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Section 4: Public Hearing

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Public involvement is an ongoing phase of the project planning process that encourages and solicits public input and provides the public the opportunity to become involved and informed in a timely manner regarding project development. A public hearing is a specific format that gives the public access to the decision making process. This section discusses a formal avenue of public involvement and is required with specific project proposals.

This section includes the following tasks, listed in chronological order:

30400. Opportunity for public hearing

30410. Public hearing

30420. Respond to public hearing comments

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30400: Opportunity for public hearing

Description. A Notice Affording an Opportunity for a Public Hearing (NAOPH) is required for certain projects listed below, to determine if the public wants a formal public hearing.

NAOPH is advertised after the draft environmental document is approved by the department delegate who is the person with authority to approve an environmental review document on behalf of TxDOT.

Since a public hearing is required for an EIS project, an NAOPH is not offered.

Offer an opportunity for public hearing if:

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  • Acquisition of significant amounts of right of way is proposed.
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  • Project substantially changes the layout or function of connecting roadways or the facility being improved.
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  • Project adds mainlane capacity, not including auxiliary or other lanes less than one mile in length.
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  • Adverse impact on abutting real property.
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  • Project is subject of an environmental assessment.

Responsible Party. Advanced project development engineer

Helpful Suggestions.

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  • Consult with Environmental Affairs division for decision to afford an opportunity for public hearing.
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  • Contact TPP - OPI for latest notification techniques and assistance with public outreach event.

Critical Sequencing.


Resource Material.

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30410: Public hearing

Description. A public hearing is held to present project alternatives and seek public comment on the proposed project location, design, cultural, economic, historical, and environmental impacts. A hearing includes portions for procedures, introductory remarks, a technical presentation, and receiving public comments.

The public hearing is conducted by a department public hearing official. If the department is not the project sponsor, the public hearing officer will be selected by the sponsor. Arrange for a professional court reporter who will certify the transcript as verbatim; audio recording equipment is not acceptable. Provide an effective public address system.

Location must comply with Americans with Disabilities Act. Provide district public information officer contact and telephone number for persons needing special communication or accommodation needs. Requests should be made at least two days in advance of the meeting.

Invite comments from federal agencies or cooperative agencies with jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to environmental impact involved. These agencies shall comment on statements in their jurisdiction, expertise, or authority within the time period allowed.

Invite public comments and document the number of positive, negative, or neutral public comments received at a public hearing concerning an environmental impact statement (EIS). Information is presented to the Texas Transportation Commission in open meeting and published on the TxDOT website.

Pertinent Project Types.

Responsible Party. TPP - Office of Public Involvement (OPI)

Helpful Suggestions.

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  • Explain in procedures where the public can get information or status reports on environmental impact statements and other elements of NEPA process.
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  • Hiring security for a hearing is recommended especially in urban areas or for controversial projects.


Resource Material.

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30420: Respond to public hearing comments

Description. The public has the opportunity during a public hearing and a minimum of ten days post-public hearing to comment on any aspect of an EA or CE project; an EIS project has 15 calendar days for post-hearing comments. The final date for comments must be announced at the public hearing. During the hearing, these comments can be made in writing or orally. Post-public hearing, the comments must be received in writing.

The project sponsor shall submit to the department delegate the public hearing documentation consisting as described in TxDOT Public Involvement Manual, §11.4 “Public Hearing Documentation”. This document must be retained in the official project file.

Pertinent Project Types. Projects having a public hearing

Responsible Party. Core team and public involvement coordinator


Resource Material.

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