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Environmental Permitting Handbook

What Environmental Permits Do I Need?

Standard Operating and Permitting Procedures

We want to hear from you! Flow charts are a new department initiative designed to simplify the permit process. Please send comments to [email protected].


Prudent Site Checks

Application Forms

 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

 Public Notices of Permit Decisions




Air Permitting Process Flow Chart (s)

Please submit all forms as two-sided documents when feasible.

Construction Permit: Constructing or modifying a source that emits pollutants into the air

Notification of Asbestos Demolition or Removal: Removing asbestos where quantities exceed 160 square feet or demolition of a regulated facility

Operating Permit: Operating a source that emits pollutants into the air

Title V Operating Permit: Emitting more than 100 tons/year of an air pollutant, 10 tons/year of hazardous air pollutant, and/or 25 tons/year of a combination of hazardous air pollutants


Water Permitting Process Flow Chart (s)

Please submit all forms as two-sided documents when feasible.

Aquatic Herbicides General Permit: Applying contact herbicides to waters of the State

Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP)/Section 401 Certification: Physically altering waters (streams and wetlands) of the state, including water withdrawals that have the potential to signficantly degrade the water quality in the stream.

Certificate of Dam Approval and Safety: Constructing, altering, removing or operating a dam that is a minimum of 20 feet high or impounding at least 30 acre-feet of water

Domestic Septage Disposal Site Permit: land disposal of domestic septage from septic tanks or other sewage treatment or disposal facilities

Dye Trace Registration: Anyone who performs a dye trace study in streams or groundwater systems of the state.

General Permit for Livestock Farms (CAFO)

General NPDES Permit for Discharges of Filter Backwash and Sedimentation Basin Washwater from Water Treatment Plants: The discharge of filter backwash and sedimentation basin washwater from water treatment plants to the waters of Tennessee.

Hydrostatic Test Water NPDES General Permit: The discharge of hydrostatic test water to the waters of Tennessee.

Inter-Basin Transfer Permit: The  transfer of water out of a major river basin and into another. 

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination (NPDES) Permit: Point source discharge of wastewater and stormwater runoff to the waters of the state

NPDES General Permit For Industrial Stormwater: Point source discharge of stormwater from runoff industrial or commercial facilities to the waters of the state

NPDES General Permit for Construction Storm Water: the grubbing, clearing, grading or excavation of one (1) or more acres of land

Plans Review and Approval for Public Water Systems: Constructing or modifying a public water system

Ready Mixed Concrete NPDES General Permit: The operation of a ready mix concrete facility with discharges of washwater, stormwater, or a no-discharge recycle system.

Septic System Construction Permit: subsurface sewage disposal (septic) system installation or repair

Septic Tank Pumping Contractor Permit: the business of removing and disposing of domestic septage from septic tanks, holding tanks, portable toilets or other similar sewage treatment or disposal facilities

State Operating Permit: Operating a municipal collection system, discharging treated municipal wastewater to land

Storm Water Discharges Permitting - Phase I and II
A page of information, resources, and links, including development of the Tennessee Phase II MS4 Permitting Program

Subsurface Sewage Disposal System Installer Permit:  the business of installing, altering, extending, or repairing a subsurface sewage disposal (septic) systems

Underground Injection Control Permit: Injection wells and injection activities with the exception of single family domestic waste disposal systems and injection of natural gas for the purpose of storage

Underground Storage Tank Remediation NPDES General Permit: The discharge of groundwater associated with remediation of contaminated groundwater at an underground storage tank.

Water and Wastewater Operator Certification:  each person in direct charge at a water treatment plant, a wastewater treatment plant, a water distribution system, or a wastewater collection system must have a certificate

Well Driller or Installer License:  the digging, drilling, or redrilling of a well or anyone who installs, or repairs well pumps or filters and treatment devices

Wellhead Protection Program Approval: Public water supplies using groundwater as a source


Waste Permitting Process Flow Chart (s)

Please submit all forms as two-sided documents when feasible.

Consent Order Agreement - Voluntary Cleanup Oversight and Assistance Program (VOAP): Investigation and cleanup of Superfund sites

DCERP Registration: Owners or operators of drycleaning facilities conducting or intending to conduct drycleaning operations, during the year, must register

Hazardous Waste Permits: Treating, storing or disposing of hazardous wastes

Landfill Permit: Operating a solid waste landfill to take household, industrial, land clearing, landscaping, and/or construction and demolition wastes

Notification of Hazardous Waste Activity

Annual Reporting

EPA ID Number Assigned

Transporter Permitting

Transfer Facility

Generating more than 100 kg of hazardous waste or 1 kg of acutely hazardous waste in any month of the calendar year requires notification/generating, transporting, treating, storing or disposing of hazardous waste requires an EPA ID number.

Notification For Used Oil Management: Every used oil collection center; transporter; transfer facility; marketing, processing, refining and off-specification burner site must file a notification with the state

Permit-By-Rule for Solid Waste Management: Operating solid waste processing, collection and/or recycling facilities

Special Waste Approval - disposal of special waste in a permitted landfill or processing special waste  in a permitted processing facility

Underground Storage Tank Notification: Installing an underground storage tank and/or having an existing underground storage tank on-site


Radiological Permitting Process Flow Chart (s)

Please submit all forms as two-sided documents when feasible.

General Radioactive Material License: Possessing generally licensed devices (by-product, source and special nuclear material)

Radioactive Waste License for Delivery: Shipping licensable quantities of radioactive material to a disposal/processing facility within the state

Reciprocity of an Out-State Radioactive Material License: Possessing or using licensed radioactive material to conduct the activities authorized by such license within the State of Tennessee

Registration of X-ray Producing Equipment: Owning or possessing any radiation machine - register radiation sources within 10 days after acquisition

Specific Radioactive Material License: Receiving, possessing, using, transferring, owning or acquiring radioactive materials


Natural Resource Permitting Process Flow Chart (s)

Please submit all forms as two-sided documents when feasible.

Endangered Plant Dealer License: selling or exporting Tennessee listed endangered plant species

Ginseng Dealer Permit: Any ginseng dealer who purchases ginseng collected in Tennessee with the intent to resale must obtain a ginseng dealer permit.

Mineral Test Hole Permit: Persons who drill any hole in excess of one hundred feet for the specific purpose of exploring for minerals, excluding oil and gas

Oil and Gas Well Permit: Persons who drill, deepen, or reopen oil or gas wells

State Archaeological Permit: conduct archaeological work on state-owned or state-managed lands

Surface Mining Permit: Surface disturbance and surface mining of specific minerals

TSP Scientific Research and Collecting Permit: Collect biological or geological materials, or air or water samples, or install research equipment on State Park land

Disclaimer: This information is provided for educational purposes. Although there are statements about what sorts of activities generally require certain permits. Individual circumstances may differ. Based on the details of a particular operation, a facility might need another type of permit in addition to what is indicated in this web site. Please contact the nearest Environmental Field Office for more definitive answers about your particular circumstances.