WSR 06-09-042

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION


[ Filed April 14, 2006, 11:28 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 06-05-016.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: WAC 468-38-425 Permitting for emergency responses.

Hearing Location(s): Transportation Building, Commission Board Room, 1D2, 310 Maple Park Avenue S.E., Olympia, WA, on May 30, 2006, at 9:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: May 30, 2006.

Submit Written Comments to: Barry Diseth, P.O. Box 47367, Olympia, WA 98504-7367, e-mail disethb@wsdot.wa.gov, fax (360) 705-6836, by May 26, 2006.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Jessica Alexander by May 26, 2006, TTY (360) 705-7796 or fax (360) 705-6808.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The new rule will provide an explanation of need and minimal process requirements for permitting over-legal vehicles when responding to a declared emergency.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: The term "emergency" often times creates a perception that rules governing routine or normal conditions no longer apply. The new rule will reinforce the need for special permits and outline the minimal process requirements for acquiring a special permit during emergent conditions.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 46.44.090.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 46.44.090, [46.44.]091, [46.44.]092, and [46.44.]093.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: WSDOT maintenance and operations, commercial vehicle service office, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting: Barry Diseth, Goodrich Building, 7345 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater, WA, (360) 705-7805; Implementation: Jim Stuart, Goodrich Building, 7345 Linderson Way S.W., Tumwater, WA, (360) 705-7987; and Enforcement: Captain Coral Estes, General Administration, 210 11th Street, Olympia, WA, (360) 753-0350.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The proposal meets several of the criteria stated in RCW 34.05.310(4) which exempt the proposal from the small business economic impact statement.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. There are no added costs as a result of the new rule.

April 12, 2006

John F. Conrad

Assistant Secretary

Engineering and Regional Operations

OTS-8675.1


NEW SECTION
WAC 468-38-425   Permitting for emergency responses.   (1) What constitutes an emergency? The term "emergency," as used in this section, shall mean an event or set of circumstances that meet the following criteria:

(a) Demand immediate action to preserve public health, protect life, protect public property, or to provide relief to any stricken community overtaken by such occurrences; or

(b) Reaches such a degree of destructiveness as to warrant the governor declaring a "state of emergency."

Notification will normally come to the department from the public agency responsible for responding to the emergency, but may also be made by a utility or railroad entity when applying for a permit.

(2) Do oversize and/or overweight vehicles responding to an emergency require a special motor vehicle permit? Yes. RCW 46.44.090 provides for the authorization to move oversize or overweight vehicles by special permit only after application and good cause being shown. "Good cause," in the event of an emergency, is interpreted to mean that by issuing a special motor vehicle permit to a responding oversize and/or overweight vehicle it is reasonable to assume that said vehicle will provide relief of the conditions causing the declaration of emergency.

(3) Why is acquiring a permit important for emergency responders? The infrastructure was designed to be used by vehicles that fall within the specific size and weight parameters of RCW 46.44.010, 46.44.020, 46.44.030, 46.44.036, 46.44.037, 46.44.041 and 46.44.042. Vehicles exceeding these parameters must be screened to determine if they can safely move on a specific route given their over-dimension or overweight status. A permit provides for the authorization and may also contain any restrictions or special conditions that apply to the overlegal vehicle using a specific route.

(4) What processes are available for acquiring a permit in an emergent situation? Application for emergency permits can be requested directly from the office of motor carrier services during normal business hours Monday through Friday. During nonbusiness hours requests must be submitted through one of the department's traffic management centers (TMCs). Contact information and specific procedures will be maintained, and posted electronically, by the office of motor carrier services. Certain carriers that perform emergency response on a routine basis may contact the office of motor carrier services to explore other permitting options.

(5) Are there specific compliance requirements for obtaining an emergency special motor vehicle permit? Yes. The emergency must be verifiable through the entity declaring the emergency. The vehicle configuration to be permitted must comply with all size and weight criteria for permitted moves as provided in chapter 46.44 RCW and chapter 468-38 WAC, except for WAC 468-38-175 Highway travel restrictions -- Days, times and highway use subsections (1), (2), (3) and (6).

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Washington State Code Reviser's Office