Chapter 1: Introduction


Section 1: Overview

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Scope of Guidance

For the purpose of the Hazardous Materials in Project Development Manual, project development includes the following four functional areas:

  • advanced planning and environmental documentation
  • right of way
  • design
  • construction.

This manual is organized into the following chapters and appendices:

  1. Introduction
  2. Advanced Planning and Environmental Documentation
  3. Right of Way
  4. Design
  5. Construction
  6. Hazardous Materials Services Contracts
  7. Training and Certification Information

Guidance for TxDOT facility or maintenance programs (such as bridge maintenance, abandoned material, spills, hazardous waste management and vegetation management) is not included in this document.

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The Environmental Affairs Division (ENV), particularly the Pollution Prevention and Abatement Branch (ENV-PPA), is responsible for coordinating hazardous materials management issues and serves as the initial point of contact for each district.

Each district is responsible for ensuring coordination of hazardous material issues during planning and project development. To facilitate this coordination, the district should consider assigning a single hazardous materials coordinator for project development or a hazardous materials team consisting of members from all functional areas. The assignments of district personnel and/or section responsibilities rest with the District.

An Environmental Continuous Improvement Team established initial division and district responsibilities for department environmental activities. District Engineers and the Environmental Affairs Division Director entered into intra-departmental agreements that included specific tasks and minimum qualifications, such as knowledge, training and experience, for hazardous material duties. The hazardous materials tasks and minimum qualifications are provided in Chapter 7, Training and Certifications.

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Obtaining Assistance

Persons conducting or coordinating environmental site assessments and investigations should be familiar with applicable federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations. Additionally, knowledge of hydrogeologic, environmental engineering, manufacturing processes, chemistry and biological processes may be necessary. As a result of the Continuous Improvement Intra-Departmental Agreements, training sources have been established and are outlined in Chapter 7, Training and Certifications.

A multi-disciplinary team of experienced professionals may be needed to assess or investigate projects at high risk for hazardous materials. This team may include structural and environmental engineers, geologists, hydrogeologists, biologists, chemists, toxicologists and/or industrial hygienists. The team will identify major concerns and any corrective or preventative activities required to resolve them. These activities may include health and safety training, acquisition of licenses and permits, and/or coordination with regulatory agencies.

Some districts may already have in-house staff with the knowledge, education and experience necessary to perform or coordinate corrective or preventative activities. However, a district may also opt to use environmental engineers on statewide contract with TxDOT to perform this work. The services of environmental specialty contractors may also be required. As further discussed in Chapter 6, Hazardous Materials Services Contracts, the General Services Division (GSD) and the Office of General Council, Contract Services Section (CSS) should be contacted for purchasing and contracting assistance. The Pollution Prevention and Abatement Branch of ENV should be contacted for technical and regulatory assistance.

TxDOT employees can obtain additional information on occupational safety, health and training in the TxDOT Occupational Safety Manual, particularly the chapters on hazardous materials, safety rules and standards.

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