Transportation projects must comply with federal regulations governing the method and requirements for protecting and managing many natural resources. TxDOT designed tools for environmental practitioners to use to meet these compliance obligations for the following laws and resources.

Questions? Contact the Natural Resources staff at (512) 416-2661.

You may download the software (Tools and Plug-ins) needed to access forms or view frequently asked questions (Online Forms FAQs).

Coastal Barrier Resources Act
Farmland Protection Policy Act
State and Federal Protected Species
Water Resources

Coastal Barrier Resources Act

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for Coastal Barrier Resources Act 07/18 Provides a regulatory background and outlines the steps to document compliance with the CBRA
John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System: Texas   Provides the official CBRS map of Texas, depicting specific units of land and associated aquatic habitats that serve as barriers protecting the Gulf Coast
Coastal Barrier Resources System Mapper - Beta   An interactive, unofficial mapping tool to help determine if proposed project sites are within the CBRS and displays boundaries representative of the official maps but not considered authoritative
16 USC 3505: Exceptions to Limitations on Expenditures   Lists the requirements for the two types of CBRA exceptions applicable to transportation projects

Farmland Protection Policy Act

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for Farmland Protection Policy Act
05/18 Outlines the regulatory background and documentation requirements necessary to prepare project-specific, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documentation compliant with the FPPA
U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmland Conversion Impact Rating (AD-1006)   Used to record and communicate project specific data for non‑corridor projects that impact potentially protected farmland
Farmland Conversion Impact Rating for Corridor Type Projects (NRCS-CPA-106)   Used to record and communicate project specific data for corridor type projects that impact potentially protected farmland
7 CFR 657: Prime and Unique Farmlands   Codifies, in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the NRCS regulations for determining the best land for producing food, feed, fiber forage and oilseed crop, and identifying prime and unique farmlands
7 CFR 658: Farmland Protection Policy Act   Requires federal agencies to use the criteria to identify and take into account the adverse effects of their programs on the preservation of farmland; consider alternative actions, as appropriate, to lessen adverse effects; and ensure that programs, to the extent practicable, are compatible with state and units of local government and private programs and policies to protect farmland
Natural Resources Conservation Service Web Soil Survey   Provides an interactive mapping tool with soil data and information and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world
Soil Survey Manual   Provides the major principles and practices for making and using soil surveys and for assembling and using related data; primarily for use by soil scientists who classify and map soils and interpret soil surveys
Part 523 – Farmland Protection Policy Act Manual, Subpart A – General Information   Guidance from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) FPPA Manual
National Soil Survey Handbook   Provides operational and procedural guidance for conducting the NRCS portion of the National Cooperative Soil Survey program

State and Federal Protected Species

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook: Ecological Resources
07/15 Provides a regulatory background for compliance with federal regulations, except for the Endangered Species Act
Environmental Handbook: Endangered Species Act 04/17 Provides a regulatory background on compliance with the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 and consideration of the protection and management of imperiled species and their ecosystems
Process: District and Environmental Interactions for ESA Section 7 Obligations 04/17 Process provides guidance to TxDOT staff when considering Endangered Species Act (ESA) Section 7 obligations
Documentation Standard for Biological Assessment or a Biological Evaluation 08/15 Use by project sponsors preparing a Biological Assessment (BA) for informal consultation or a Biological Evaluation (BE) for informal consultation with the USFWS.
Tier I Site Assessment 04/17 A fillable smart-form that covers the Texas Parks and Wildlife Analysis for a project (formerly this form was incorporated into the Biological Evaluation Form).
Biological Evaluation Form 01/17 A fillable PDF form that generates the applicable biological resource specific questions depending on county selection and funding source.
Guidance: Avoiding Migratory Birds and Handling Potential Violations 03/17 Describes TxDOT’s responsibilities to comply with the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

Protected Species Agreements with Resource Agencies

Title Date Description Format
Endangered Species Act Programmatic Consultation Agreement for Red-cockaded Woodpecker 12/16 Provides a programmatic approach to address project effects to the Red-cockaded Woodpecker under the Endangered Species Act, for projects that “may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect” the species.
Endangered Species Act Programmatic Consultation Agreement for the Black-Capped Vireo and Golden-Cheeked Warbler
07/17 Letter agreement provides a programmatic approach to address project effects to Black-Capped Vireo and Golden-Cheeked Warbler under the Endangered Species Act, for projects that “may affect, but are not likely to adversely affect” the species.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 09/14 The purpose of this MOU is to define the process for coordinating transportation projects with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to facilitate the protection of the natural environment. It is found in Title 43, Part 1, Chapter 2, Subchapter G of the Texas Administrative Code.
TPWD MOU Best Management Practices Programmatic Agreement (PA)
05/17 Defines the best management practices that TxDOT and TPWD have agreed will result in avoidance and minimization of potential impacts to natural resources and can eliminate the need for coordination of projects with TPWD for the species with best management practices.
TPWD MOU Threshold Table PA 05/17 Defines the thresholds to determine if an area and type of potential impact from a transportation project triggers a need to coordinate the project with TPWD, while other coordination triggers for coordination are identified in the biological evaluation form.
TPWD MOU Tier II Site Assessments PA
05/17 Outlines the information TPWD requires to initiate administrated coordination between TPWD and TxDOT under the 2013 MOU.

Water Resources

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for Water Resources 11/17 Provides a regulatory background for and outlines the TxDOT process steps necessary to document compliance with the regulations concerning the management of water resources
TxDOT Water Resources Handbook Companion Viewer 01/18 Shows available water resources data that may be useful for compliance with regulations that are addressed, as applicable, during TxDOT’s environmental clearance process. The map viewer was prepared by TxDOT’s Environmental Affairs Division in September of 2017 using the best available data and will be updated on an annual basis, pending changes in source data. Data sources are identified by drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
Standard Operating Procedure for Requesting USCG Bridge Permitting Exceptions from FHWA 06/15 Outlines a process to request an exception from the USCG bridge permitting requirements.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Sole Source Aquifers – Safe Drinking Water Act 06/18 MOU between TxDOT and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) describes the consultation and review process for Federal-aid highway projects which may affect water quality in designated sole source aquifers. This MOU is pursuant to Section 1424(e) of the Safe Drinking Water act (PL 93-523)

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