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.

Tennessee Hydrologic Determination

Tennessee Hydrologic Determination (HDT) and Jurisdictional Determinations (JD) are conducted by our trained field staff and follow the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Division of Water Pollution ControlGuidance For Making Hydrologic Determinations. This is required by law within the state of Tennessee under the following statute.

The following is taken from the TN statute:

Public Chapter No. 464 PUBLIC ACTS, 2009 1
Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 69-3-103, is amended by
adding the following language as new, appropriately designated subsections:
( ) “Wet weather conveyance” means, notwithstanding any other law or
rule to the contrary, man-made or natural watercourses, including natural
watercourses that have been modified by channelization:
(1) That flow only in direct response to precipitation runoff in their
immediate locality;
(2) Whose channels are at all times above the groundwater table;
(3) That are not suitable for drinking water supplies; and
(4) In which hydrological and biological analyses indicate that,
under normal weather conditions, due to naturally occurring ephemeral or
low flow there is not sufficient water to support fish, or multiple
populations of obligate lotic aquatic organisms whose life cycle includes
an aquatic phase of at least two months;

( ) “Obligate lotic aquatic organisms” means organisms that require
flowing water for all or almost all of the aquatic phase of their life cycles;

( ) “Stream” means a surface water that is not a wet weather conveyance;

( ) “Watercourse” means a man-made or natural hydrologic feature with a
defined linear channel which discretely conveys flowing water, as opposed to

Contact us or request a quote for your hydrologic determination today.