Chapter 6: Hazardous Materials Services Contracts

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Section 1: Overview

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Procedure Overview

The following chapter provides direction for obtaining environmental services related to hazardous materials by following one of three types of contracting or work authorization procedures:

  • Architectural and Engineering Contracts, as described in the Architectural and Engineering Services Volume of the Contract Management Manual, with manual oversight provided by DES
  • Statewide Environmental Engineering Services Contracts, with contract administration provided and technical oversight provided by ENV-PPA
  • Purchase of Service Contracts, with assistance provided by GSD.

In addition, TxDOT has the option of using codified procurement procedures for Scientific Services (43 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §9.80-9.88 adopted rules). ENV-PPA should be contacted for more information on scientific services contracting procedures.

This overview does not provide specific procurement or contracting procedures. The district should contact its purchasing staff before coordinating financial assistance from affected divisions.

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Statute and Regulation Overview

TxDOT Architectural and Engineering Contracts, which include Statewide Environmental Engineering Services Contracts, are entered in accordance with 43 TAC 1 §9.38 – Contract Management.

It is unlawful for the State to engage in the construction of any public work that involves professional engineering related to public health, welfare or safety, unless the engineering plans, specifications and estimates have been prepared by, and the engineering construction will be executed under, the direct supervision of a licensed professional engineer (Occupations Code, Chapter 1001). The Texas Engineering Practice Act does not apply to a public work project that involves structural, electrical or mechanical engineering with an estimated cost under $8,000. The Act applies to public work projects involving professional engineering estimates exceeding $20,000 even if no structural, electrical or mechanical engineering is involved.

Public work is exempt from this requirement if it involves electrical or mechanical engineering and the estimated cost is at or less than $8,000, or if it does not involve electrical or mechanical engineering and has an estimated cost of $20,000 or less.

Professional and consulting services should be procured according to Subchapters A and B of the Texas Government Code, Chapter 2254 - Professional and Consulting Services Act. Professional services include architecture, land surveying, professional engineering and real estate appraising, among others. A "consulting service" is defined as the “service of studying or advising a state agency under a contract that does not involve the traditional relationship of employer and employee.” Under the Texas Government Code, "consultant" means a person who provides or proposes to provide a consulting service. Section 2254.022 does not require or prohibit the use of competitive bidding procedures to purchase consulting services.

Some activities related to hazardous materials may not require the services of a professional engineer or consultant. Hazardous material activities that do not require professional or consulting services (as defined under Texas Government Code, Chapter 2254) can be provided by vendors or specialty contractors by competitive bid. Competitive bid purchasing procedures are governed by Texas Government Code, Chapters 2151-2158. Texas Building and Procurement Commission (formerly the General Services Commission) Rules are located in 1 TAC 113; TxDOT’s purchasing policies and procedures are defined in the GSD Manual of Procedures.

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Specific Hazardous Material Services

Petroleum Storage Tank Removal: In accordance with the rules discussed in 30 TAC 30 (Subchapter I) and 30 TAC 334 (Subchapter I), any entity engaging in the business of underground storage tank installation, repair or removal in the State of Texas must be registered with the TCEQ as an Underground Storage Tank Contractor. Additionally, any individual supervising the permanent removal of an underground storage tank system from service in the State of Texas must be licensed by the TCEQ as a type B (B License) Underground Storage Tank Remover On-Site Supervisor. Age, experience, training, education and examination requirements are provided in 30 TAC §30.310 (Qualifications for Initial License). TxDOT has a standard purchase of service specification for petroleum storage tank removal that may require editing to incorporate project-specific information.

There are no requirements for the oversight of a Registered UST Contractor performing an underground storage tank removal. However, oversight and additional monitoring of tank removal by an engineering or consulting firm may be acceptable under some circumstances. In general, removal of underground storage tanks should not be performed or subcontracted by the same firm that wrote the specification for removal of the tank. There may be some emergency or project-specific reasons for combining these services into the same contract or work authorization, but the district would need to justify this decision on a case-by-case basis.

Corrective and Preventive Action Services: Remedial or corrective action is defined as activities to protect human health, safety and the environment to comply with state or federal regulations. Corrective action services include measures to determine and report the extent of a release in progress, measures to halt and prevent future releases of regulated substances, cleanup of surface and subsurface contamination, site closure and post-remediation monitoring, or any other action reasonably necessary to protect public health, safety and the environment. Preventive action refers to cleanup and other related activities required to affect the construction of the highway project. In general, the same staffing guidance recommended for corrective action should be used for preventive action.

In accordance with 30 TAC 30, Subchapter E and 30 TAC 334, Subchapter J, any entity performing or coordinating regulated leaking petroleum storage tank (LPST) corrective action services in the State of Texas must be registered with the TCEQ as a Leaking Petroleum Storage Tank Corrective Action Specialist. Additionally, any individual who supervises any corrective action required on an LPST site in the State of Texas must be registered with the TCEQ as a LPST Corrective Action Project Manager. Additional information on personnel qualifications and task descriptions is provided in TCEQ's Reimbursable Cost Guidelines approved in 30 TAC Chapter 334, Subchapter M.

Both the TCEQ and the Texas State Board of Registration of Professional Engineers offer staffing guidance for a situation requiring an engineer for LPST Corrective Action and Superfund Pollution Cleanup activities. The Texas State Board of Registration for Professional Engineers sent a letter to TNRCC dated July 11, 1996; the letter identified activities that must be performed personally or under direct supervision of a licensed Texas professional engineer. For corrective action, engineering services include engineered wellhead protection, remedial action plan design (selection and evaluation of corrective action technologies and preparation of plans and specifications) and remedial action plan oversight and evaluation.

ENV-PPA, Statewide Environmental Engineering Consultants or other professional engineering consultants can assist districts in developing hazardous material plans, specification & estimates (PS&E) for preventive action required during the construction of transportation projects. As discussed in Chapter 4, Design, approval from the Administration through DES must be secured before preventive action work can be incorporated into the PS&E.

For an individual project, it may be beneficial and cost effective to involve professional engineers or engineering firms in non-engineering hazardous material services. OGC-CSS and ENV-PPA can help a district or division determine if the services of a professional engineer should be procured for activities related to hazardous materials.

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Developing Specifications or Requests for Estimates

Past experience with hazardous materials will help when determining the appropriate scope of work for a specific project. Contact ENV-PPA for technical information on engineering and consulting requirements, non-engineering staffing requirements, scope of services, estimate requests and specifications for hazardous materials services.

TxDOT has developed standard specifications for some competitive bid services. Additions may be made to these specifications to incorporate project-specific information or needs. ENV-PPA can help a district develop these additional requirements. ENV-PPA can also help develop estimate requests for professional engineering or statewide environmental engineering services.

Additionally, Statewide Environmental Engineering Consultants or other professional engineering consultants can help districts develop or modify specifications and determine the appropriate scope of work for assessments, investigations or other hazardous material services.

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Communication

Consultants or contractors should not have to duplicate previous assessments or investigations if initial findings or results were sufficiently documented. Information obtained from district staff or previous assessments/investigations should be transferred to the environmental consultant or contractor. For example, the preliminary information gathered from a district’s initial site assessments can help when developing the scope of work for environmental site investigations. However, some cases may require consultants to update the information or obtain more details to develop safety and sampling plans.

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