Chapter 7: Scientific Services

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Section 1: Overview

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Statutory Authority

Texas Transportation Code ch. 223, subch. D, provides for the procurement of technical experts to perform scientific services for TxDOT. The Environmental Affairs Division (ENV) has implemented procedures for selecting scientific experts under 43 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) ch. 9, subch. F, which allows TxDOT to select technical experts through the use of competitive sealed proposals. This is a procurement process that requires TxDOT to select a technical expert based upon the reasonableness of fees and qualifications to perform the required work or services.

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Technical Expert Defined

Technical experts are qualified to perform scientific services for TxDOT that typically include environmental or cultural assessments, studies, analyses, and document preparation that aid TxDOT and its engineering consultants in the design and implementation of transportation projects.

A technical expert may be an:

43 TAC § 9.81

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Common Tasks of Technical Experts

Technical experts perform several duties that may include, but are not limited to, the following studies and assessments that are set forth in environmental documents that will guide the planning and development of a transportation project:

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  • producing documentation and documents for compliance with National Environmental Policy Act and other laws governing environmental and cultural impacts,
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  • public involvement,
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  • community impact assessment (Land Use Impacts, Farmland Impacts, Social Impacts, Relocation Impacts, Economic Impacts, Environmental, and Environmental Justice),
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  • environmental impacts (Air Quality Impacts, Noise Impacts, Water Quality Impacts),
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  • Corp of Engineers permits (and related studies) under Rivers and Harbors Act §9, and Clean Water Act §§ 401, 404,
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  • US Coast Guard permits (and related activities) under Rivers and Harbors Act §9,
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  • biology,
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  • floodplain impacts,
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  • hazardous materials impacts (insofar as they don’t involve a Professional Engineer (PE) seal), and
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  • other subject areas subsumed under the above (e.g., radiocarbon dating, core drilling, multimedia production), but not covered by professional services (e.g., land surveyors for surveying wetland boundaries).
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Excluded Work

Services subject to procurement under Tex. Gov’t Code ch. 2254, subch. A (Professional Services), and Tex. Transp. Code §223.041 (Engineering and Design contracts) shall not be performed under the scientific services contracts.

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