The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, or TDEC, is the state agency in Tennessee responsible for its soil, water, and air quality. It manages these by using regulatory programs to set standards for air, water, and soil quality and aiding small businesses and communities in meeting these standards by providing assistance in areas such as waste management

TDEC has fourteen divisions, each responsible for a different facet of the environment and the ways in which we interact with it. 

This division is responsible for the protection and improvement of health and environmental quality through the oversight of waste management activities and the reuse of recovered materials.

This division is responsible for the purity of the air in Tennessee. It monitors ambient air quality, manages air emissions from industries through the use of standards and permits, and enforces said standards through court actions. 

This division provides education, funding, and technical assistance for programs and projects related to energy efficiency, management, security/preparedness, renewable energy, alternative fuels, and sustainable transportation.

This division is responsible for the protection and management of native plant and animal species in Tennessee through the monitors, conservation, and restoration of these communities.

This division is provides resources, programs, and technical assistance to business, community, and government institutions to help facilitate environmental sustainability throughout the state.

This division helps small businesses understand and comply with environmental regulations.

This division is responsible for the documentation, preservation, and study of of both historic and prehistoric sites in Tennessee. It maintains an active site archive and publishes its research for the public.

This division is responsible for mapping and recording geologic and mineralogical data. They also provide geologic hazard assessments.

This division is responsible for protecting human and environmental health  by preventing future petroleum tank failures and remediating existing contaminated areas.

This division is responsible for identifying, investigating, stabilizing, and remediating  hazardous substance sites in order to minimize threats to the public or the environment. 

This division is responsible for protecting human and environmental health  by preventing future petroleum tank failures and remediating existing contaminated areas.

This division is responsible for protecting citizens and the environment from the effects of ionizing radiation. It regulates the possession and use  of radioactive materials and radiation-producing machinery and responds to accidents involving radiation.

This division is responsible for the protection and maintenance of state parks in Tennessee.

This division is responsible for administering federal and state grant programs programs to local governments, the Greenways and Trails program, and maintaining Tennessee's eligibility for federal Land and Water Conservation Funds


The Tennessee Valley Authority is not a government agency, but instead a federally owned corporation that dates back to 1933. It is the oldest and largest federal regional planning firm in the U.S., with operations in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. In Tennessee alone it operates 19 hydroelectric dams, 11 non-generating dams, four coal-fire plants, ten natural gas facilities, two nuclear power plants, and seven solar facilities and manages 33 reservoirs. It manages over 170,000 acres of public land surrounding its reservoirs. 

The TVA monitors water quality and aquatic life throughout the Tennessee River and its tributaries and manages its own water supply. It also collaborates with other agencies and citizen groups to help restore or improve water quality in key watersheds: the Clinch, Powell, Little Tennessee, Elk, Duck, and Bear Creek.

Tennessee Clean Water Network © 2020

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