When Obstructions on Certain Tributaries of the Tennessee River Do Not Require a Section 26a Permit from the Tennessee Valley Authority, 59846-59849 [2016-20093]

Download as PDF 59846 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 169 / Wednesday, August 31, 2016 / Rules and Regulations annual fee, and each person excepted from paying an annual fee under § 310.4(b)(1)(iii)(B), will be provided a unique account number that will allow that person to access the registry data for the selected area codes at any time for the twelve month period beginning on the first day of the month in which the person paid the fee (‘‘the annual period’’). To obtain access to additional area codes of data during the first six months of the annual period, each person required to pay the fee under paragraph (c) must first pay $61 for each additional area code of data not initially selected. To obtain access to additional area codes of data during the second six months of the annual period, each person required to pay the fee under paragraph (c) must first pay $30 for each additional area code of data not initially selected. The payment of the additional fee will permit the person to access the additional area codes of data for the remainder of the annual period. * * * * * By direction of the Commission. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 2016–20817 Filed 8–30–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY 18 CFR Part 1304 When Obstructions on Certain Tributaries of the Tennessee River Do Not Require a Section 26a Permit from the Tennessee Valley Authority Tennessee Valley Authority. Interpretive Rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is issuing guidance stating that certain structures, while obstructions across, along, or in certain tributaries of the Tennessee River, do not need a Section 26a permit from TVA, because they have an indiscernible effect on navigation, flood control or public lands or reservations. DATES: Effective August 31, 2016. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca C. Tolene, Vice President, Natural Resources, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee (865– 632–4433). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: I. Legal Authority This interpretive rule is promulgated under the authority of the TVA Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 831–831ee. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:15 Aug 30, 2016 Jkt 238001 II. Background Section 26a of the TVA Act requires that TVA’s approval be obtained prior to the construction, operation, or maintenance of any dam, appurtenant works, or other obstruction affecting navigation, flood control, or public lands or reservations across, along, or in the Tennessee River or any of its tributaries. 16 U.S.C. 831y–1 (2012). TVA’s rules governing such approval are codified at 18 CFR part 1304. The rules include a permitting process whereby applicants may request from TVA a permit for various structures such as boat docks, piers, shoreline stabilization projects, dams, and bridges, all of which qualify as ‘‘obstructions’’ under TVA’s regulations. An obstruction is generally any manmade physical condition that during its continuance after completion impounds, checks, hinders, restricts, retards, diverts, or otherwise interferes with the movement of water or of objects on or in the water. Over the years, TVA has found that certain obstructions because of their location, the nature of their construction, or both have not discernibly interfered with the operation or management of the TVA reservoir system. In particular, this has occurred at locations across, along, or in certain tributary reaches that are upstream of the control or influence of TVA’s reservoir system operations. For the purpose of this rule, these are called upstream tributary reaches. At these locations, certain obstructions have an indiscernible impact on water surface elevations in the reservoir system or the flow or volume of water entering the reservoir system and thereby do not materially interfere with TVA’s flood control or navigation responsibilities. Furthermore, at these locations, TVA does not typically own property and therefore construction does not affect or interfere with the management of TVA’s property. These obstructions include, but are not limited to, stream bank stabilization, bridges and culverts, stream crossings, fences, launching ramps, boat docks, piers, and certain fills and intakes. For these reasons, TVA has determined that certain obstructions do not require approval pursuant to Section 26a of the TVA Act when located across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach of the Tennessee River. Conversely, based on years of permitting experience, TVA has found that other obstructions across, along, or in upstream tributary reaches do potentially interfere with the management of TVA’s reservoir system. These include, but are not limited to, structures such as dams, PO 00000 Frm 00020 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 impoundments, interbasin transfers and certain water intakes. TVA will continue to require approval of these and other obstructions not set forth in Section III of this Interpretive Rule, when located across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach. The Tennessee River has a 41,000square-mile drainage basin. Thousands of miles of upstream tributary reaches ultimately flow into the Tennessee River, making it impractical to identify each upstream tributary reach in this rule. For the purpose of this rule, upstream tributary reaches do not include the following: (1) The Tennessee River; (2) TVA reservoirs, (TVA reservoirs are listed in Table 1); (3) stream reaches within a TVA reservoir, the 500-year floodplain of the Tennessee River, or both; (4) stream reaches downstream of a TVA dam (these reaches are listed in Table 2); and (5) stream reaches where TVA owns property (whether fee-owned property or other property right, such as a right to flood) in or adjacent to the reach (including property adjacent to a TVA reservoir or downstream of a TVA dam). TVA will continue to review the proposed construction of obstructions located across, along, or in the abovelisted five categories of reservoirs and reaches. These reservoirs and stream reaches are controlled or influenced by the operation of TVA’s reservoir system. As discussed in more detail below, individual members of the public are encouraged to contact a TVA representative for help in determining whether their location is across, along, or in a reservoir or stream reach in the above-listed five categories or across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach. III. Scope of Interpretive Rule TVA hereby clarifies that, going forward, the construction of the following obstructions across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach of the Tennessee River, does not require a Section 26a permit from TVA: (a) Stream bank, bed, or channel stabilization structures—Natural or man-made obstructions to stabilize and protect banks, beds, or channels of streams or excavated channels (e.g., vegetation, riprap, gabions, fiber rolls, stacked rock, retaining walls, etc.); (b) Stream restoration, enhancement, relocation, or treatment structures— Natural or man-made obstructions for relocating a stream or for restoring or improving the stream’s function (e.g., weirs or sills, boulders, wing deflectors, log, brush, rock, trees, fill, etc.); E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 169 / Wednesday, August 31, 2016 / Rules and Regulations (c) Bridges and culverts including riprap or other stabilization necessary for their construction; (d) Stream crossings—A stabilized area or a structure (culvert, bridge, or fill) constructed across a stream to provide a travel-way for people, livestock, equipment, or vehicles, including riprap or other stabilization necessary for their construction; (e) Fences, playgrounds, picnic tables, benches, grills, and other recreational structures; (f) Launching ramps and marine railways; (g) Buoys; (h) Docks, piers, and other water-use facilities; (i) Decks, gazebos, patios, and other open structures; (j) Enclosed land-based structures; (k) Water intakes with a combined peak withdrawal of less than 50,000 gallons per day (0.08 cubic feet per second) and having a pipe diameter less than 6 inches; (l) Towers, poles, electrical panels, satellite antennas, service lights, signs, and their anchors and foundations; (m) Outfall structures; (n) Underground, submarine, or aerial utility pipes and lines and their support structures, anchors or foundations; (o) Causeways, roads, driveways, and parking lots; (p) Grading and fill not involving the construction of a dam or impoundment. Those considering construction of one or more of the above-listed obstructions across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach as defined in this rule are not required to submit an application or design drawings to TVA for approval of a Section 26a permit. Members of the public are responsible for knowing whether their proposed construction project is located across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach or on TVA property. If your proposed obstruction is located on TVA property, in addition to a Section 26a permit for the obstruction, approval from TVA to use the property may be required. TVA encourages members of the public to seek TVA’s help in identifying whether a Section 26a permit or TVA approval to use its property is necessary. For more information or assistance in determining whether your project requires a Section 26a permit, contact TVA at 1–800–882–5263 or visit TVA’s Web site at tva.com. Except as it applies to TVA’s regulations implementing Section 26a, this interpretive rule is not a substitute for the requirements of any federal, state, or local statute, regulation, ordinance, or code, including, but not limited to, applicable building codes, now in effect or hereafter enacted. This guidance reflects TVA’s current judgment on the types of obstructions that either individually or cumulatively do not affect navigation, flood control, or public lands or reservations across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach of the Tennessee River. TVA may refine this guidance, if circumstances warrant, in a future Federal Register notice. This guidance has no effect on whether a permit is required by other federal or state agencies. IV. Definitions Fee-owned property—Real property owned in fee by the United States of America in the custody and control of TVA. Property—Fee-owned property or other property right, such as a right to flood. Property right—Any legal right acquired or reserved by TVA that concerns property, such as a right to flood private property. Reach—A segment of stream between two locations. Tennessee River—The river reach from its mouth at the Ohio River to its beginning at mile 652, at the confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers. Tributary—Any watercourse the contents of which, if not obstructed, diverted or consumed, will ultimately flow into the Tennessee River. TVA reservoir—The impoundment created by a TVA dam constructed across the Tennessee River or one of its tributaries (including all streams reaches impounded by the dam). One dam may impound reaches of more than one stream. The impounded stream reaches together form the body of water (i.e., the reservoir) created by the construction of the dam. For example, the construction of Douglas Dam impounded a portion of the French Broad River as well as many other stream reaches, including, but not limited to, portions of Pigeon River, Nolichucky River, Flat Creek, Muddy Creek, and Seahorn Creek. All of the stream reaches impounded by Douglas Dam comprise Douglas Reservoir. TVA reservoir system—The series of interconnected dams and reservoirs, with associated facilities, on the Tennessee River and its tributaries, that, with the adjacent TVA property, are managed by TVA for purposes of navigation, flood control, and power production; and consistent with those purposes, for a wide range of other public benefits. Upstream tributary reach—Stream reaches located upstream of the control or influence of the operation of the TVA reservoir system. Dated: August 17, 2016. Rebecca C. Tolene, Deputy General Counsel and Vice President, Natural Resources. TABLE 1—TVA RESERVOIRS Tennessee River Reservoirs Kentucky. Pickwick. Wilson. Wheeler. Guntersville. Nickajack. Chickamauga. Watts Bar. Fort Loudoun. Tributary Reservoirs ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Apalachia. Beaver Creek (tributary to South Fork Holston River). Blue Ridge. Boone. Chatuge. Cherokee. Clear Creek (tributary to Beaver Creek, tributary to South Fork Holston River). Doakes Creek (Norris Reservoir). VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:15 Aug 30, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00021 Fmt 4700 Bear Creek Projects (Alabama): Bear Creek. Cedar Creek. Little Bear Creek. Upper Bear Creek. Beech River Projects (West Tennessee): Beech. Cedar. Dogwood. Lost Creek. Sfmt 4700 59847 E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 59848 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 169 / Wednesday, August 31, 2016 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 1—TVA RESERVOIRS—Continued Douglas. Fontana. Fort Patrick Henry. Hiwassee. John Sevier Detention Dam (just upstream of Cherokee Reservoir). Melton Hill. Nolichucky. Normandy. Norris. Nottely. Ocoee No. 1. Ocoee No. 2. Ocoee No. 3. South Holston. Tellico. Tims Ford. Watauga. Wilbur. Pine. Pin Oak. Redbud. Sycamore. TABLE 2—STREAM REACHES DOWNSTREAM OF TVA DAMS River or stream Reach (mile) Description Tennessee River ............................................................... 0 to 652 .............................. Beaver Creek (tributary to South Fork Holston River) ..... Clear Creek (tributary to Beaver Creek tributary to South Fork Holston River). Clinch River ...................................................................... Duck River ........................................................................ Elk River (tributary to Tennessee River) .......................... French Broad River .......................................................... Hiwassee River ................................................................. Holston River .................................................................... 0 to 22.5 ............................. 0 to 2.8 ............................... Mouth to confluence of the Holston and French Broad Rivers. Mouth to Beaver Creek Dam. Mouth to Clear Creek Dam. 0 0 0 0 0 0 Little Tennessee River 1 .................................................... Nolichucky River ............................................................... Nottely River ..................................................................... Ocoee River ...................................................................... South Fork Holston River ................................................. Toccoa River ..................................................................... Watauga River .................................................................. Bear Creek Projects (Alabama): Bear Creek ................................................................ Cedar Creek .............................................................. Little Bear Creek ........................................................ Beech River Projects (West Tennessee): Beech River ............................................................... Big Creek ................................................................... Browns Creek ............................................................ Dry Branch ................................................................. Dry Creek .................................................................. Haley Creek ............................................................... Lost Creek ................................................................. Piney Creek ............................................................... 0 to 61.0 ............................. 0 to 45.6 ............................. 0 to 21.0 ............................. 0 to 37.8 ............................. 0 to 49.8 ............................. 0 to 53.0 ............................. 0 to 36.7 ............................. ............................................. 0 to 114.7 ........................... 0 to 23.1 ............................. 0 to 11.6 ............................. ............................................. 0 to 35.0 ............................. 0 to 6.7 ............................... 0 to 5.1 ............................... 0 to 1.1 ............................... 0 to 1.0 ............................... 0 to 4.0 ............................... 0 to 1.3 ............................... 0 to 4.8 ............................... ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES 1 Brookfield VerDate Sep<11>2014 to to to to to to 79.8 ............................. 248.6 ........................... 133.3 ........................... 32.3 ............................. 121.0 ........................... 142.2 ........................... Mouth to Norris Dam. Mouth to Normandy Dam. Mouth to Tims Ford Dam. Mouth to Douglas Dam. Mouth to Chatuge Dam. Mouth to confluence of the North and South Fork Holston Rivers. Mouth to Fontana Dam. Mouth to Nolichucky Dam. Mouth to Nottely Dam. Mouth to the Georgia/Tennessee State Line. Mouth to South Holston Dam. The Georgia/Tennessee State Line to Blue Ridge Dam. Mouth to Watauga Dam. Mouth to Upper Bear Creek Dam. Mouth to Cedar Creek Dam. Mouth to Little Bear Creek Dam. Mouth Mouth Mouth Mouth Mouth Mouth Mouth Mouth to to to to to to to to Beech Dam. Dogwood Dam. Pin Oak Dam. Sycamore Dam. Redbud Dam. Cedar Dam. Lost Creek Dam. Pine Dam. Smoky Mountain Hydro manages Little Tennessee River Miles 33.6 to 59.1. 14:15 Aug 30, 2016 Jkt 238001 PO 00000 Frm 00022 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 9990 E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 169 / Wednesday, August 31, 2016 / Rules and Regulations [FR Doc. 2016–20093 Filed 8–30–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8120–08–P DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Internal Revenue Service 26 CFR Part 1 [TD 9784] RIN 1545–BM05 Definition of Real Estate Investment Trust Real Property Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Treasury. ACTION: Final regulations. AGENCY: This document contains final regulations that clarify the definition of real property for purposes of the real estate investment trust provisions of the Internal Revenue Code (Code). These final regulations provide guidance to real estate investment trusts and their shareholders. SUMMARY: Effective date: These regulations are effective on August 31, 2016. Applicability date: For dates of applicability, see § 1.856–10(h). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Julanne Allen of the Office of Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products) at (202) 317–6945 (not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: ehiers on DSK5VPTVN1PROD with RULES Background This document contains amendments to the Income Tax Regulations (26 CFR part 1) relating to real estate investment trusts (REITs). Section 856 of the Code defines a REIT by setting forth various requirements. One of the requirements for a taxpayer to qualify as a REIT is that at the close of each quarter of the taxable year at least 75 percent of the value of its total assets is represented by real estate assets, cash and cash items (including receivables), and Government securities. See section 856(c)(4). Section 856(c)(5)(B) defines real estate assets to include real property (including interests in real property and interests in mortgages on real property). Section 856(c)(5)(C) defines interests in real property to include fee ownership and coownership of ‘‘land or improvements thereon.’’ Prior to these final regulations, § 1.856–3(d) of the Income Tax Regulations, promulgated in 1962 in TD 6598 (the 1962 Regulations), defined real property for purposes of the regulations under sections 856 through 859. Under § 1.856–3(d) of the 1962 VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:15 Aug 30, 2016 Jkt 238001 Regulations, the term real property means land or improvements thereon, such as buildings or other inherently permanent structures thereon (including items which are structural components of such buildings or structures). In addition, the term ‘‘real property’’ includes interests in real property. Local law definitions will not be controlling for purposes of determining the meaning of the term ‘‘real property’’ as used in section 856 and the regulations thereunder. The term includes, for example, the wiring in a building, plumbing systems, central heating, or central air-conditioning machinery, pipes or ducts, elevators or escalators installed in the building, or other items which are structural components of a building or other permanent structure. The term does not include assets accessory to the operation of a business, such as machinery, printing press, transportation equipment which is not a structural component of the building, office equipment, refrigerators, individual air-conditioning units, grocery counters, furnishings of a motel, hotel, or office building, etc., even though such items may be termed fixtures under local law. The IRS issued revenue rulings between 1969 and 1975 addressing whether certain assets qualify as real property for purposes of section 856. Specifically, the published rulings address whether assets such as railroad properties,1 mobile home units permanently installed in a planned community,2 air rights over real property,3 interests in mortgage loans secured by total energy systems,4 and mortgage loans secured by microwave transmission property 5 qualify as either real property or interests in real property under section 856. After these published rulings were issued, REITs invested in various types of assets that are not directly addressed by the regulations or the published rulings, and some of these REITs received letter rulings from the IRS concluding that certain of these various assets qualified as real property. A letter ruling, however, may not be relied upon by taxpayers other than the taxpayer that received the letter ruling 6 and is limited to its particular facts. The Treasury Department and the IRS recognized the need to provide updated published guidance on the definition of real 1 Rev. Rul. 69–94 (1969–1 CB 189). Rul. 71–220 (1971–1 CB 210). 3 Rev. Rul. 71–286 (1971–2 CB 263). 4 Rev. Rul. 73–425 (1973–2 CB 222). 5 Rev. Rul. 75–424 (1975–2 CB 269). 6 Rev. Proc. 2016–1 (2016–1 IRB 1), section 11.02; see section 6110(k)(3) of the Code. 2 Rev. PO 00000 Frm 00023 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 59849 property under sections 856 through 859. On May 14, 2014, the Treasury Department and the IRS published in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG–150760–13 at 79 FR 27508) (NPRM) to define ‘‘real property’’ solely for purposes of sections 856 through 859 and provisions that reference the definition of real property in section 856 and the regulations thereunder. Written and electronic comments responding to the NPRM were received. The written comments are available for public inspection at http:// www.regulations.gov or upon request. A public hearing was held on September 18, 2014. After consideration of all the comments, these final regulations adopt the proposed regulations as revised by this Treasury decision.7 The comments and revisions are discussed in this preamble. Summary of Comments and Explanation of Revisions I. The Definition of Land The proposed regulations defined the term ‘‘land’’ to include water and air space superjacent to land and natural products and deposits that are unsevered from the land. A commenter requested clarification that land includes water space and air space above ground that the taxpayer does not own. For example, a taxpayer may own a building and purchase air rights superjacent to one or more neighboring buildings to enhance the value of the building the taxpayer owns, or a taxpayer may purchase air rights in anticipation of using those rights to facilitate the future acquisition or development of property. The Treasury Department and the IRS agree that air space or water space superjacent to land each qualify as land even if the taxpayer owns only the air space or water space and does not own an interest in the underlying land. The proposed regulations stated that superjacent water and air space qualify as land, and these final regulations retain the language of the proposed regulations. 7 Under section 856(c)(2) and (3), in order for an entity to qualify as a REIT, certain prescribed percentages of that entity’s gross income must be derived from certain types of income (which include ‘‘rents from real property’’ and ‘‘interest on obligations secured by mortgages on real property or on interests in real property’’). The definition of real property in these final regulations applies for purposes of section 856(c)(2) and (3), but these final regulations provide neither explicit nor implicit guidance regarding whether various types of income are described in section 856(c)(2) and (3). E:\FR\FM\31AUR1.SGM 31AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 169 (Wednesday, August 31, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 59846-59849]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-20093]


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TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY

18 CFR Part 1304


When Obstructions on Certain Tributaries of the Tennessee River 
Do Not Require a Section 26a Permit from the Tennessee Valley Authority

AGENCY: Tennessee Valley Authority.

ACTION: Interpretive Rule.

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SUMMARY: The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is issuing guidance 
stating that certain structures, while obstructions across, along, or 
in certain tributaries of the Tennessee River, do not need a Section 
26a permit from TVA, because they have an indiscernible effect on 
navigation, flood control or public lands or reservations.

DATES: Effective August 31, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Rebecca C. Tolene, Vice President, 
Natural Resources, Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee 
(865-632-4433).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Legal Authority

    This interpretive rule is promulgated under the authority of the 
TVA Act, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 831-831ee.

II. Background

    Section 26a of the TVA Act requires that TVA's approval be obtained 
prior to the construction, operation, or maintenance of any dam, 
appurtenant works, or other obstruction affecting navigation, flood 
control, or public lands or reservations across, along, or in the 
Tennessee River or any of its tributaries. 16 U.S.C. 831y-1 (2012). 
TVA's rules governing such approval are codified at 18 CFR part 1304. 
The rules include a permitting process whereby applicants may request 
from TVA a permit for various structures such as boat docks, piers, 
shoreline stabilization projects, dams, and bridges, all of which 
qualify as ``obstructions'' under TVA's regulations. An obstruction is 
generally any man-made physical condition that during its continuance 
after completion impounds, checks, hinders, restricts, retards, 
diverts, or otherwise interferes with the movement of water or of 
objects on or in the water. Over the years, TVA has found that certain 
obstructions because of their location, the nature of their 
construction, or both have not discernibly interfered with the 
operation or management of the TVA reservoir system. In particular, 
this has occurred at locations across, along, or in certain tributary 
reaches that are upstream of the control or influence of TVA's 
reservoir system operations. For the purpose of this rule, these are 
called upstream tributary reaches. At these locations, certain 
obstructions have an indiscernible impact on water surface elevations 
in the reservoir system or the flow or volume of water entering the 
reservoir system and thereby do not materially interfere with TVA's 
flood control or navigation responsibilities. Furthermore, at these 
locations, TVA does not typically own property and therefore 
construction does not affect or interfere with the management of TVA's 
property. These obstructions include, but are not limited to, stream 
bank stabilization, bridges and culverts, stream crossings, fences, 
launching ramps, boat docks, piers, and certain fills and intakes. For 
these reasons, TVA has determined that certain obstructions do not 
require approval pursuant to Section 26a of the TVA Act when located 
across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach of the Tennessee 
River.
    Conversely, based on years of permitting experience, TVA has found 
that other obstructions across, along, or in upstream tributary reaches 
do potentially interfere with the management of TVA's reservoir system. 
These include, but are not limited to, structures such as dams, 
impoundments, interbasin transfers and certain water intakes. TVA will 
continue to require approval of these and other obstructions not set 
forth in Section III of this Interpretive Rule, when located across, 
along, or in an upstream tributary reach.
    The Tennessee River has a 41,000-square-mile drainage basin. 
Thousands of miles of upstream tributary reaches ultimately flow into 
the Tennessee River, making it impractical to identify each upstream 
tributary reach in this rule. For the purpose of this rule, upstream 
tributary reaches do not include the following:
    (1) The Tennessee River;
    (2) TVA reservoirs, (TVA reservoirs are listed in Table 1);
    (3) stream reaches within a TVA reservoir, the 500-year floodplain 
of the Tennessee River, or both;
    (4) stream reaches downstream of a TVA dam (these reaches are 
listed in Table 2); and
    (5) stream reaches where TVA owns property (whether fee-owned 
property or other property right, such as a right to flood) in or 
adjacent to the reach (including property adjacent to a TVA reservoir 
or downstream of a TVA dam).
    TVA will continue to review the proposed construction of 
obstructions located across, along, or in the above-listed five 
categories of reservoirs and reaches. These reservoirs and stream 
reaches are controlled or influenced by the operation of TVA's 
reservoir system. As discussed in more detail below, individual members 
of the public are encouraged to contact a TVA representative for help 
in determining whether their location is across, along, or in a 
reservoir or stream reach in the above-listed five categories or 
across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach.

III. Scope of Interpretive Rule

    TVA hereby clarifies that, going forward, the construction of the 
following obstructions across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach 
of the Tennessee River, does not require a Section 26a permit from TVA:
    (a) Stream bank, bed, or channel stabilization structures--Natural 
or man-made obstructions to stabilize and protect banks, beds, or 
channels of streams or excavated channels (e.g., vegetation, riprap, 
gabions, fiber rolls, stacked rock, retaining walls, etc.);
    (b) Stream restoration, enhancement, relocation, or treatment 
structures--Natural or man-made obstructions for relocating a stream or 
for restoring or improving the stream's function (e.g., weirs or sills, 
boulders, wing deflectors, log, brush, rock, trees, fill, etc.);

[[Page 59847]]

    (c) Bridges and culverts including riprap or other stabilization 
necessary for their construction;
    (d) Stream crossings--A stabilized area or a structure (culvert, 
bridge, or fill) constructed across a stream to provide a travel-way 
for people, livestock, equipment, or vehicles, including riprap or 
other stabilization necessary for their construction;
    (e) Fences, playgrounds, picnic tables, benches, grills, and other 
recreational structures;
    (f) Launching ramps and marine railways;
    (g) Buoys;
    (h) Docks, piers, and other water-use facilities;
    (i) Decks, gazebos, patios, and other open structures;
    (j) Enclosed land-based structures;
    (k) Water intakes with a combined peak withdrawal of less than 
50,000 gallons per day (0.08 cubic feet per second) and having a pipe 
diameter less than 6 inches;
    (l) Towers, poles, electrical panels, satellite antennas, service 
lights, signs, and their anchors and foundations;
    (m) Outfall structures;
    (n) Underground, submarine, or aerial utility pipes and lines and 
their support structures, anchors or foundations;
    (o) Causeways, roads, driveways, and parking lots;
    (p) Grading and fill not involving the construction of a dam or 
impoundment.
    Those considering construction of one or more of the above-listed 
obstructions across, along, or in an upstream tributary reach as 
defined in this rule are not required to submit an application or 
design drawings to TVA for approval of a Section 26a permit.
    Members of the public are responsible for knowing whether their 
proposed construction project is located across, along, or in an 
upstream tributary reach or on TVA property. If your proposed 
obstruction is located on TVA property, in addition to a Section 26a 
permit for the obstruction, approval from TVA to use the property may 
be required. TVA encourages members of the public to seek TVA's help in 
identifying whether a Section 26a permit or TVA approval to use its 
property is necessary. For more information or assistance in 
determining whether your project requires a Section 26a permit, contact 
TVA at 1-800-882-5263 or visit TVA's Web site at tva.com.
    Except as it applies to TVA's regulations implementing Section 26a, 
this interpretive rule is not a substitute for the requirements of any 
federal, state, or local statute, regulation, ordinance, or code, 
including, but not limited to, applicable building codes, now in effect 
or hereafter enacted.
    This guidance reflects TVA's current judgment on the types of 
obstructions that either individually or cumulatively do not affect 
navigation, flood control, or public lands or reservations across, 
along, or in an upstream tributary reach of the Tennessee River. TVA 
may refine this guidance, if circumstances warrant, in a future Federal 
Register notice. This guidance has no effect on whether a permit is 
required by other federal or state agencies.

IV. Definitions

Fee-owned property--Real property owned in fee by the United States 
of America in the custody and control of TVA.
Property--Fee-owned property or other property right, such as a 
right to flood.
Property right--Any legal right acquired or reserved by TVA that 
concerns property, such as a right to flood private property.
Reach--A segment of stream between two locations.
Tennessee River--The river reach from its mouth at the Ohio River to 
its beginning at mile 652, at the confluence of the Holston and 
French Broad Rivers.
Tributary--Any watercourse the contents of which, if not obstructed, 
diverted or consumed, will ultimately flow into the Tennessee River.
TVA reservoir--The impoundment created by a TVA dam constructed 
across the Tennessee River or one of its tributaries (including all 
streams reaches impounded by the dam). One dam may impound reaches 
of more than one stream. The impounded stream reaches together form 
the body of water (i.e., the reservoir) created by the construction 
of the dam. For example, the construction of Douglas Dam impounded a 
portion of the French Broad River as well as many other stream 
reaches, including, but not limited to, portions of Pigeon River, 
Nolichucky River, Flat Creek, Muddy Creek, and Seahorn Creek. All of 
the stream reaches impounded by Douglas Dam comprise Douglas 
Reservoir.
TVA reservoir system--The series of interconnected dams and 
reservoirs, with associated facilities, on the Tennessee River and 
its tributaries, that, with the adjacent TVA property, are managed 
by TVA for purposes of navigation, flood control, and power 
production; and consistent with those purposes, for a wide range of 
other public benefits.
Upstream tributary reach--Stream reaches located upstream of the 
control or influence of the operation of the TVA reservoir system.

    Dated: August 17, 2016.
Rebecca C. Tolene,
Deputy General Counsel and Vice President, Natural Resources.

                         Table 1--TVA Reservoirs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Tennessee River Reservoirs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Kentucky...............................
Pickwick...............................
Wilson.................................
Wheeler................................
Guntersville...........................
Nickajack..............................
Chickamauga............................
Watts Bar..............................
Fort Loudoun...........................
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                          Tributary Reservoirs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apalachia.                               Bear Creek Projects (Alabama):
Beaver Creek (tributary to South Fork       Bear Creek.
 Holston River).                         Cedar Creek.
Blue Ridge.                                 Little Bear Creek.
Boone.                                      Upper Bear Creek.
Chatuge.                                 Beech River Projects (West
                                          Tennessee):
Cherokee.                                   Beech.
Clear Creek (tributary to Beaver Creek,     Cedar.
 tributary to South Fork Holston         Dogwood.
 River).
Doakes Creek (Norris Reservoir).            Lost Creek.

[[Page 59848]]

 
Douglas.                                    Pine.
Fontana.                                    Pin Oak.
Fort Patrick Henry.                         Redbud.
Hiwassee.                                   Sycamore.
John Sevier Detention Dam (just
 upstream of Cherokee Reservoir).
Melton Hill............................
Nolichucky.............................
Normandy...............................
Norris.................................
Nottely................................
Ocoee No. 1............................
Ocoee No. 2............................
Ocoee No. 3............................
South Holston..........................
Tellico................................
Tims Ford..............................
Watauga................................
Wilbur.................................
------------------------------------------------------------------------


             Table 2--Stream Reaches Downstream of TVA dams
------------------------------------------------------------------------
        River or stream            Reach (mile)         Description
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Tennessee River...............  0 to 652.........  Mouth to confluence
                                                    of the Holston and
                                                    French Broad Rivers.
Beaver Creek (tributary to      0 to 22.5........  Mouth to Beaver Creek
 South Fork Holston River).                         Dam.
Clear Creek (tributary to       0 to 2.8.........  Mouth to Clear Creek
 Beaver Creek tributary to                          Dam.
 South Fork Holston River).
Clinch River..................  0 to 79.8........  Mouth to Norris Dam.
Duck River....................  0 to 248.6.......  Mouth to Normandy
                                                    Dam.
Elk River (tributary to         0 to 133.3.......  Mouth to Tims Ford
 Tennessee River).                                  Dam.
French Broad River............  0 to 32.3........  Mouth to Douglas Dam.
Hiwassee River................  0 to 121.0.......  Mouth to Chatuge Dam.
Holston River.................  0 to 142.2.......  Mouth to confluence
                                                    of the North and
                                                    South Fork Holston
                                                    Rivers.
Little Tennessee River \1\....  0 to 61.0........  Mouth to Fontana Dam.
Nolichucky River..............  0 to 45.6........  Mouth to Nolichucky
                                                    Dam.
Nottely River.................  0 to 21.0........  Mouth to Nottely Dam.
Ocoee River...................  0 to 37.8........  Mouth to the Georgia/
                                                    Tennessee State
                                                    Line.
South Fork Holston River......  0 to 49.8........  Mouth to South
                                                    Holston Dam.
Toccoa River..................  0 to 53.0........  The Georgia/Tennessee
                                                    State Line to Blue
                                                    Ridge Dam.
Watauga River.................  0 to 36.7........  Mouth to Watauga Dam.
Bear Creek Projects (Alabama):  .................  .....................
    Bear Creek................  0 to 114.7.......  Mouth to Upper Bear
                                                    Creek Dam.
    Cedar Creek...............  0 to 23.1........  Mouth to Cedar Creek
                                                    Dam.
    Little Bear Creek.........  0 to 11.6........  Mouth to Little Bear
                                                    Creek Dam.
Beech River Projects (West      .................  .....................
 Tennessee):
    Beech River...............  0 to 35.0........  Mouth to Beech Dam.
    Big Creek.................  0 to 6.7.........  Mouth to Dogwood Dam.
    Browns Creek..............  0 to 5.1.........  Mouth to Pin Oak Dam.
    Dry Branch................  0 to 1.1.........  Mouth to Sycamore
                                                    Dam.
    Dry Creek.................  0 to 1.0.........  Mouth to Redbud Dam.
    Haley Creek...............  0 to 4.0.........  Mouth to Cedar Dam.
    Lost Creek................  0 to 1.3.........  Mouth to Lost Creek
                                                    Dam.
    Piney Creek...............  0 to 4.8.........  Mouth to Pine Dam.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\ Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydro manages Little Tennessee River Miles
  33.6 to 59.1.


[[Page 59849]]

[FR Doc. 2016-20093 Filed 8-30-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 8120-08-P