Details for Public Notice Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Public Notice

Tennessee Department of Environment

and Conservation

Division of Water Resources

Notice Requesting Public Comments 

on Draft Permit Actions

FILE # NRS21.158


The purpose of this notice is to advise the public of the following proposed permit action and solicit comments and information necessary to evaluate the potential impact of the proposed activities on the aquatic environment. 


Pursuant to The Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977, T.C.A. §69-3-108 and Tennessee Rules, Chapter 0400-40-07, the proposed activity described below has been submitted for approval under an Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit and Section 401 Water Quality Certification. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires that an applicant obtain a water quality certification from the state when a federal permit is required. This notice is intended to inform interested parties of this permit application and draft permit and rationale, and to ask for comments and information necessary to determine possible impacts to water quality. At the conclusion of the public notice period a final determination will be made whether to issue or deny the permit. 



Robert Baker

Division of Water Resources

312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue 11th Floor

Nashville, Tennessee 37243-1102




City of Franklin

Paul Holzen, City Engineer

109 3rd Avenue South

Franklin, Tennessee 37064




Unnamed tributary to the Harpeth River in Franklin, Williamson County. The receiving water is the Harpeth River. 


Latitude N 35.892267Longitude W -86.828152



The authorized alterations are associated with lowering the water levels of Robinson Lake and performing emergency dam repairs. The City of Franklin and the Department’s Safe Dams Unit determined that the earthen dam impounding Robinson Lake was unsafe and subject to failure. Based on the available information, the Commissioner determined pursuant to rule 0400-04-07-.04 that an emergency exists and under those provisions a permit for remedial action was issued on June 24, 2021. An emergency permit must be advertised by public notice no later than 20 days after issuance.


The authorized work includes lowering the water level in the lake to reduce the pressure on the dam via siphon and armoring of the discharge channel downstream of the dam with rip rap to resist erosion during dewatering.  Once the water level is drawn down (at approximately one foot per day), a partial breach of the dam will be performed to maintain the lower water level. At the breach, a rock check dam will be installed at an elevation one to two feet above the elevation of the sediment profile to help avoid erosion and mobilization of the unconsolidated sediments in the lake.



The affected waters have unavailable parameters for dissolved oxygen and sedimentation/siltation. The Harpeth River at this location is not designated as Exceptional Tennessee Waters. As described in the accompanying permit rationale, the Department has made a preliminary determination that the proposed activity will result in de minimis degradation.



In deciding whether to issue or deny this permit, the Division will consider all comments of record and the requirements of applicable federal and state laws. The division will consider the nature, scale and effects of proposed impacts. The Division will consider practicable alternatives to the alteration, loss of waters or habitat, diminishment in biological diversity, cumulative or secondary impacts to the water resource, and adverse impacts to unique, high quality, or impaired waters. 


In making this decision, a final determination will be made evaluating appreciable permanent loss of resource values and proposed compensatory mitigation to ensure the project will not result in no overall net loss of state water resources values.  



TDEC is requesting public comment on this proposed permit action. Obtaining a broad range of facts and opinions on Agency actions is one of the best ways to ensure appropriate decisions. Persons wishing to comment on the proposal are invited to submit written comments to the Division. Written comments must be received within thirty days following distribution of the approved public notice materials (including signage and newspaper ad). Comments will become part of the record and will be considered in the final decision. The applicant’s name and permit number should be referenced. Send all written comments to the Division’s address listed below to the attention of the permit coordinator. You may also comment via email to   


After the Division makes a final permit determination, a permit appeal may be filed by the applicant or by any person who participated in the public comment period whose appeal is based on comments given to the Division in writing during the public comment period or in testimony at a formal public hearing. If it is hard for you to read, speak, or understand English, TDEC may be able to provide translation or interpretation services free of charge. Please contact Saul Castillo at 615-532-0462 or for more information.



Interested persons may request in writing that the Division hold a public hearing on this application. The request must be received by the Division within the comment period, indicate the interest of the party requesting it, the reason(s) a hearing is warranted, and the water quality issues being raised. When there is sufficient public interest in water quality issues, the Division will hold a public hearing in accordance with 0400-40-07-.04(4)(f). Send all public hearing requests to the attention of the permit coordinator at the address listed below or via email to Any scheduled public hearings will be advertised through a similar public notice process. 



The permit application, supporting documentation, including detailed plans and maps, draft permit and rationale, and related comments are available for review on the internet at the Division’s Water Resources Permits Dataviewer ( by entering the permit file number listed in the title of this Public Notice. The file may be viewed and copied at the address listed below. 


Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation

Division of Water Resources, Natural Resources Unit

William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower

312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor

Nashville, Tennessee 37243


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