Environmental Permits Section
James K. Polk Building, Suite 900,
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0334
Roadway construction has long been recognized as a potential source of adverse environmental impact upon hydrological systems. To minimize the risk of construction-related impacts, TDOT complies with the criteria set forth by state and federal agencies whose duties include regulating impacts to jurisdictional waters in accordance with the Federal Clean Water Act, the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act, and the TVA Act of 1933.
The Environmental Permits Section is responsible for obtaining appropriate water quality permits for all TDOT projects that impact federal and state jurisdictional waters from the following agencies:
- Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) - General and Individual Aquatic Resource Alteration Permits (ARAP); Section 401 Water Quality Certification; Class V Underground Injection Well Permits
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) - Nationwide and Individual Section 404 Permits and Section 10 Compliance
- Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) - Section 26a Permits
- Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) - Reelfoot Watershed Management Permit
The Environmental Permits Section works closely with the Environmental Division’s other offices, Design Division, Construction Division, Right-of-Way Division, Maintenance Division, and regulatory agencies to meet permit application, public notice, constructability, and quality assurance (QA) requirements. The Environmental Permits Section reviews roadway and utility plans and ecological, hydraulic, and geotechnical information to better avoid and minimize impacts to jurisdictional waters. Where impacts cannot be avoided, a water quality permit application is prepared which describes the water feature, its proposed impact, and its proposed on-site resource replacement and/or off-site mitigation. On-site resource replacement is proposed, where possible. On-site resource replacement techniques are described in the Ecology Section. Where off-site mitigation is proposed, the Environmental Permits Section provides a detailed accounting of impacts and in-lieu fees with the permit application. Once a permit is received and the project is let for construction, the Environmental Permits Section responds to any inquiries made by the Construction Division, the Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control (EPSC) inspectors, and the Comprehensive Inspections Office concerning permit compliance. When a water quality permit violation is identified, this Section coordinates recommendations and permit acquisitions with the Construction Division, Comprehensive Inspections Office, and with appropriate regulatory agencies to help rectify the cause of the violation.