Industrial Stormwater General Permit

*** Important Update 03/11/2022***

Tennessee’s general industrial stormwater discharge permit is known as the Tennessee Multi Sector Permit (TMSP) became effective on July 20, 2020, for a period of two years.

Rather than wait for EPA’s final 2020 permit to inform Tennessee’s 2020 TMSP, TDEC decided to reissue the 2015 TMSP, unchanged, for a term of two years. was intended to allow TDEC the opportunity to review the final federal MSGP prior to proposing any changes to the TMSP. Reissuing the 2020 TMSP for a two-year term also avoided impacting new industrial facilities who would be unable to receive permit coverage without an active TMSP in Tennessee.

EPA’s 2021 federal MSGP was not issued until January 15, 2021, did not become effective until March 1, 2021, and was modified on September 29, 2021.  This timeframe paired with the COVID pandemic did not allow TDEC sufficient time to evaluate federal changes and seek feedback from stakeholders on which of these changes to use in the TMSP.   

TDEC will again reissue the TMSP, unchanged, this time for a period of three years.  This will also allow time to set up the eReporting process for monitoring reports and outline that process in the new TMSP. 

If you DO NOT have coverage under the previous TMSP:

If you have reviewed the information on this page to confirm that you need coverage, please submit a completed Notice of Intent (NOI) and stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) to (see forms below)

If you have coverage under the current TMSP and plan to maintain it in the next permit cycle:

Do not submit a NOI for coverage under the new permit. Facilities covered under the previous permit can confirm their continuing TMSP coverage by going to the TDEC DataViewer, enter your permit tracking number into the search bar, and drill down to the particular record. On that web page, you will see all relevant facility information, including current effective and expiration date.

If you have coverage under the current TMSP but no longer need it:

Submit the appropriate documentation (No Exposure Certification Form or Notice of Termination) immediately. (see forms below)

2020 Notice of Determination and final TMSP general permit

TMSP Overview (This video provides a brief overview of the requirements under the Tennessee Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Activities)

Who Needs One?

All new and existing point source stormwater discharges associated with industrial activity require coverage under an NPDES Stormwater Permit from the Tennessee Division of Water Resources. The most common way to obtain coverage is the TMSP, which is available to almost any industry, but there is also an option of obtaining an individual permit.

Coverage under the TMSP is not available for stormwater that meets any of the following characteristics::

  1. is regulated by an individual NPDES permit
  2. receives combined treatment with non-stormwater
  3. is subject to EPA effluent limitations
  4. is subject to another general permit
  5. contributes to a violation of water quality standards
  6. is discharged from inactive mining, inactive landfills or inactive oil and gas operations occurring on federal lands where an operator cannot be identified
  7. is discharged from mining operations with the exception of inactive coal mines and related facilities, construction sand and gravel mining, dimension stone mining and quarrying.

Industries that have no industrial materials and activities exposed to stormwater can submit a no exposure certification form (see below) in lieu of an NPDES permit.

TMSP No Exposure Certification (This video provides an overview of the applicability of the Tennessee Multi-Sector General Permit “no exposure” exemption.)

For information regarding stormwater discharges associated with stream alterations and construction activities, contact the Division of Water Resources.

What Information Must I Provide?

A completed Notice of Intent (NOI) for the Tennessee Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit (TSMP) to Discharge Stormwater Associated with Industrial Activity must be submitted at least five (5) days prior to beginning industrial activity at the site. The NOI form requires information regarding the operator/owner, facility, site location and size, industrial activity, material handling, discharging points and water receiving the discharges, existing permits, and other information.

Form Description Form Number  
Notice of Intent (NOI) for Stormwater Discharges Associated with Industrial Activity under the Tennessee Multi-Sector General Permit (TMSP) CN-1108  
No Exposure Certification for Exclusion From NPDES Stormwater Permitting
Notice of Termination for Termination of NPDES Stormwater Permitting CN-1586  
Annual Storm Water Monitoring Report – Use for reporting benchmark results CN-1115  
Discharge Monitoring Report (DMR) Form – Use for reporting numeric effluent limits results EPA Form 3320-1


How Will My Application Be Processed?

The division will send to the permittee a written Notice of Coverage (NOC), informing the permittee that the NOI was received and stormwater discharges from the industrial activity have been approved under this general permit. The operator is authorized to discharge stormwater associated with the industrial activity as of the effective date on the division prepared NOC. A copy of the NOC shall be kept on site. No public participation is involved; however, the general permit does allow anyone to file a petition with the division asking that general coverage be revoked and an individual permit be required. The TSMP is effective through April 14, 2020.

What Fees Are Required?

Annual maintenance fees for the Industrial Stormwater General Permit became applicable in September of 2014. Fees range from zero for the sites less than or equal to 1 acre to $970 for sites greater than or equal to 500 acres. Permittees will be invoiced by the division once the NOI has been processed. The fees can be found in Rule 0400-40-11.

What Are My Rights And Responsibilities After The Permit Is Issued?

The applicant may proceed with the industrial activity upon receipt of the NOC from the division and must comply with all conditions stated in the general permit. Any planned changes or additions to the facility require the discharger to give notice to the division as soon as possible. A new NOI from the new owner must be submitted at least five (5) days before the facility is sold or transferred.

Applicants must develop a stormwater pollution prevention plan (SWPPP) prior to submitting an NOI and must submit a copy of the SWPPP with the NOI. Certain categories of industries must conduct annual analytical monitoring of stormwater discharges, with stormwater monitoring reports due 30 days after the sampling results are obtained, but no later than the March 31st of the following calendar year, whichever comes first. Almost all permittees must conduct quarterly visual examinations of stormwater discharges throughout the term of the permit.

What Are The Division's Rights And Responsibilities After The Permit Is Issued?

The division has the responsibility to take all prudent steps to secure, protect and preserve the waters of Tennessee. The division and the EPA have the right to enter and inspect the facility and all related records at any reasonable time. They also may inspect any related equipment or monitoring methods. The division has the right to require an individual permit at any time if deemed necessary.

Whom Do I Contact For Applications, Assistance And Other Sources Of Information?

Applications and assistance can be obtained from the Division of Water Resources.  New applicants who need more than one permit can contact their Environmental Field Office for further assistance.

Applicants seeking coverage under a general or individual Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit for activities associated with a NPDES permit for mining related discharges, a Surface Mining permit, Mineral test-hole permit, coverage under TMSP Sector J, or the Rock Harvesting general permit must submit an application to the Mining Section at the Knoxville Environmental Field Office.  Electronic application submittals and requests for information specific to mining related activities may be received at TNDWR-MINING.E-NOTIFY@TN.GOV.

Applicants may also refer to the following documents or Pages:

This Page Last Updated: June 7, 2024 at 11:11 AM