COVID-19 Response and Resources
How TDEC is Responding to COVID-19
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. We take the health of citizens and our staff very seriously and are following best practices to prevent further spread of the virus.
The latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak in Tennessee is available online at www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.
The Latest Information from TDEC (Updated May 29, 2020)
May 29, 2020 - TDEC Hosts Virtual Summer Camp for K-12 Students
May 14, 2020 - May Vehicle Registration Renewal Due Date Now June 15
April 20, 2020 - Tennessee State Parks to Reopen Most Parks Friday
April 14, 2020 – Tennessee State Parks Extend Closure
April 3, 2020 – TDEC to Close All 56 Tennessee State Parks Effective April 4
March 27, 2020 – Vehicle Emissions Testing in Tennessee Suspended Until May 18
March 25, 2020 – Tennessee State Parks Announces Temporary Operational Changes
March 18, 2020 – TDEC Cancels Workshops for Parks and Recreation Grants
Appointment-Only Model for In-Person Services (Updated Apr. 3, 2020)
In order to protect our staff, citizens and stakeholders, TDEC has implemented an appointment-only model of providing in-person services at various locations, including our central office in the Tennessee Tower, eight environmental field offices, the Oak Ridge oversight office and Fleming Training Center. This model will allow us to better ensure continued delivery of services, implementation of consistent social distancing, and time to clean any shared public spaces.
TDEC’s Environmental Programs (Updated June 15, 2020)
We understand that COVID-19 has caused disruption in the lives of many Tennesseans, but it is our duty to all communities across our state to ensure we continue our department’s work toward protecting human health and the environment. While these circumstances are unprecedented in many ways, the department’s Bureau of Environment will seek to continue operations as close to normal as possible. Where we need to make modifications and adjustments in order to be responsive to authorities, directives and good judgment required by these extraordinary times, TDEC’s environmental programs will seek to do that.
Our department leadership has developed guidance for BOE Operations during the COVID-19 situation to provide direction for our environmental divisions and their programs as we remain dedicated to carrying out our regular work to the extent possible and responding to emergencies in order to protect human health and the environment.
As Tennessee moves through these challenging days, we are grateful for citizens and stakeholders that are working with TDEC to both limit the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to protect the environment and support essential services and mission critical activities for our communities. We will get through this together. As we do, please join us by using these resources as we move forward.
Please see the following guidance and resources for citizens and the regulated community:
Permit, License & Certification Expirations or Renewals
Department staff is working in a manner to receive, process, and credit all permit, license, and certification applications and renewals received online or in our offices during this period. However, we also recognize the pervasive disruption affecting businesses, certification programs, individuals and communities at this time. Environmental programs are evaluating the need for and ability to exercise discretion regarding expiration of any license, permit or certification.
Our environmental divisions may extend deadlines for Public Comment periods. Check the Public Participation Opportunities section of the TDEC website to view and learn if any modifications have been arranged for Public Notices and related comment periods. These pages will also reflect any alternative document viewing and repository solutions are available.
Board Meetings and TDEC Public Hearings and Meetings (Updated June 29, 2020)
In light of the reopening of the state, the Environmental Divisions are moving toward a hybrid model of in-person board meetings, that will have an online option for members of the public that would like to attend virtually. TDEC public hearings and meetings will be held using the hybrid model or will be held virtually. We strongly encourage members of the public to participate in meetings and hearings online to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In-person participation will require compliance with appropriate public health measures. Please check the TDEC Calendar for Public Hearing and Board Meetings for the most current schedule and notice information concerning whether the meeting or hearing will be hybrid or virtual.
Inspections, Compliance and Enforcement
During this extraordinary period, the department has taken various measures to protect Tennessee citizens and regulated community we serve. As a large number of our personnel are currently working remotely and travel is restricted, routine fieldwork, on-site compliance inspections, and monitoring visits may be deferred. Non-emergency complaint investigations have been delayed until they can be safely performed. Even with these unique measures in place, our staff is working and arranging for environmental compliance activities to be undertaken remotely so those important activities continue to occur during this period.
If you have questions or need more information regarding inspection, compliance and enforcement activities during the time period affected by COVID-19 response, please reach out to your existing TDEC points of contact and/or division representatives or use the contact information below for the different environmental divisions:
Division E-mail address Phone number
Air Pollution Control E-mail 615-532-0554
Fleming Training Center E-mail 615-898-8090
Radiological Health E-mail 615-532-0364
Remediation E-mail 615-532-8599
Solid Waste Management E-mail 615-532-0072
Underground Storage Tanks E-mail 615-532-0945
Water Resources E-mail 615-532-0625
If your question does not apply to one particular environmental program or area or if you have a general question relating to TDEC’s environmental programs, you may also contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In light of the current situation, and in accordance with TDEC’s movement toward electronic submission of documents, the TDEC Office of General Counsel has set up a new email address to allow permittees, respondents, and third parties to file appeals with TDEC. If you wish to file an appeal, you may do so by emailing the appeal and any attachments to TDEC.Appeals@tn.gov. If you file an appeal electronically, you do not have to send a paper copy. Electronic filing is encouraged, but not required. When appeals are received, the TDEC Office of General Counsel staff will date-stamp the appeal, confirm receipt and forward it to the appropriate Division staff.
Helpful Bureau of Environment Links (Updated Apr. 13, 2020)
Information for State Park Visitors (Updated Apr. 20, 2020)
Tennessee State Parks will reopen most of its 56 state parks on Friday, April 24, for day-use only. Specific details on which parks will reopen will be available on tnstateparks.com this week.
Sustainability Resources (Added Apr. 6, 2020)
For the many Tennesseans across the state doing your part and social distancing at home, we have developed a list of low- to no-cost sustainability strategies for reducing your energy usage and waste, while hopefully saving you money. For our friends with children at home, we have provided links to at-home resources for you to enjoy and work through. And finally, while many of us are searching for a way to support our neighbors and communities and for those of you who might need help through this unprecedented time, we have offered a list of some organizations that can provide critical resources, as well as those that accept donations.
Read more about Sustainability Resources.
Office of the Governor
Tennessee Department of Health
Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
This Page Last Updated: June 29, 2020 at 9:18 AM