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Division of Financial Responsibility

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I know whether my facility is required to demonstrate financial responsibility?

Because the regulations for environmental programs vary, it is best to contact the permitting division itself to find out whether you will be required to demonstrate financial responsibility, as well as the amount required. If you are required to do so by the permitting division, the staff of the Division of Financial Responsibility will provide guidance on how to obtain an appropriate financial instrument.

2. What forms of financial assurance are acceptable for my facility?

Please see the definitions and Instrument Chart links on the home page or in the right navigation.

3. By when do I need to have a financial assurance instrument in place?

If your permit requires you to maintain a financial assurance instrument, the instrument must be obtained and approved by TDEC before you can begin operation. In order to avoid delays, it is a good idea to begin discussing options with your financial institution as early as possible in the process.

4. I have sold a permitted site to another company. When will the financial instrument on file for that site be returned to me?

State regulations require that the new owner’s financial assurance instrument be filed and approved before the existing instrument can be released. This is also true when an owner/operator changes from one form of financial assurance to another. As soon as the replacement instrument has been filed and approved, the old instrument will be released.

5. Are business owners in other states required to post financial assurance, or is this requirement unique to Tennessee?

The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which was enacted in 1976, requires the use of financial assurance for certain types of solid waste, hazardous waste, and underground storage tank facilities. RCRA also requires that any state granted authority by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to run its own oversight programs for such facilities must establish standards at least as stringent as the federal standards. Therefore, any state that operates such programs must require financial assurance. Other federal agencies, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, have financial assurance requirements as well.

6. I am interested in whether a site in my neighborhood is required to have financial assurance. Where can I get this information?

For information about a specific site, please contact the Director of Financial Responsibility, Robert Dickinson, at 615-532-0877.