Emergency Relief Appeals

The Emergency Relief Appeal Procedure (ERAP) is for local agencies to use when they disagree with a decision they receive from Caltrans or FHWA concerning the determination of eligibility on their Damage Assessment Form (DAF) or decision on their request for a Time Extension to one of the ER deadlines.  This procedure is intended to address all local agency ER program disputes for which the local agency either administers the project or is the project applicant. 

Note, prompt payment rules may be suspended when the local agency enters into the ERAP.  All other local agency disputes with Caltrans should follow the Local Assistance Dispute Resolution Process (LADRP), found in Chapter 20 of the Local Assistance Procedures Manual.  The ERAP or LADRP are not intended to address disputes involving cooperative agreement or encroachment permit requirements, project scope disagreements, design standard discrepancies, or other technical issues on projects; as those disputes will be elevated for resolution by the Caltrans district office.

Emergency Relief Appeal Procedure

If the local agency has received an unfavorable decision regarding ER eligibility or Time Extension Request from Caltrans or FHWA, the local agency may use the following six week procedure to request a reconsideration of the decision:

  1. The local agency submits a written request for appeal to the District Local Assistance Engineer (DLAE). The request must fully describe the project issue and explain where there is agreement and disagreement between the district and the local agency. The request should include:
    1. A detailed statement of the local agency’s position on the issue.
    2. A detailed statement of what the local agency believes the district’s position to be.
    3. Support material for the local agency’s position statement including maps, plans, receipts, invoices, draft or executed agreements, pictures, logs, and other material needed to fully explain the local agency’s position regarding the disputed issue. 
    4. For Time Extension Requests, the local agency must include additional information supporting their request that wasn’t provided with the original request.
    5. The DLAE may request additional information to be provided by the local agency.
  2. Within two weeks of receiving the local agency’s request for appeal, the DLAE will forward the local agency’s request package to Caltrans headquarters’ Division of Local Assistance (DLA), Office of Federal Programs. The request package is to be accompanied by a District memorandum and enclosures which should include:
    1. A description of the steps taken so far, to resolve the issue. 
    2. A discussion of the items that are in dispute with references to sections in the manuals and policy memos that support the district’s position.
    3. The District’s recommendation on the disputed items.
    4. All material provided in the local agency appeal request package. Other information that supports the district’s position such as an overview of the issue, any additional maps, plans, invoices, receipts, draft or executed agreements, pictures, logs, and other material needed to give a full explanation of the disputed issue that was not included in the local agency’s appeal request package.
  3. The District’s appeal request memorandum and all enclosures should be emailed to the ER Program Manager.  Alternatively, the items may be sent to:
  4. ATTN: ER Program Manager
    Office of Federal Programs
    Division of Local Assistance
    California Department of Transportation
    1120 N Street, MS-1
    Sacramento, CA 95814

  5. Within two weeks of receiving the District’s request for appeal, the DLA ER Program Manager will forward the local agency’s request package to the FHWA California Division ER Program Manager.  The request package should include a HQ memorandum and enclosures which should include:
    1. A brief discussion of the items that are in dispute, with additional references that support the recommendation, if needed.
    2. DLA ER Program Manager’s recommendation on the disputed items.
    3. All material provided in the appeal request package. Other information that supports the DLA ER Program Manager’s recommendation may also be included.
  6. The appeal request will then be sent by the DLA ER Program Manager to the FHWA California Division ER Program Manager.
  7. The FHWA California Division ER Program Manager will review the appeal request and within two weeks of receipt from the DLA ER Program Manager, the FHWA California Division ER Program Manager will then issue one of three following written responses:
    1. If the FHWA California Division ER Program Manager does not find sufficient grounds or merit for the appeal, a decision letter stating the reasons for denying the appeal will be sent to the local agency with a copy to the DLAE and the DLA ER Program Manager.
    2. If the FHWA California Division ER Program Manager finds there are sufficient grounds or merit for the appeal and a clear solution is apparent, a decision letter will be sent to the local agency, with a copy to the DLAE and DLA ER Program Manager, describing the reasons for the decision and the resolution details.
    3. If the FHWA California Division ER Program Manager finds that sufficient grounds or merit for an appeal are evident but no clear solution is apparent, a decision letter will be sent to the local agency stating so, with a copy to the DLAE and DLA ER Program Manager. The FHWA California Division ER Program Manager will next hold a meeting with appropriate stakeholders (local agency, district and headquarters representatives, and others the FHWA California Division ER Program Manager believes are appropriate to attend the meeting). At the meeting, the local agency and the district representative(s) may be asked to give a brief overview of the appeal and a discussion of the items in dispute. After evaluating all the information provided and after consultation with the necessary and appropriate parties and/or agencies; a final decision will be issued in writing notifying the local agency of the resolution details with a copy to the DLAE and the DLA ER Program Manager.
    The appeal process is completed when the FHWA California Division ER Program Manager has made their decision and notified, in writing, the local agency of the resolution details with a copy to the DLAE and the DLA ER Program Manager. 
  8. The District works with the local agency to implement the solution.

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