Tennessee Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Training and Certification Program for Construction Sites

Sponsored by:
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
Tennessee Department of Transportation
Tennessee Water Resources Research Center
Department of Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science


One of the main program responsibilities of the Tennessee Water Resources Research Center is the transfer of information through professional training and education. A major part of this program is the training of individuals involved in land disturbing activities. Sediment is a major contributor to the pollution of streams in Tennessee and construction activities are a major source of sediment and stream siltation.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has adopted a general permit to aid in the erosion prevention and sediment control at construction sites. An integral part of improving water quality in Tennessee’s streams is the training of those requesting coverage under the May 2011 TDEC Construction General Permit (CGP) Notice of Intent (NOI). To meet this need, the Center has developed three training workshops for developers, contractors, engineers and other professionals, inspection personnel, and enforcement officials responsible for all aspects of preparation and implementation of Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP) for preventing erosion and controlling sediment at construction sites one (1) acre or more in size. Workshop participants will receive resource notebooks and materials used by the instructors in presenting the courses. Handout materials include the Tennessee Erosion & Sediment Control Handbook of recommended Best Management Practices (BMPs), TDEC Construction General Permit requirements, and SWPPP example; manual of Design Principles for Erosion Prevention & Sediment Control for Construction Sites; all workshop presentation slides; and a CD containing several other public domain design and analysis software and reference materials.

The Level I Fundamentals workshop is a 1-day foundation-building course for individuals involved in land-disturbing activities and is intended for contractors, developers, inspection and enforcement personnel from all levels of government, plan preparers, reviewers, designers and engineers. The Fundamentals course aims to build a solid working knowledge of erosion and sedimentation processes and practices. Topics include: Revised (May 2011) Construction General Permit and related SWPPP requirements; function, installation, limitations, inspection and maintenance of Best Management Practices (BMPs); roles of local officials and state government agencies involved in the permitting process; and basic hydrologic and erosion processes. The Level I course is required for all persons responsible for inspection of construction sites covered under the TDEC CGP. The Level I Fundamentals workshop provides a TNEPSC certificate with seven (7) hours of Professional Development Hours (PDH) credit upon successful completion of the short Course Certification Exam. The Level I certificate is valid for three full yearsfollowing the year that the certificate was issued.

A Level I Recertification course is a 1/2-day workshop available to those inspectors and other individuals who need to renew their Level I certifications another three years beyond their currently expiring certification periods. This course reviews current Construction General Permit requirements, including updated SWPPP stabilization and structural practices, for controlling storm water discharges into Impaired and High Quality Waters. The course emphasizes inspection requirements of several management practices for keeping the sediment on the construction site. The Recertification workshop provides a TNEPSC certificate with three (3) hours of Professional Development Hours (PDH) credit upon successful completion of the Certification Exam. Individuals who need to renew their certifications have an option of successfully completing either the above 1-day Level I course or the 1/2-day Recertification course.

The Level II course, Design Principles for Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control for Construction Sites, is an advanced 2-day workshop designed for engineers and other professionals who have completed the prerequisite Level I course. Environmental and landscape designers, plan preparers and reviewers, architects, project managers, and inspectors and enforcement personnel from all levels of government involved with site planning and design will find the course informative and useful. Instruction focuses on engineering technology needed to plan and design practices and controls for preventing erosion and managing sediment at construction sites. The Level II Design workshop provides the general tools needed for developing an acceptable, working SWPPP that includes proper erosion and sediment control practices. Topics discussed in the course include: hydrologic methods for determining peak flows; principles of soil erosion, scouring and sediment transport processes, including practice examples for preventing erosion; and open channel principles and practices for designing a stable channel, including use and examples of riprap, blankets and matting, and vegetation; and temporary sediment basin design requirements, and detailed example. The Level II Design workshop provides a Certificate of Completion and fourteen (14) hours of Professional Development Hours (PDH) credit after attending both days.

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