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Federal and State Agencies Interacting with WATeR

Bill Waldrop, Water Quality Improvements Committee, Revised Oct. 2013


TVA – Tennessee Valley Authority – A Federal agency created primarily to provide river navigation, control floods, and generate electric power throughout the watershed of the Tennessee River.  This entails managing lake levels and flow rates in TVA controlled rivers and reservoirs. They manage TVA land along reservoirs and streams, and issue permits for shoreline construction of all types.  All funds are derived from the sale of electric power.  TVA has no regulatory authority to issue fines or penalties.

TDEC – Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation – A State agency with responsibility for developing and enforcing State and Federal environmental regulations.  TDEC issues permits for all discharges into TN waters. They issue environmental classifications of streams, rivers, and reservoirs, and have authority to levy fines for violations of environmental regulations. 

TWRA – Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency – A State agency that plans and manages wildlife issues throughout TN.  In the Tellico Reservoir Watershed, they plan and manage fisheries, promote and advise for wildlife habitat management, stock streams and lakes with fish, issue hunting and fishing licenses, issue boat registrations, and enforce safe boating.  They are the Game Wardens with authority to issue citations and make arrests.

USACE – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – A Federal agency with responsibility for navigation in rivers and reservoirs.  As such, the USACE requires permits for shoreline construction to assure noninterference with boat navigation.  They operate the navigation locks, and place and maintain buoys on main channels.  TVA provides other activities in the Tennessee Valley normally performed by the USACE elsewhere, including placing and maintaining buoys along secondary channels.

TRDA – Tellico Reservoir Development Agency – A State agency created to manage certain land along Tellico Reservoir.  This land was purchased by TVA when they built Tellico Dam and created Tellico Reservoir.  TRDA was deeded TVA land designated for recreation or industrial, commercial, and residential development.  TRDA controls access and development to assure use is consistent with TVA planned usage.  They receive no State or TVA funding, but derive funds from the sale or lease of land for TVA designated use.  They have no regulatory authority or responsibility for environmental issues, other than TRDA compliance with State and Federal regulations.  

NRCS - Natural Resource Conservation Service – A branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture with small local branch offices.  NRCS primarily assists rural landowners and provides grants to manage land and other natural resources, including agricultural uses and surface water interfaces.  This agency, previously known as the Soil Conservation Service, advises and supports landowners to achieve both environmental and economic effectiveness.

SCD – Soil Conservation District – A local unit of county government that was established under state law to carry out natural resource management programs at the local level.  Districts work with cooperating landowners and operators to help them manage and protect land and water resources on all private lands and many public lands in the United States.  Soil conservation districts work in a close partnership with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).

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