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Section 2: TxDOT Objectives in Regard to Hazardous Materials

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Preventative or Corrective Action

ROW personnel must bear in mind the distinction between “preventative action” and “corrective action” when addressing TxDOT objectives in regard to hazardous materials. Preventative action refers to cleanup and related activities required as part of construction projects. Corrective action refers to regulated activities not specifically related to construction that are required for the protection of the environment.

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Cost Recovery

Cost recovery and division of responsibility for cleanup depend on the motives for cleanup. If the cleanup is motivated solely by TxDOT's construction requirements, and the former property owner would not have been required by regulation to implement corrective action, then the costs of cleanup and future liability should not be borne by the former property owner. If, however, the contaminated property constitutes a health risk to the general public that is not directly related to construction activities (i.e., the site is, or should be, under enforcement), then cleanup costs and future liability should be borne by the former property owner.

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ROW Division and District objectives in regard to hazardous materials are as follows:

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  • To identify impediments to parcel acquisition involving hazardous materials that could adversely affect the ability to acquire ROW.
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  • To avoid liability for corrective action, and, when appropriate, to recover the costs of corrective action from responsible parties when acquiring fee or easement interests for contaminated property.
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