Large, permitted truck negotiated rulemaking - Where are we going? And what are we doing?

With several legislators and the Idaho Governor's Office expecting to see ITD conduct an administrative rulemaking, the pressure was mounting.

Since the department was operating under such broad direction, we needed to create a foundation on which the project and process could be built. So, on May 4, the department published a Notice of Intent to Promulgate Rules - Negotiated Rulemaking in the Idaho Administrative Bulletin.

However, this negotiated rulemaking notice was different. Remember, the department has no modified or draft rules at this time, so which rules are we negotiating? There was no answer to this question, so after working with our partners at the Idaho Office of Administrative Rules (OAR), under the Idaho Department of Administration, it was agreed that our notice would be omnibus in nature. Meaning our notice listed 16 of ITD's commercial motor vehicle administrative rules that could possibly be modified or changed via this rulemaking. This omnibus notice was a first for both ITD and OAR.

This omnibus notice also had a public-comment period of 5/4/16-5/31/16 — but what were people supposed to be commenting on? Well, this notice also contained language as to what ITD was trying to accomplish. Essentially, we were soliciting any and all comments and concerns as they relate to all permitted CMVs. The emphasis was on safety requirements, the permitting process, regional harmonization and customer service.

We proactively scheduled a four-hour public hearing on May 25. Again, the department was entering into unchartered waters, as this was not your typical ITD administrative rule hearing. This hearing was broadcast statewide via video-conferencing at each district office, and was accessible via WebEx; which allowed access by anyone, anywhere!

The Rulemaking TEAM knew exactly who could pull it all together. Hopefully everyone here at ITD (especially at HQ) knows the wonderful smiling faces of Michelle Cobler and Gail McCormick; and of course the awesome and kind Bruce Boulan.

Pictured left to right: Boulan, McCormick and Cobler.

The project scope was presented to Michelle and her team just ran with it. Would it be new? Yes. Would it be challenging? Oh, yeah. Would it be utilizing our technology in a new way? For sure. Would it be moving the Department forward? Absolutely YES! So, with the help of an average of three ITD personnel at each district office, we were able to orchestrate this project and accomplish something new on behalf of the entire department!

Now, the hearing itself was interesting on its own. The agency knew there was high interest in this rulemaking and the issues at hand, but to what extent? The specific timespan (4:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. MDT) was deliberately and thoroughly discussed before the decision was made, but would it be enough time, would it be adequate to receive comments from the vast variety of stakeholders? The Rulemaking TEAM wasn't 100 percent sure, but I am happy to report that it was plenty of time and the districts may not have seen much participation or action, but it was very well received; especially when it comes to ITD's openness and transparency.

Through the 27-day comment period and four-hour hearing, ITD received 300+ pages of documentation from more than 40 citizens/stakeholders. What do we do with all of this information and input? And so, the fun begins.

Note from the author (pictured at left): Please stay tuned for the third installment of ITD's Negotiated Rulemaking.

Published 10-21-16