Aquatic Resource Alteration Permits (ARAP)

Who needs an ARAP/401WQC in Tennessee?

According to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation website:

Persons who wish to make an alteration to a stream, river, lake or wetland must first obtain a water quality permit. Physical alterations to properties of waters of the state require an Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) or a §401 Water Quality Certification (§401 certification). Examples of stream alterations that require a permit from the Tennessee Division of Water Resources (division) include:

  • Dredging, excavation, channel widening, or straightening
  • Bank sloping; stabilization
  • Channel relocation
  • Water diversions or withdrawals
  • Dams, weirs, dikes, levees or other similar structures
  • Flooding, excavating, draining and/or filling a wetland
  • Road and utility crossings
  • Structural fill

A federal permit may also be required from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) for projects that include the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. including wetlands. This permit is called a §404 permit. When a §404 is required from the Corps, a §401 certification must first be obtained from the division. A §401 certification affirms that the discharge would not violate Tennessee’s water quality standards. The application process for a §401 certification is the same as the ARAP process.

General Permits are developed and maintained by the division to provide a streamlined, expedited means of authorizing projects that singularly or cumulatively propose minor impacts to water resources. 

Implementation of some types of conservation practices on agricultural land requires coverage under TDEC’s Construction General Stormwater Permit (CGP) and/or ARAPs. In an effort to streamline this permitting process for agencies invloved, a fact sheet was cooreratively developed to help farmers, landowners and other program participants to determine when a permit is needed or not.

Biological Systems Consultants, Inc. can provide support for the ARAP process.


Tennessee Hydrologic Determination (HD)

We recently completed another hydrologic determinations (HD) in Campbell County, in the State of Tennessee for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) . These are required by Tennessee law and are conducted by our trained field staff. These determinations use a combination of primary and secondary field indicators for the assessment. The secondary indicators include assess geomorphology, hydrology, and biology related characteristics within the watercourse to identify if it is a wet weather conveyance.

We are now preparing the Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit (ARAP) for the streams identified within the site boundary and also preparing the Nationwide Permit (NWP) Application for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District.