State Innovation  Grant  Program:  Tennessee
                       Tennessee Construction Storm Water Excellence Initiative
                       (2007 Competition)
                        ie innovation urani rrogram 10 support
efforts led by state environmental agencies to test innovative approaches
for achieving better environmental results and improved efficiency in
permitting programs. Between 2002 and 2007, the State Innovation Grant
program competition awarded over six million dollars to support 35 state
projects that test permitting innovation for a variety of regulated entities
including several small business sectors. Asummary of the awards by year
appears in the table below.
    State Innovation Grant Program Statistics, 2002-2007
 Competition  Proposals  Proposals     Total Program
    Year      Submitted  Selected       Funding ($)
                                         $1.425 Million
                                         $1.479 Million
                                         $1.243 Million
                                         $1.611 Million
                                         $6.376 Million
"Innovation in Permitting" has been the theme of the State Innovation Grant
competition since its inception. In the last three competition cycles states
received awards for projects in the following three categories:
 The Environmental Results Program (ERP) is an innovative
  approach to improving environmental performance based on a system
  of the interlocking tools of compliance assistance, self-certification
  (sometimes, where permissible, in lieu of permitting), and
  statistically-based measurement to gauge the performance of an entire
  business sector. The program utilizes a multimedia approach to
  encourage small sources to achieve environmental compliance and
  pollution prevention. (See:
 Environmental Management System (EMS) is a system involving a
  continual cycle of planning, implementing, reviewing and improving the
  processes and actions that an organization undertakes to meet its
  business and environmental goals. EMSs provide organizations of all
  types with a structured system and approach for managing
  environmental and regulatory responsibilities to improve overall
  environmental performance and stewardship.
 Performance Track is a partnership that recognizes top
  environmental performance among participating US facilities of all types,
  sizes, and complexity, both public and private.
NCEI has provided awards also for projects testing watershed-based
permitting, and for permit process streamlining in past competitions. For
more information on the history of the programs, including information on
solicitations, state proposals, and project awards, please see the EPA State
Project Background:
 The Tennessee Department of Environment and
 Conservation (TDEC) identified  siltation  (sedimentation)
 as the most frequently cited cause of waterbody
 impairment within the boundaries of many of the state's
 Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s),
 impacting over 5,800 miles of streams and rivers.
 Excessive sediment loading from storm water run-off due
 to clearing, grading, and excavating at construction sites
 is a major ecosystem stressor, and  has adversely
 impacted  municipal stream biota, either directly  or
 through changes to physical  habitat. One of the most
 effective and efficient ways to prevent the expansion of
 water quality impairment related to construction  is
 through the establishment of criteria to qualify MS4s as
 Qualifying Local Programs (QLP)  and determine
 incentives for MS4s to seek  qualification.

 TDEC has received a US EPA State Innovation Grant to
 develop and implement the  Tennessee Construction
 Storm Water Excellence Initiative.   The initiative
 encourages MS4s, through incentives  and a formal
 recognition and awards program, to become QLPs.  The
 QLP option will ensure the improvement of water quality
 through an efficient implementation of the Construction
 General Permit (CGP).  TDEC has partnered with the
 University of Tennessee,  Municipal Technical Advisory
 Service (MTAS) to provide assistance on this project.

Project Description
 TDEC is implementing  a Construction Storm Water
 Excellence Initiative to achieve improved  environmental
 compliance, focusing on  outcomes (improved water
 quality and administrative efficiency) over traditional
 regulatory outputs (number of inspections and permit
 issued) to measure performance.  The goals of the
 Initiative are to improve water quality by assisting the
 construction community  with compliance with the CGP;
 encouraging strong MS4 sediment and erosion  control
 measures; providing incentives and a  formal excellence-
 recognition and awards program for members;  and
 eliminating duplication of the effort  between the  MS4s
                          NATIONAL CENTER FOR
                          ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION

 and  TDEC.

 TDEM's objective is to link the attainment of QLP status to
 include additional (e.g., beyond those measures required in
 the existing permit) proactive and remedial measures to
 control the discharge of sediment into impaired
 waterbodies, implementation of provisions of approved
 sediment Total Maximum  Daily Loads (TMDLs), and
 description of methods to  evaluate whether storm water
 controls are adequate to meet the requirements of
 approved  TMDLs.

 Additional  information on the Tennessee State Innovation
 Grant, is available at TDEC's Construction Storm Water
 Excellence Initiative website at (

 The  work will take four years to complete.
Connection  to  EPA's Goals
 This project supports two of EPA's strategic goals.
 Excessive sediment loading from land disturbance and
 construction activities in  MS4s is a major ecosystem
 stressor, and has adversely impacted water quality in many
 waterbodies in Tennessee. It is fully expected that the
 implementation of the QLP option by MS4s will result in the
 improvement of water quality in the long term due to the
 efficient implementation of the CGP. Therefore, this project
 supports EPA's Goal 2 - Clean and Safe Water.

 It also supports Goal 5 - Compliance and Environmental
 Stewardship since it will  include  the development and
 implementation of incentives and excellence recognition
 for MS4s that pursue the qualifying status.
             Project Contacts:

              For more specific information on the Tenessee
              State Innovation Grant, please contact one of the
              individuals below:

              Robert Karesh
              Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
              Division of Water Pollution Control, Statewide Storm water
              401 Church Street, L & C Annex, 6th floor
              Nashville, TN  37243-1534
              Phone (615) 253-5402 / Fax (615) 532-0686

              Tom Harmuth
              US Environmental Protection Agency- Region 4
              61 Forsyth Street, S.W.
              Atlanta, GA 30303-8960
              (404) 562-8293;

              Scott Fontenot
              U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-HQ
              Washington, DC 20460;  MC (1807T)
              (202) 566-2236; FAX: (202) 566-2212

              Andy Teplitzky
              US Environmental Protection Agency-HQ
              Washington, DC 20240 (1807T)
              (202)566-2947; FAX (202)566-0966
             Program  Contact:
                                                              Sherri Walker
                                                              State Innovation Grant Program
                                                              U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                                                              Washington, DC 20460 (MC1807T)
                                                              (202)-566-2186; FAX (202) 566-2220
United States
Environmental Protection
Office of Policy,
Economics and Innovation
      June 2008