|(a) Transportation Code §201.607 requires the
Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to adopt a memorandum of
understanding (MOU) with each state agency that has responsibilities
for the protection of the natural environment or for the preservation
of historical or archeological resources, and requires TxDOT and each
of the agencies to adopt the memoranda and all revisions by rule.
This subchapter contains the MOU between TxDOT and the Texas Parks
and Wildlife Department (TPWD) that implements that section.
(b) This subchapter furthers TxDOT's environmental
policy, as found in §2.2 of this chapter (relating to Environmental
Policy), to integrate environmental considerations into department
activities to achieve compliance with applicable laws, regulations
and standards. TxDOT will focus on delivering safe, efficient transportation
projects and making sound decisions based on a balanced consideration
of transportation needs and of social, economic, and environmental
impacts of proposed transportation improvements.
(c) According to Parks and Wildlife Code §12.0011,
TPWD is the state agency with primary responsibility for protecting
the state's fish and wildlife resources; providing recommendations
that will protect fish and wildlife resources to local, state, and
federal agencies that approve, permit, license, or construct developmental
projects; providing information on fish and wildlife resources to
any local, state, and federal agencies or private organizations that
make decisions affecting those resources.
(d) Except as specified in subsection (f) of this section,
this MOU supersedes the MOU adopted on September 1, 2013 and associated
programmatic agreements. Nothing in this subchapter supersedes, modifies,
or nullifies any other agreement entered into by TxDOT and TPWD.
(e) TxDOT and TPWD shall examine and revise this MOU
not later than the fifth anniversary of its effective date, as required
by Transportation Code, §201.607. Notwithstanding the above,
this MOU remains in effect until revised or terminated by written
agreement of TxDOT and TPWD.
(f) The effective date of this MOU is the date on which
this Subchapter G takes effect. Projects for which coordination with
TPWD has been initiated prior to the effective date of this MOU will
complete coordination under the procedures of the September 2013 MOU.
Projects for which coordination with TPWD has not been initiated prior
to the effective date of this MOU will be governed by this MOU. A
project that requires reevaluation, and subsequently requires coordination
as specified in §2.203 of this subchapter (relating to Applicability),
will be governed by this MOU.
(g) The intent of the MOU is to foster communication,
collaboration, and cooperation between TPWD and TxDOT on the review
of transportation projects and protection of State natural resources.