Skip to Main Content

Tennessee Environmental Procedures Manual

Chapter 10: Environmental Evaluation of State-Funded Projects

10.1 TDOT Policy on State-Funded Projects

TDOT is committed to an approach to project development that provides for early and ongoing consideration of the environmental effects of state-funded projects. The TDOT approach includes early identification and evaluation of potential environmental consequences, consultation with affected agencies and the public, and the development of measures to avoid, minimize and/or mitigate the adverse effects of state-funded projects on the natural and human environments of Tennessee. State-funded transportation projects that require the acquisition of right-of-way and/or the construction of new roadways and other transportation facilities must undergo a rigorous environmental review. The environmental review is documented in a Tennessee Environmental Evaluation Report (referred to as a TEER) that will be made available for public review.

A TEER is prepared for a state-funded transportation project that meets both of the following criteria:

  • Is a transportation route (including a bridge project); and
  • Requires acquisition or disturbance of at least one acre of new or additional right-of-way, unless there are special circumstances that would necessitate the preparation of a TEER for a project with less than one acre of property acquisition.

Special circumstances that would result in the need to prepare a TEER under the second criterion listed above include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Displacement of any commercial or residential occupants;
  2. The use of land from a property or district that is listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places or a National Historic Landmark, which would cause an adverse effect to that resource;
  3. The use of land from a public park or recreation area, designated forest, or wildlife management area;
  4. Work that requires a U.S. Coast Guard construction permit, or an individual U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Permit;
  5. Construction in, across, or adjacent to a river designated as a component of the National System of Wild and Scenic Rivers or high quality streams, including streams designated as Outstanding National Resource Waters (ONRW), as designated by Tennessee's water quality standard;
  6. Work encroaching on a regulatory floodway or work affecting the base floodplain (100-year flood) elevation of a water course or lake;
  7. Work in wetlands;
  8. Change in access control;
  9. A known hazardous materials site within the proposed right-of-way;
  10. An adverse effect to federal or state designated threatened or endangered species or their critical habitat; or
  11. A formal request for the preparation of a TEER is received from a local citizen, group or organization, and the request is based on identified environmental concerns.

This policy is effective for all new state-funded transportation projects for which no funds have been authorized or obligated by TDOT as of March 2007, the original adoption date of this Environmental Procedures Manual.

Since 2007, TDOT has determined the need to have two levels of TEER documents. The TEER document, also referred to as a Major TEER, is prepared when the project would have required an Environmental Assessment (EA) had it been federally funded. A Minor TEER will be prepared for a state-funded transportation project that would have only minor potential for environmental impacts, similar to those federally funded projects for which a Categorical Exclusion (CE) applies.

back to top