Tennessee Wastewater Variances regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Tennessee Wastewater Variances: What you need to know

Governing Law and Regulations

Tennessee Water Quality Control Act, Tennessee Code Annotated 69-3-101 to 69-3-137

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National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits: Rules and Regulations of the State of Tennessee (Rule) 0400-40-10-.1 to 0400-40-10.3

Variances from categorical pretreatment standards: Rule 0400-40-14-.13

Aquatic Resources Alteration Permit (ARAP): Rule 0400-40-07-.04

Regulatory Agencies

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) Division of Water Resources

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4

See ADDRESSES & CONTACTS for addresses and telephone numbers.

See national section for basic information and federal regulations.

Comparison: State vs. Federal

Rules. Tennessee adopts federal wastewater variance regulations with additional application requirements. Tennessee also provides for alternative wastewater testing techniques. See the national section WASTEWATER VARIANCES for more information.

The state is authorized to issue National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits to surface water dischargers and may grant variances for permit conditions and for categorical pretreatment standards. For more information, see the state sections NPDES PERMIT and PRETREATMENT STANDARDS.

Administration and enforcement. TDEC's Division of Water Resources administers and enforces Tennessee's wastewater variance rules.

State Requirements


An application for a variance of water quality standards, criteria, or classification for groundwater may be made by anyone who discharges into groundwater and who is subject to any wastewater permit issued under the Tennessee Hazardous Waste Management Act, provided that:

  • The relevant waters are not currently ...

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