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Regulatory Division

Fixed and Floating Docks along the Tennessee River at Mile 65.7,The Department of the Army Regulatory Program is one of the oldest in the Federal Government. Initially it served a fairly simple, straightforward purpose: to protect and maintain the navigable capacity of the nation's waters. Time, changing public needs, evolving policy, case law, and new statutory mandates have changed the complexion of the program, adding to its breadth, complexity, and authority.

The Regulatory Program is committed to protecting the Nation's aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions. The Corps evaluates permit applications for essentially all work that occurs in “waters of the United States” that are regulated by the Corps pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. Some examples of areas that may be within the jurisdiction of the Corps include marshes, swamps, streams, creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, seasonally saturated forested and non-forested wetlands.

All regulated activities occurring within jurisdictional areas require a permit from the Corps. Some example activities occurring within jurisdictional areas that require a permit include dredging of waterways, bank stabilization, recreational ponds and lakes, as well as the construction of fixed docks/boat slips, floating docks/boat slips, marinas, fleeting areas, boat ramps, roads, transportation crossings, residential and commercial developments, utility lines, and mining activities.

In order to determine whether your proposed activity requires a permit, or whether any “waters of the U.S.” are located on your property or within your project area, please explore our website or contact us for further guidance. Please note that the Nashville District Corps of Engineers will make the final determination of whether an area is a jurisdictional “water of the U.S.” and whether the activity requires a permit.

The Nashville District covers portions of Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. We are dedicated to providing strong protection of the Nation's aquatic resources, including wetlands, to enhance the efficiency of the Corps regulatory program, and ensure that the Corps provides fair, reasonable, and timely decisions to our customers.

Announcements

Corps joins Tennessee to implement new stream assessment tool

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Nov. 16, 2018) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District joined forces with a state agency this week to begin the transition and implementation of a new stream assessment tool to support permit evaluations. 

During the course of three days, the Corps and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation trained private consultants on the use of a new stream assessment tool called the Tennessee Stream Quantification Tool. 

The tool is a quantitative assessment methodology that can be used to evaluate changes in stream functions resulting from permanent impacts or compensatory mitigation.  The Tennessee Stream Quantification Tool also helps with the communication of goals and objectives between customers, consultants, and agencies.

TDEC spearheaded the tool’s development when the agency received the Wetland Program Development Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Vena Jones, TDEC’s environmental consultant within the Division of Water Resources, said a goal the agency had in place for the grant involved updating a decades-old process document, and publishing field forms for all stakeholders and agencies to have for online access.

“We wanted to regionalize and modify the framework of the stream quantification tool to make the program Tennessee specific so all the stakeholders involved will use the same method to assess a stream’s function, hopefully making the process more streamlined and quicker,” Jones said.

The grant also requires TDEC to offer training for members of the public to attend, which gave an opportunity for the Nashville District’s Regulatory Division to assist with the training.

“The stream assessment tool will provide the public with a predictable and transparent assessment tool that is rooted in sound science,” said Joshua Frost, chief of Technical Services Branch in the Nashville District’s Regulatory Division.

Will Harmon, founder of Stream Mechanics, the contracted consulting firm that oversaw the development of Tennessee’s Stream Quantification Tool, said one long-term advantage to using the same language and methodology is it removes the potential for a project to go a different direction due to employee turnover that may take place during the life of a mitigation project.

The latter part of the third day supervisors with TDEC and the Nashville District discussed how the transition to the stream quantification tool will occur moving forward.  Staff members with the regulatory branch who attended the three-day training will be tasked to train fellow regulators on how to apply and use the new assessing tool.

The stream quantification tool and supporting documents can be obtained by anyone on TDEC’s website under Aquatic Resource Alteration Permits and will soon be available on the Nashville District’s Regulatory webpage.  Having this material available will allow the process to be transparent to all entities and individuals involved.

“This partnership was a fantastic opportunity for the Corps to work in concert with Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.  This has been an exceptional opportunity for Federal and state agencies to work together to produce a product that can be used by permit applicants to satisfy both state and federal requirements,” Frost said.

(The public can obtain news, updates and information from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District on the district’s website at http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/nashvillecorps, and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/nashvillecorps.)