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.


KY Stream Restoration

KY Stream Restoration

Stream Restoration
Stream Restoration

Stream mitigation including stream restoration design and construction monitoring services. Whether it is a baseline study or full stream restoration design plan our team regularly performs these tasks to help our clients meet their project goals. Using Rosgen and standard survey trained stream restoration specialists, Biological Systems Consultants provides their clients with longitudinal profiles, profile and dimension information (plan-views, cross-sections), pebble counts, and complete Rosgen stream assessments. Using existing stream conditions or reference streams, Biological Systems Consultants provides detailed stream channel information for these types of projects.

Using our EcoDrones (UAV, sUAS, Drones) Biological Systems Consultants can also assist in stream or wetland mitigation or bond releases or pre, post, and during construction monitoring, baseline assessments by providing video, still images, or 3D modeling of sites. Capturing low-elevation data we can create or provide highly accurate DEM (digital elevation models or elevation point clouds) data to our clients to work with. This technology allows us to capture millions of points, exponentially greater than traditional survey methods. This method is also safer than putting a traditional airplane into the sky. Using the latest available technology we aim to save our clients time and money in the field and in the office and can deploy EcoDrones very quickly to complete projects.

EcoDrone Ecological Assessments


EcoDrone Stream and Wetland Mitigation Monitoring and Documentation Videos

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