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Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act (U.S. DOT ACT) protects publicly owned and accessible parks, recreation areas, and wildlife and waterfowl refuges and historic sites, regardless of ownership and accessibility. Local governments, consultants, and TxDOT staff use these tools to address the requirements of the FHWA regulations promulgated in Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as Title 23 Part 774.

Questions? For historic resources, contact the Section 4(f) specialist at (512) 416-2619. For parks and recreation areas, contact the Section 4(f) specialist at (512) 416-2644. 

Title Date Description Format
Environmental Handbook for Section 4(f), U.S. Department of Transportation Act 05/15 Describes the TxDOT procedures and standards for complying with Section 4(f) of the U.S. DOT Act
Section 4(f) Compliance Process Flowchart 05/14 Shows the process for determining if Section 4(f) applies and the various paths for completing the compliance process
Use, Impacts and Approval Relationships 03/13 Describes the different types of uses, including constructive use, the possible magnitude of those impacts and the appropriate approval type for each specific magnitude for each type of use
Section 4(f) and TPWC Chapter 26 Comparison Public Parks, Recreational Lands, and Wildlife and Waterfowl Refuges 04/14 Provides a comparative overview of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code Chapter 26 requirements and the U.S. DOT Act Section 4(f) requirements
Review and Approval Process for Parks, Recreation Areas, Wildlife and Waterfowl Refuges 04/14 Illustrates the internal Environmental Affairs Division process for reviewing projects that impact Section 4(f) protected publicly owned and accessible parks, recreation areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges
Review and Approval Process for Section 4(f) Historic Properties 04/14 Illustrates the process for reviewing projects that impact a Section 4(f) protected historic property

Exceptions

Title Date Description Format
Checklist for Section 4(f) Exceptions for Public Parks, Recreation Land, Wildlife & Waterfowl Refuges, and Historic Sites 09/15 Used to streamline the Section 4(f) Exception Process and ensure that all necessary information is documented in the Project file
Letter Template for Official with Jurisdiction (OWJ) Notification of Intent to Pursue an Exception 10/15 Used by project sponsors to prepare a letter notifying the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) or the OWJ of the intent to pursue an exception

De Minimis Determinations

Title Date Description Format
De Minimis Impact Determination Compliance Process Flowchart 08/13 Illustrates the process for determining if impacts to a Section 4(f) property qualify as de minimis
Checklist for Section 4(f) De Minimis for Public Parks, Recreation Lands, Wildlife & Waterfowl Refuges, and Historic Sites 09/16 Used to streamline the Section 4(f) De Minimis Process and ensure that all necessary information is documented in the project file
Letter Template for Official with Jurisdiction Notification of Intent to Pursue De Minimis 10/15 Used to prepare a letter notifying the SHPO or the OWJ of the intent to pursue a de minimis determination

Section 4(f) Programmatic Evaluations

Title Date Description Format
U.S. DOT Act Section 4(f) Programmatics Matrix 05/14 Illustrates the five different types of Section 4(f) Programmatic Agreements, their applicability, what alternatives if any need to be evaluated, and any public involvement requirements
FHWA Environmental Review Toolkit: Nationwide Section 4(f) Programmatic Evaluations   Provides FHWA guidance through five links that each go to a webpage dedicated to one of the five programmatics
Checklist for Section 4(f) Programmatic Evaluation of Historic Bridge Projects 08/14 Used to document all alternatives were fully evaluated and the project conforms to regulatory completeness as set forth by regulations prescribed by Section 4(f) of the U.S. DOT Act
Checklist for Section 4(f) Net Benefit for Public Parks, Recreational Lands and Wildlife & Waterfowl Refuges 01/17 Used to document and make recommendations and determinations regarding compliance with Section 4(f) Programmatic Net Benefit (23 CFR 774.3(d))
Checklist for Section 4(f) Net Benefit for Historic Sites 03/17 Used to document and make recommendations and determinations regarding compliance with Section 4(f) Programmatic Net Benefit (23 CFR 774.3(d))

Individual Evaluations

Title Date Description Format
Documentation Standard for an Individual Section 4(f) Evaluation 04/14 Used to prepare an individual Section 4(f) evaluation and the documentation recording the basis for determining the required Section 4(f) findings for FHWA projects that impact parks, recreation areas, wildlife and waterfowl refuges, and historic sites

Additional Resources

Title   Description Format
FHWA Section 4(f) Policy Paper 07/12 Provides a primary resource, released by FHWA, of guidance for applying the requirements of 23 CFR 774 to transportation projects
AASHTO Practitioner’s Handbook: Complying with Section 4(f) of the U.S. DOT Act (Number 11)   Provides guidance, developed by American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), to assist practitioners with managing all aspects of compliance with Section 4(f)
Code of Federal Regulations, Title 23, Part 774: Parks, Recreation Areas, Wildlife and Waterfowl Refuges, and Historic Sites Section 4(f)   Codifies FHWA and Federal Transit Authority (FTA) regulations for complying with Section 4(f) of the U.S. DOT Act
FHWA Tech Advisory T 6640.8A: Guidance for Preparing and Processing Environmental and Section 4(f) Documents   Provides guidance, developed by FHWA, to FHWA field offices and project applicants concerning the preparation and processing of environmental and Section 4(f) documents
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