Governing Law and Regulations
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC)
See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.
See national section for basic information and federal regulations.
Comparison: State vs. Federal
• Rules. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires all federal agencies to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) for proposed major actions that significantly affect the environment. Major federal actions may include permits required by the project from federal agencies and federal financing of nonfederal projects. The EIS requirement is the core of NEPA that includes the public in the federal agency decision-making process. See the national section ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT for more information on the federal requirements.
Tennessee does not have a statute similar to NEPA. However, TDEC has adopted the federal rules by reference and may require an EIS at the discretion of the commissioner of TDEC. State rules also provide for an applicant to pay a fee for the preparation of an EIS. The EIS must also address economic and social impact.
• Administration and enforcement. The commissioner of TDEC is responsible for determining whether a particular project will require the submission of an EIS.