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Section 3: Procedure Overview

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Overview

Acquisition of contaminated property is complicated by the adoption of risk-based cleanup regulations that allow property owners to leave contaminants in place as long as it can be shown that the contaminants do not pose a health hazard, given current or projected property uses. As a result, TxDOT is increasingly confronted with the acquisition of, and construction on, contaminated parcels. Contamination may result in high project development costs, including use of specially trained workers, air and water monitoring, and the management of excavated soil and water as hazardous waste material. Therefore, ROW personnel must coordinate with the project manager and the District environmental coordinator to ensure that proper site assessment is performed before ROW acquisition.

The three most common contaminants addressed by ROW personnel are Petroleum Storage Tank Systems (PSTS), asbestos in buildings, and hazardous wastes. Achieving ROW Division and District objectives for each type involves a similar evaluation process. These contaminant types are distinctly different, however, in regard to cleanup procedures and governmental regulation.

See Chapter 1, Section 4-Environmental Procedures in Project Development Manual, Roles and Responsibilities for District responsibilities regarding contaminants. See the guidance in this manual for using Environmental Covenants for Contaminated Property. Specific procedures for each type of contaminant are listed in the following sections.

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