehicles involved in emergency response and recovery.

As specifically outlined in Section 5502(b) of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act), in determining the best practices, the group shall consider whether:

  1. impediments currently exist that prevent expeditious State approval of special permits for vehicles involved in emergency response and recovery;
  2. it is possible to pre-identify and establish emergency routes between States through which infrastructure repair materials could be delivered following a natural disaster or emergency;
  3. a State could pre-designate an emergency route as a certified emergency route if a motor vehicle that exceeds the otherwise applicable Federal and State truck length or width limits may safely operate along such route during periods of declared emergency and recovery from such periods; and
  4. an online map could be created to identify each pre-designated emergency route, including information on specific limitations, obligations, and notification requirements along that route.

What is the Current Status of the ERWG?

The ERWG was established on on August 24, 2016.

How are the ERWG members selected and what terms do they serve?

The ERWG shall comprise no more than 25 members to serve a for a term of 2 years. The ERWG members shall include representation from State highway transportation departments or agencies; relevant modal agencies within the Department of Transportation; emergency response or recovery experts; relevant safety groups; and entities affected by special permit restrictions during emergency response and recovery efforts. Eight of the members shall be designated and appointed by the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on behalf of the Secretary of Transportation.

The FHWA will coordinate with the following agencies for recommendations to fill the remaining membership positions:

  • American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials;
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency;
  • Edison Electric Institute;
  • American Public Power Association;
  • American Public Works Association;
  • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association;
  • National Utility Contractors Association; and
  • Electric Power Supply Association.

How does one apply to serve on the ERWG?

On August 24, 2016, a Notice was published in the Federal Register indicating procedures for nomination for ERWG membership. That notice can be viewed at Nominations are due September 23, 2016.