Natural Resources Office, Ecology Section
James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0334
Dr. Deedee Kathman, Manager
The Ecology Section is a vital part of TDOT’s efforts to construct and maintain transportation facilities in an environmentally responsible manner. A critical role of the Ecology Section is the identification, classification and documentation of natural resources associated with a transportation project. Threatened and endangered species information is also obtained using GIS and coordinated with federal and state agencies to ensure that no or minimal harm occurs during construction. All of this information is used to prepare the appropriate environmental documents as well as assist in selection of an alignment corridor and final project alignment which will avoid or minimize environmental impacts.
During the project development process, the Ecology Section biologists conduct or coordinate natural resource field studies necessary to document and characterize the natural resource features associated with a project (Environmental Boundaries), determine the impacts to the natural resource features (Impact Summary) and develop avoidance alternatives (Avoidance Measures) or mitigation measures (Mitigation Plan) should impacts be unavoidable.
The Ecology Section biologists then provide the Environmental Boundaries, Impact Summary, Avoidance Measures and Mitigation Plan to the Design Division for incorporation into the project design; this information is also supplied to the Water Quality Permits Section for use in the permit application process, and other TDOT areas such as Structures Right of Way, Maintenance, and Hydraulics. The Ecology Section is also responsible for determining and implementing mitigation measures for the natural resources and species.