Frequently Asked Questions

Because the regulations for environmental programs vary, it is best to contact the permitting division itself to find out whether you will be required to demonstrate financial assurance, as well as the amount required. If you are required to do so by the permitting division, the staff of the Financial Assurance Division will provide guidance on how to obtain an appropriate financial instrument.

If your permit requires you to maintain a financial assurance instrument, the instrument must be obtained and approved by the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation (TDEC) before you can begin operation. In order to avoid delays, it is a good idea to begin discussing options with your financial institution as early as possible in the process.

State regulations require that the new owner’s financial assurance instrument be filed and approved before the existing instrument can be released. This is also true when an owner/operator changes from one form of financial assurance to another. As soon as the replacement instrument has been filed and approved, the old instrument will be released.

The federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which was enacted in 1976, requires the use of financial assurance for certain types of solid waste, hazardous waste, and underground storage tank facilities. RCRA also requires that any state granted authority by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to run its own oversight programs for such facilities must establish standards at least as stringent as the federal standards. Therefore, any state that operates such programs must require financial assurance. Other federal agencies, such as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, have financial assurance requirements as well.

For information about a specific site, please contact the Administrator of the Financial Assurance Division, Ian Jakul, by phone at 615-532-0339, or by email at You can also access other division contacts on the Financial Assurance Division Staff page.