Schuiten Builders LLC

We Build Boat Docks    (865)617-3528

Help with the TVA and TDEC permits

If you are planning to build a new boat dock or install Rip Rip on you lakefront property, you will need permits.  I wanted to explain the process to help make it easier and answer some common questions. 

First let me say, the TVA permit is $500.00 each time you submit it, so I tell everyone to ask for everything you may ever want in your permit (i.e. Dock, rip rap, boat launch, pumping water to and from the dock, electricity down to the dock, dredging, ect...).  You do not have to build it all right away and you do not have to build it at all, but if you don't include it in your initial permit and decide later you want to add it, its another $500.00 permit fee and you will have to wait for the permit processing again.  So we recommend asking for anything you may ever want in the initial permit. 

The TVA permit usually takes 4-6 weeks to get back. At some point during this time TVA will schedule an onsite visit. You will need to be present to answer thier questions and ask any of your own. If you are out of town we will be happy to meet with them for this visit if we are contracted to do your project.

If you are planning to Rip Rap your lakebank or install a boat launch, you will also have to have a permit from TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environmental Control) in addition to your TVA permit. The TDEC permit is $50.00 for the Rip Rap and $50.00 for the Boat Launch. You can do one or both. The TDEC permit is quicker than the TVA permit (usually a week or so) to get back, but needs to be sent in to TDEC at the same time as you TVA permit. TVA has to have the TDEC permit to complete your TVA permit.

You can find the TVA permit here.  You can also fill out your TVA permit online at this same location.

TVA has created several "Cookie Cutter" drawings you can use for your permit.  You can find and download those documents here.

TVA also has a FAQ (Frequently Ask Questions) section that is very helpful. You can find it here

If you are wandering if you can build a dock or how big your dock can be at your location, you can call TVA at (800) 882-5263.

The TDEC permit is confusing until you know which questions to answer.  Several of the questions are "Not Applicable" because its on the TVA Reservoir.  These questions were in the permit specifically for construction activities in wet lands and do not apply to the TVA reservoirs.  The following are example templates for the TDEC application.  The example Attachment answers the corresponding question in the application and should be submitted with your application. 

Example TDEC Application.pdf

Example TDEC Permit for RipRap Attachment.pdf

You can find the TOPO map here.  I just screen shot it and put the picture into my attachment document.

Here is the Example TDEC Permit for RipRap Attachment in Microsoft Word format in case you have trouble working with PDF files.

Example TDEC Permit for RipRap Attachment.doc