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Tennessee Construction Stormwater Permit (6-TN-b)

In Tennessee, a developer may need a Construction Stormwater General Permit (“General Permit”) from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (“TDEC”) for construction projects that disturb one or more acres of land or are part of a common plan of development or sale that will disturb one or more acres of land, in compliance with the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (“NPDES”) of the Clean Water Act (“CWA”). Tennessee implements the state’s NPDES program in T.C.R.R. §0400-40-10. TDEC issues General Permits to developers pursuant to T.C.A. §69-3-1.

Note: Projects that disturb less than one acre of total land may still need to obtain authorization under the General Permit if:

  • TDEC determines that the stormwater discharge from the site is causing, contributing to, or is likely to contribute to a violation of a state water quality standard;
  • TDEC determines that the stormwater discharge is, or is likely to be a significant contributor of pollutants to waters of the state; or
  • Changes in state or federal rules require sites of less than one acre that are not part of a larger common plan of development or sale to obtain a General Permit.
TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit.


Construction Stormwater Permit Process

6-TN-b.1 – Construction Stormwater General Permit NOI

The developer must submit a Construction Stormwater General Permit Notice of Intent (“NOI”) to the appropriate TDEC Environmental Field Office at least 30 days before beginning construction activities. The NOI must include:

  • The name of the project or site;
  • A description of the project, and the project’s location;
  • The developers name and contact information;
  • Name and describe the waters that will be receiving discharges from the project;
  • Contain a construction site map that outlines he total acreage and areas to be disturbed; and
  • Include a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (“SWPPP”) that has been prepared in accordance with the TDEC Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook.

TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit.

The developer must also submit an Application fee. The Application fee varies depending on the size of the proposed project. The appropriate fees and fee schedules can be found in T.C.R.R. §0400-40-11. TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit.

6-TN-b.2 to 6-TN-b.3 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

After receiving an NOI, TDEC reviews the NOI for administrative and technical completeness. If the NOI is incomplete, TDEC notifies the developer within thirty (30) days of changes that must be made to the NOI. TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit.

6-TN-b.4 to 6-TN-b.5 – Review Application for Approval

After receiving an NOI, TDEC has thirty (30) days to either issue a Notice of Coverage (“NOC”), deny coverage under the General Permit, or request additional information from the developer. Depending on the information provided by the developer in the NOI, TDEC may investigate the proposed project for potential impacts to the waters of the state. TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit.

6-TN-b.6 – Construction Stormwater General Permit NOC

If TDEC approves the NOI, TDEC sends an NOC to the developer, certifying that the developer is covered under the General Permit. The developer is authorized to discharge stormwater associated with construction activity as of the effective date listed on the NOC. The developer is required to comply with all standard conditions of the General Permit, including:

  • Taking reasonable steps to minimize or prevent any discharge in violation of the General Permit that has a reasonable likelihood of adversely affecting human health or the environment;
  • Providing TDEC with requested information;
  • Properly operating and maintaining all facilities and systems;
  • Allowing TDEC authorized representatives to enter and inspect the site; and
  • TDEC retains the authority to modify, revoke or terminate a General Permit for cause.

TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit.

The developer must also perform inspections at least two (2) times a week of the construction site, and document the inspection on TDEC Inspection Certification Form. Inspections must be conducted at least seventy-two (72) hours apart from one another, and must be completed by an inspector that has an active certification by completing TDEC’s Fundamentals of Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Level 1 course. The developer must keep copies of these inspection forms and provide them to TDEC upon request. TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit.

6-TN-b.7 – Notice of Termination

In order to terminate coverage under the General Permit, the developer must submit a Notice of Termination (“NOT”) to the appropriate TDEC Environmental Field Office. Coverage can only be terminated if one of the following conditions occur at the project site:

  • All earth-disturbing activities and, if applicable, construction support activities permitted at the site are complete and the following requirements are met:
    • The stabilization practices listed in the TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit are met for any areas that were disturbed during construction and are not covered by permanent structures;
    • The developer has removed and properly disposed of all construction materials, waste and waste handling devices;
    • The developer has removed all equipment and vehicles that were used during construction, unless they are intended for long-term use following termination of General Permit coverage;
    • The developer has removed all stormwater controls that were installed and maintained during construction, except those that are intended for long-term use following termination of General Permit coverage; and
    • The developer has identified who is responsible for ongoing maintenance of any stormwater controls left on the site for long-term use following termination of General Permit coverage;
  • The developer has transferred control of all areas of the site for which the developer is responsible (infrastructure, common areas, stormwater drainage structures, sediment control basin, etc.) under the General Permit to another operator, and that operator has submitted an NOI and obtained coverage under the General Permit; or
  • The developer obtains coverage under an individual or alternative general NPDES permit.

TDEC Construction Stormwater General Permit.

After receiving an NOT, TDEC reviews the NOT for completeness and accuracy, and when necessary, investigates the project site. If TDEC accepts the NOT, TDEC will update the developer’s General Permit in the TDEC’s Water Resources Dataviewer and list it as inactive. This terminates the developer’s coverage under the General Permit. If TDEC rejects the NOT, TDEC notifies the developer of the rejection and summarizes the deficiencies in the NOT.

6-TN-b.8 – Appeal Decision (Optional)

If the developer or aggrieved person disagrees with the approval, denial, or the terms and conditions of a General Permit the person or developer may request a review of TDEC’s decision by the Tennessee Board of Water Quality, Oil and Gas within thirty (30) days of TDEC’s decision. The review is conducted pursuant to T.C.A. §69-3-105. T.C.R.R. §0400-40-05-.12.


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Contact Information









Edit Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Construction Storm Water Permit Contact 615-253-5402 robertabbazabbakaresh@tnabbazabbagov