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National Environmental Policy Act at TDEC

Contact Information

Kendra Abkowitz
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
TDEC.NEPA@tn.gov

For programs on this page call:
(615) 532-8689

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies and those working on behalf of federal agencies to consider impacts of proposed actions and reasonable alternatives to those actions through the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) or environmental assessment (EA) ("NEPA documents") or determination of a categorical exclusion (CE).

As a trustee of natural resources in Tennessee and as the state environmental regulatory agency, TDEC is responsible for participating in this process by reviewing and commenting on NEPA documents prepared by federal agencies (i.e., "cooperating agency"). Other activities may include:

  • Participating in the NEPA process at the earliest possible time, including during the scoping process. Formal NEPA scoping documents are authored by the federal agency or an agent designated by the federal agency.
  • Making available staff support at the lead agency's request to enhance the lead agency's interdisciplinary capabilities.

Timelines for review and comment on NEPA documents vary, ranging anywhere from 30-60 days following the release of the document.

Within TDEC, the Office of Policy and Planning is responsible for the coordination of department-wide responses to requests for review and comment on NEPA documents for proposed projects within Tennessee that trigger requirements pursuant to NEPA. The Policy Office does not coordinate preliminary environmental review requests. These requests should continue to be directed to the appropriate TDEC division(s).

An electronic- and centrally-managed database is currently being developed for managing NEPA document review and comment process flow. It will also serve as a repository to store TDEC’s comments to past NEPA documents. In the interim, please send all NEPA document review requests electronically to TDEC.NEPA@tn.gov.

NOTE: The Policy Office only coordinates review and comment of draft NEPA documents (environmental assessments or environmental impact statements) at this time. Notification of intent to prepare an environmental impact statement or environmental assess, environmental review requests or requests for information pertaining to the scoping of a formal environmental impact statement or environmental assessment should be directed to appropriate division or field office staff.