Laboratory Units - Environmental and Evaluation Unit

Air and Asbestos Lab
This lab evaluates air quality and quantities and qualifies asbestos found in and around various structures and work sites owned and/or operated by DOTD.

Noise and Vibration Lab
The Air Noise and Vibration Lab monitors air noise and vibrations on a statewide basis, ensuring compliance with Federal regulations, and analyzes the effects of DOTD activities on the acoustic environment. This monitoring is done by means of different meters ranging from general purpose to precision monitoring equipment. Personnel recommend attenuating measures such as noise barriers or changes in traffic lane configuration in order to eliminate excessive noise. This lab also records ground and air vibrations during Department construction activities to aid in litigation proceedings resulting from any damage claims. In addition, it investigates complaints of traffic noise and/or vibration and recommends attenuation measures if necessary.

Solid and Hazardous Materials/Waste Lab
This lab investigates solid and hazardous waste sites and solid and hazardous materials owned or generated by DOTD. On a routine, but case-by-case basis, hazardous waste/materials assessment, remediation and disposal of solid and hazardous materials are managed through this lab to ensure compliance with State and Federal environmental regulations. For contaminated sites, remediation plans are developed by the environmental staff or the staff coordinates consultants developing the remediation plan. During the remediation, the lab coordinates all tests and negotiates with environmental agencies in regards to acceptance.

Underground Storage Tank Lab
This lab investigates and evaluates underground storage tank (UST) sites for DOTD by providing environmental site assessments for soil and groundwater contamination. Included in these UST evaluations are plan development showing area of contamination, limits of excavation, and clean-up cost estimates required by the Design, Real Estate, and Construction Sections of the Department.

Water and Wastewater Lab
This lab analyzes the effects of transportation projects on water quality and makes recommendations to minimize water pollution and other changes in the aquatic environment such as sediment and turbidity. The lab performs complete field and laboratory testing of all factors affecting water quality, including tests for dissolved oxygen, salinity, temperature, pH, heavy metals, biochemical oxygen demand, chemical oxygen demand, suspended solids, fecal coliform, phosphates and other nutrients, oil and grease, color, and turbidity. In addition, biological testing is performed on samples of water fauna to monitor any changes in aquatic life. The lab also monitors and tests wastewater discharges from DOTD facilities to ensure compliance with Federal and State requirements for wastewater discharge permits. This includes weekly and monthly monitoring of rest areas, maintenance units, district headquarters, bridges and ferries. The lab supervises statewide District Laboratory personnel who do complex testing not available at each site, such as fecal coliform, total suspended solids, and biochemical oxygen demand. The lab also provides expertise in interpreting the results of these tests as they relate to the proper operation of the treatment facilities.

About The Environmental Evaluation Unit
The Environmental Evaluation Unit is a highly diverse unit that provides an array of environmental services to the Department. Such services include the employment of various test parameters, scientific research efforts, environmental clean-up cost estimates, management and implementation of environmental contracts and the development of policies and procedures relative to the application of environmental rules and regulations. The main focus of this unit is to provide and facilitate a harmonious atmosphere between DOTD and the environmental regulatory agencies to ensure the timely completion of DOTD activities and also to ensure the Department's compliance with all state and federal environmental guidelines. This unit's services and responsibilities cross all Section and Division lines of the Department and routinely rely on district personnel for communication and cooperation. The Environmental Evaluation Unit is headed by the DOTD Environmental Program Manager. In addition to managing the activities listed above, the DOTD Environmental Program Manager also represents the Department at public hearings, litigation proceedings, and meetings of regulatory agencies and committees. The activities of this unit are carried out by five labs: Air and Asbestos Lab, Noise and Vibration Lab, Water and Wastewater Lab, Solid and Hazardous Material/Waste Lab, and Underground Storage Tank Lab.