Environmental Permits Section
James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, TN 37243
DJ Wiseman, P.E.
Environmental Permits Section Manager
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 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; NPDES Construction Stormwater Permit Coverage
- 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, and contractibility 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 best describes the water feature, its proposed impact, and its proposed on-site resource and 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.
The Environmental Permits Section is also responsible for obtaining appropriate storm water permits for all TDOT projects statewide that will disturb one acre or more of land during construction. The National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) is a permit for discharge of storm water associated with construction activities which is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA has delegated this regulation to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), which issues Construction General Permit coverage for projects.
For questions regarding environmental permits, please contact the appropriate contact for each region as listed below.