Section 2: Federal Codes and Regulations

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United States Code (USC)

The USC contains the laws of the United States of America. These laws, among other laws, set out the responsibilities of the FHWA, which has oversight authority on transportation projects to carry out requirements of Federal law. 23USC 123 relates to Federal-aid for highways and includes utility adjustments.

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Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

The CFR is a codification of rules published in the Federal Register Regulations, policies, and practices dealing with utility relocation and accommodation matters are found primarily in 23CFR 1.G.645, Subparts A and B. Requirements of 23CFR 645 form the nucleus of both State and LPA utility adjustments.

For other special information, refer to:

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National Electric Code (NEC)

The NEC is a nationally accepted guide to the safe installation of electric wiring and equipment, and is widely used as the basis of laws and regulations. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) borrowed extensively from the NEC in developing Design Safety Standards for Electrical Installations.This standard is now Federal law.

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National Electrical Safety Code (NESC)

The NESC was developed for safeguarding people during installation, operation, and maintenance of electrical supply and communications lines. It also covers equipment and associated work practices employed by:

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  • public or private electrical suppliers,
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  • communications,
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  • railways, and similar utilities in the exercise of their operations.
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  • NOTE: It is not necessary for TxDOT personnel to have extensive knowledge of NEC or NESC requirements. However, where applicable, utilities must comply with these requirements.


Electric Deregulation Act

This Act requires the electric industry to restructure its operations. It also allows community-owned utilities and member-owned cooperatives to choose whether they will compete with investor-owned utilities.

This Act can impact transportation projects. As these electric utilities break up into multiple companies, the number of entities involved in a transportation project may increase. Therefore, it is important to identify each of the parties early in transportation project development and include them in “ The Process.” This also applies to the Telecommunications Deregulation Act.

The Public Utility Commission (PUC) is the state agency responsible for regulating electric and telecommunication utilities in Texas. The PUC regulates the delivery of electricity and has limited regulatory authority over retail electric providers.

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Buy America (FHWA, USC)

Buy America provisions are set forth in both the USC and CFR, and are implemented by the FHWA and TxDOT. The Buy America stipulations are applicable to contracts eligible for Federal- Aid funding. Therefore, any utility work that is accomplished as a result of such contracts cannot be excluded from Buy America provisions. The FHWA Buy America statutory provisions are in 23USC 313 and the regulatory provisions are in 23CFR 635.410. The following links provide additional information regarding Buy America requirements:

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