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Emergency Route Working Group (ERWG) Report of Recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation
December 2018

Terms of Reference

For the purposes of this report, the following abbreviations, acronyms, and definitions are defined below.

AASHTO – American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Automated Permit System – An automated permit system is one in which you can apply online and receive a permit. States vary in their degree of automation. Some States may still have State officials review most permits that are submitted electronically. Auto-issue permit systems are a subset of automated permitting systems. States with auto-issue permit systems automatically issue permits to most applicants online within a few minutes, without manual oversight from a person. Extremely large or heavy loads are likely to require manual review by permitting officials.

CMV – Commercial Motor Vehicle

Conforming Vehicle – A vehicle of standard dimensions and weight that does not require a special oversize or overweight permit.

Convoy - A group of vehicles travelling together. One reason to operate in a convoy is to facilitate expedited inspection and enforcement procedures to reduce delays.

DOT – Department of Transportation

Emergency Responder (also Responder) – Any entity, including utilities, freight carriers, Federal, State, and local governmental and nongovernmental emergency public safety personnel that provide relief services to assist with the immediate restoration of essential services (such as, electricity, medical care, sewer, water, telecommunications, and telecommunication transmissions) or essential supplies (such as, food, fuel and medicine) after an emergency. 1

Emergency Response and Recovery – This includes a broad set of activities involved with both the response – the immediate restoration of essential services and the broader recovery activities that will restore a community or region back to a normal or better (more resilient) State.

ERWG – Emergency Route Working Group

Infrastructure Repair Materials - Includes anything needed during the recovery process to repair infrastructure, including utility service vehicles, crews, poles, transformers, generators, asphalt, sand and gravel, etc.

FACA – Federal Advisory Committee Act

FAST Act – Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act

FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency

FHWA – Federal Highway Administration

FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

HAZMAT – Hazardous Materials

HOLPP Highway Over-Dimensional Loads Pinch Points

IFTA – International Fuel Tax Agreement is an agreement between the lower 48 States of the United States and the Canadian provinces, to simplify the reporting of fuel use by motor carriers that operate in more than one jurisdiction. Alaska, Hawaii, and the Canadian territories do not participate. An operating carrier with IFTA receives an IFTA license and two decals for each qualifying vehicle it operates. The carrier files a quarterly fuel tax report. This report is used to determine the net tax or refund due and to redistribute taxes from collecting States to States that it is due.

IRP – International Registration Plan is a registration reciprocity agreement among States of the United States, the District of Columbia and provinces of Canada providing for payment of apportionable fees based on total distance operated in all jurisdictions.

ITAP Illinois Transportation Automated Permitting (ITAP) is authorized by the Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 5/15 – 301) and the 92 Illinois Administrative Code 554, Sub-chapter F, with respect to highways under its jurisdiction that Illinois DOT may, at their discretion, upon application and good cause being shown therefore, issue special permits authorizing the applicant to operate or move a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicle or load exceeding the maximum specified in this Act or otherwise not in conformity with this Act upon any highway under the jurisdiction of the State of Illinois. An Oversize/Overweight permit is required, when a vehicle or load exceeds legal sizes and weights, and is to be moved upon or across a highway for which the State is responsible. Permit applications are reviewed for bridge tolerances, construction zones, height clearance and several other safety concerns. The new ITAP system allows customers to go online and apply. Most permits are immediately issued. Oftentimes, in order to complete your move, roads NOT authorized to be permitted by Illinois DOT may be necessary. In all such cases involving local jurisdiction roads, permittees MUST obtain permission from appropriate local authorities prior to movement.

Local Emergency - Under Federal regulations (49 CFR 390.23 A2) governors or local officials can declare a local emergency for five days.

Motor Carrier - A person or entity engaged in the transportation of property or passengers for compensation.

Mutual Aid Agreements - Mutual aid agreements and assistance agreements are agreements between agencies, organizations, and jurisdictions that provide a mechanism to quickly obtain emergency assistance in the form of personnel, equipment, materials, and other associated services. The primary objective is to facilitate rapid, short-term deployment of emergency support prior to, during, and after an incident. A signed agreement does not obligate the provision or receipt of aid, but rather provides a tool for use should the incident dictate a need.

NCHRP – National Cooperative Highway Research Program

NWPA – New West Partnership Agreement; procurement provisions under this Agreement increase opportunities for British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba companies by lowering thresholds for goods, services and construction purchasing. In addition, the Agreement covers a number of services currently excluded from the Agreement on Internal Trade and helps reduce costs to government by increasing competition.

OS/OW – Oversize / Overweight

Permit – This report refers to several different types of permits. States issue oversize and overweight permits that allow vehicles to exceed statutory restrictions on maximum vehicle weight or dimensions (height, width, length), if the vehicle uses a particular route and adheres to other requirements (use of placards, escort vehicles or other requirements as specified). IFTA and IRP trip permits are also required for vehicles that are not registered under these programs.

Pre-deployment Phase – Prior to an emergency, utilities, emergency management agencies and others may pre-position equipment, personnel and supplies when it becomes clear that there could be a major weather event or some other type of disaster.

Recovery Phase – Includes actions taken to return to a normal or an even safer situation following an emergency. Investments in rebuilding infrastructure may take longer and be considered part of the recovery effort.

Redeployment Phase Equipment may be re-deployed to address the emergency needs of another area once it has finished its work in one area. The location and timing of the redeployment may evolve as the needs on the ground change.

Response Phase – Response actions carried out immediately during, and after an emergency are aimed at saving lives, reducing economic losses, and alleviating suffering. There is an urgent need to address the most critical issues first. These might include delivery of emergency medical supplies, water and food. There may also be an immediate need to restore power or other critical infrastructure as quickly if possible.

Return Phase – When the recovery process is extensive, equipment may need to be repositioned long after the emergency has occurred and after emergency waivers have expired. Many restoration efforts and repairs must wait until customers are ready to receive the aid causing some utility service vehicles to delay their return.

SCOHT – Subcommittee on Highway Transport

Special Permit – The legal dimensions and weights vary between States and jurisdictions. A vehicle that exceeds the legal dimensions or weights usually requires a special permit that requires extra fees to be paid in order for the oversize/overweight vehicle to legally travel on the roadways.

Stafford Act Declaration – When disaster response is beyond the capabilities of the State and the local governments, Governors may make a request for a declaration by the President that a major disaster exists and request Federal assistance under the Stafford Act. The Stafford Act authorizes two types of disaster declarations, emergency declarations and major disaster declarations. Both declaration types authorize the President to provide supplemental Federal disaster assistance. However, the events related to the two different types of declaration, the scope and amount of assistance differ.

Statewide Emergency – Under Federal regulations (49 CFR 390.23) governors can declare a Statewide emergency for 30 days.

Utility Service Vehicle – A utility service vehicle (USV) is "a CMV used in the furtherance of repairing, maintaining, or operating any structures or any other physical facilities necessary for the delivery of public utility services, including the furnishing of electric, gas, water, sanitary sewer, telephone, and television cable or community antenna service; and while engaged in any activity necessarily related to the ultimate delivery of such public utility services to consumers, including travel or movement to, from, upon, or between activity sites (including occasional travel or movement outside the service area necessitated by any utility emergency as determined by the utility provider); and except for any occasional emergency use, operated primarily within the service area of a utility's subscribers or consumers, without regard to whether the vehicle is owned, leased, or rented by the utility."2

Waiver – A waiver provides a limited exemption to a legal or regulatory requirement, such as the temporary suspension of the vehicle or hours of service requirements for drivers that occur during a declared emergency.

1 This definition is drawn in part from the definition of direct assistance in Part 49 CFR 390.5. and the definition of emergency responder in 6 U.S. Code § 101 – Definitions [ Return to Note 1 ]

2 Based on 49 CFR 395.2 definition of a utility service vehicle [ Return to Note 2 ]

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