Author Topic: Updates on the individual permit as well as the new general permit...  (Read 2035 times)

Rich Robinson

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Hello Everyone,
 I know there is a lot of anticipation concerning the Individual ARAP. I want to address this because we were supposed to have the permit in place by mid March. There has been a lot going on so I want to be as detailed as is possible at this point. I will explain the delay in the issuance and do my explain where we are in the process and why. I know this has been a long time coming and we just have to be as patient as possible. Please rest assured that I am working on this on a daily basis.

Since the last update a lot has happened. Many of you who have not worked in the world of politics will definitely be frustrated by what has been going on, but this is a process and it takes time. We had a perfect storm of activities going on at one time.  We filed the IP application in November. Ideally, in a perfect world, it would have taken 45 to 90 days to go through the process of public notice, and issuance. It should have been issued no later than mid March. Since we had so many streams with such long reaches it took longer for TDEC to get the public notice done. I hung the public notice signs on January 30 and TDEC got the public notice up on their website the next week. We then had a 30 day public comment period which was to end on March 12. The Mayor of Monroe Co, on the last day requested an extension of time tor the public comment period to look at economic impact on the county and to give others time to make comments. That was granted by TDEC. After the public comment period ended on March 30, We were waiting for TDEC to write the permit and Issue it. Then the US Forest Service District Supervisor and the US Fish and Wildlife Service requested a meeting with TDEC before the permit was to be issued.  They wanted to discuss the rules in the Cherokee National Forest and new properties they had acquired and new restrictions put in place by the new District Supervisor. This meeting was held on thursday April 30. On friday I met with Robert Baker who is our permit administrator to go over  the final language in our permit before issuance.

I can tell you that regulations pertaining to the Cherokee National forest will not be included in our Individual Permit except for the regulations pertaining to Wildcat Creek and Lyons Creek.  Other areas of the Cherokee National Forest are still to be negotiated by us directly with the Cherokee National Forest. I can tell you that from what has been shared with me that there will be no Dredging in any part of the Cherokee National Forest. This is a directive from the new USFS District Supervisor. I am working on a meeting with them on our Class 1 rules which will take place hopefully the week after our next chapter meeting. Please understand, this is no longer a state issue. This decision is federal.... TDEC and TWRA stood up in our defense.

I want you all to know that we do not need to blast anyone on our forum. All concerned parties view our forum and we are still in negotiations with the Forest Service. I have already contacted Both of our US Senators as well as Congressmen from TN to express our displeasure with these new restrictions.

The second issue I have been dealing with is the new General ARAP rules that will be issued this year. I met with TDEC on Friday to go over the language that will come out in the public notice hopefully this week. I will let you all know when the public notice goes out. We will have 30 days of public comments and a public hearing. It will probably be issued in August again. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about this once the public notice goes out.

Starting last year I began a dialogue with Senator Frank Nicely, after being referred to him by David Owen, who made the initial contacts and began working on a bill that would be introduced in the Senate as well as a house bill that I worked on with Representative and Deputy Speaker of the House Steve McDaniel. We introduced the bills in the Agriculture subcommittee in the house and in the same committee in the Senate, The bills are out of subcommittee and have a place holder in both houses. Since the session is over they can move forward in the next session if we want to move the bills.

Since January 13 of this year I have spent 33 days in the legislature and with TDEC. All three of these issues were going on at the same time and it has been quite a challenge because all were time sensitive. Please understand that since I am near Nashville I made time to work on all of these things. I do understand your frustrations because I am frustrated too. Every delay means I spend more time in Nashville working on it. My next meeting will be in Cleveland with the Forest Service and I hope it goes well. But I will not know until I get there.

In my last meeting with TDEC on Friday of last week to finalize language for the IP, it was my understand they would have it ready some time this week... I will update you as soon as I get the call. I will have to pay for the permit when I pick it up so I will let you all know when it is in Hand. For the time  being once it is issued you will need to get the 2 inch numbers to put on your class 2 equipment as well as getting numbers for your GPAA number as well. I am having A special GPAA sticker you will also need to display on your equipment. I will have all of the instructions concerning the display of numbers on your equipment when I post the IP rules on the forum... Please if you have any questions, call me anytime... My cell is 615-587-3397

« Last Edit: May 05, 2015, 08:46:33 AM by Rich Robinson »
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Chuck Pharis

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Thanks Richard for the update. All of us know how hard you have worked on this.
We wish you the best of luck with your future meetings.
This has taken over 2 1/2 years, and we are still not there yet.
Chuck Pharis
East Tennessee Coker Creek GPAA Chapter President (June 19, 2010 to June 20, 2015)  Member of the Board Of Directors.
GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]