Oversize/Overweight Permitting Enhancement Effective 8/6

Source: Kristin Brier, Freight Manager, Indiana Department of Transportation, (317) 232-2040 or kbrier@indot.in.gov

In order to provide continuous improvement to the oversize / overweight permitting program, INDOT and IDOR are implementing an enhancement to improve the bridge review process for overweight vehicle permits under 200,000 pounds GVW. This enhancement will take effect on Monday, August 6.

Users are asked to pay particular attention to the following items:

  1. Customers will enter the start date of the permit.  The system will no longer default to the date the application was submitted.
  2. Customers will enter the date range in which the permitted load will be moved.
  3. When entering trip origins, customers will enter the city or town and the cross-street closest to the first state road, US Highway, or Interstate on your route. For example, if the route origin is US 31 at Alto Road in Kokomo, the origin should be entered as Kokomo/Alto Rd.
  4. When entering destinations, customers will enter the city or town and the cross street or exit number closest to the departure from the last state road, US highway, or interstate on your route. For example, if the route destination is US 31 at 236th Street in Westfield, the destination should be entered as Westfield/236th St.

Significant Change to Oversize/Overweight Vehicle Permitting

Starting July 16, 2018, bridge analysis will be required for an Oversize/Overweight (OSOW) Vehicle permit requests for a gross vehicle weight (GVW) load of 134,000 pounds or greater. The Indian Department of Transportation (INDOT) sent notices to contractors and other permittees during the week of July 1, 2018. The memorandum can be found on the Indiana Department of Revenue’s (INDOR) Oversize/Overweight web page. The current threshold triggering a bridge analysis is 200,000 GVW.

ICI staff and industry members met with INDOT and INDOR staff on July 9 to review the change and discuss expected challenges for all stakeholders due to the change. INDOT Bridge Design Division is currently gearing up for estimated 120 bridge analyses per day (based on summer month volume) by hiring six dedicated administrative staff. Industry expressed concerns with rerouting due to deficient bridges and permits in critical situations driven by the typical characteristics of heavy highway and bridge construction including weather and unforeseen conflicts. INDOT stressed planning to provide a two to three-day notice. But, agency representatives stated they will consider avenues for emergency permits for unforeseen circumstances to avoid missing critical project deadlines.

INDOR provided guidance to ICI including OSOW Vehicle permit route text entering instructions.

ICI and ACEC comment on EPA’s Draft 2017 General Permit

EPA is preparing to reissue the Construction General Permit. The general permit, issued under the Clean Water Act’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, authorizes stormwater discharges from construction activities. Learn more about it from the EPA or AGC of America.

ICI partnered with ACEC Indiana to submit the following comments on behalf of the industry:

Comments regarding U.S. EPA’s Draft 2017 General Permit
EPA-HQ-OW-2015-0828
Offered by:  Indiana Constructors, Inc. and American Council of Engineering Companies of Indiana
Date:  May 10, 2016

Public Accessibility (Online) of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Information
SWPPPs are fluid documents that are modified to accommodate changed conditions, utilities and multi-phase construction. Public access to the initial SWPPP will create issues for taxpayers, owners, designers, and contractors due to costly delays and production interference as owners/operators, designers and contractors will be forced to respond to unsolicited public oversite and scrutiny based off of initial SWPPP documents that do not reflect the current work site conditions.

Public Notice of Permit Coverage
EPA proposes a new requirement that the permittee’s sign/posting (or other public notice) of permit coverage must also include information informing the public on how to contact EPA if storm water pollution is observed in the discharge. There were 1,725 permits open during 2015 in Indiana. We recommend that the EPA remove this proposed requirement due to the potential inquiry backlog that could be generated from posting EPA’s contact information at every permitted site.

More Frequent Site Inspections
We request that EPA provide evidence that substantiates the lower inspection trigger threshold as observations in Indiana do not warrant such a significant increase in inspection frequency. Decreasing the inspection trigger threshold from .5 to .25 inches is a very significant change. For example, in review of two Indiana locations (Plainfield and Ft. Wayne) and their respective daily rainfall measurements between March 15, 2015 and November 15, 2015, the number of rainfall events over .5 inches were 28 (Plainfield) and 17 (Ft. Wayne). The rainfall events over .25 inches were 48 and 36, respectively. If the State of Indiana adopts the .25 inch threshold, contractors would be required to increase inspections by around 90%, using the example locations. To put this in terms of dollars, the cost to project owners and taxpayers, will be in the millions of dollars per year in Indiana.

Numeric Reporting Requirements vs. BMPs
It is critically important to industry that, in the final regulatory text, EPA clearly state that numeric permit requirements are not mandatory. Industry is concerned about proposed modifications to the current regulations at 40 C.F.R. § 122.34 that would delete the word “narrative” as it relates to effluent limitations, and also delete the additional explanatory text that “BMPs are generally the most appropriate form of effluent limits.” Again, we oppose these changes, which directly contradict CWA intent, fall outside the scope of the court’s remand and are improper actions for this rule-making. We request that EPA retain the above-referenced language in the final rule to make clear that effluent limitations may be in the form of non-numeric BMPs.

Construction vs. Real Estate Development Industries
The construction and real estate development industries are separate and distinct from each other; contractors cannot warrant the post-construction performance of storm water controls that others design, operate and maintain. Storm water BMPs are designed and constructed per known conditions. Future performance of properly designed and constructed BMPs and storm water controls systems can be negatively affected by post-construction modifications to on-site and off-site characteristics. Industry is increasingly concerned about scenarios that would burden the contractor with the long-term, legal liability for the performance of permanent storm water controls after the design and/or construction firm leaves the project.

Expanded and Transparent (Online) NOI Reporting
We will be interested in the ease of use of electronic reporting tools and will be motivated to provide feedback on future EPA drafts regarding this topic.

Thank you for considering our comments.

 Dan Osborn  Beth Bauer, CAE
 Director of Government Affairs  Executive Director
 Indiana Constructors, Inc.  American Council of Engineering Companies of Indiana
 One N. Capitol Ave., Ste. 1000  55 Monument Circle, Ste. 819
 Indianapolis, IN 46204  Indianapolis, IN 46204