TDEC is in the process of revising General Aquatic Resource Alteration Permits (General Permits) for a new five year term. A meeting will be held on November 21, 2014 to solicit input from stakeholders on the revised General Permits. The draft General Permits will be issued December 1, 2014 with the comment period scheduled to close January 15, 2015. The email below was sent to interested parties by email today from Water Resources Division Director Tisha Calabrese Benton:
The Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Water Resources is in the process of reviewing our current Aquatic Resource Alteration General Permits. The current set of 16 general permits (GP) will expire on June 30, 2015. In preparation of the reissuance of these permits the division is soliciting feedback from our stakeholders to ensure we consider our customers during the draft permit phase.
The division issues GPs that are valid for five year terms. Coverage under these permits are used to authorize alterations to state waters for categories of activities that are substantially similar in nature, and that individually or cumulatively represent a minor impact to water resources. We encourage you to review the current set of GPs, available on our website at http://www.tn.gov/environment/permits/arapgps.shtml
To provide both a protective and customer focused product, the division is considering changes to improve the overall clarity, structure, and format of these permits. For this effort we expect to reformat the GPs to provide a clearer description of what activities may be covered under each general permit. To reduce complexity, important conditions specific to each permit will be listed first. We are also considering new language to allow a mechanism for extending coverage past the expiration date, along with other changes to permit language and conditions to ensure authorized activities do not represent a significant loss to the state’s water resources.
The division expects to have draft permits finalized and placed on public notice by December 1st. The formal comment period will run from December 1, 2014 through January 15, 2015. Please send any initial comments or suggestions that may help the division in the development of these draft permits to Jimmy R. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org by November 21, 2014. If you or any representative of your organization would like to meet with our staff in person, we would like to extend that opportunity as well. One option will be an informal stakeholder “listening” session on Friday, November 21st, from 10:00-12:00 in conference room D on the 3rd floor of the Tennessee Tower. You may also wait to comment on these documents during the formal comment period. If you wish to receive notification, and are not currently on our stakeholder public notice mailing list, please submit your contact information to email@example.com.
The division would like to thank you for your commitment and interest in our water resources. We look forward to working with you during the development of these documents.
Tisha Calabrese Benton
Director, Division of Water Resources