(Originally published: The Tennessean)
Tennessee environmental officials released a plan that outlines how the state will spend $45.8 million from the Volkswagen diesel settlement.
The plan targets emissions from school buses, city buses, freight trucks and some other vehicles. Also, it invests in electric vehicle charging stations.
Diesel engines emit relatively large amounts of nitrogen oxides, which contribute to smog, and fine particulate matter harmful to human health. By expanding the electric vehicle charging network, the state also hopes to spur growth in the auto manufacturing industry.
The Volkswagen funding in Tennessee will be available for replacing older diesel engines with alternate fuel engines running on natural gas, propane, electricity, or diesel-electric hybrid. Also, recipients could replace older diesel vehicles and equipment.
“The goal of this plan is to reduce air pollutants that negatively impact our environment and public health,” Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Shari Meghreblian said in a statement. “We look forward to supporting projects in our state that will ultimately lead to an enhanced quality of life for Tennesseans.”
Read more here.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT), announced today the winners of the 2018 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards. The fourth annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo continues today at the UT Conference Center in Knoxville.
“Sustainable transportation is an important factor in public health and the quality of our environment,” said TDEC Commissioner Dr. Shari Meghreblian. “The following award winners are being recognized for their innovative ideas to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans, provide for a strong economy and protect our state’s natural resources.”
The Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards recognize outstanding initiatives to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state. A panel of judges selected the following entities as the 2018 winners. A full description of the winning initiatives follows.
- Averitt Express
- City of Chattanooga Department of Transportation
- City of Kingsport
- Cumberland International
- Hamilton County Parks and Recreation
- Hytch, LLC
- Tennessee State Parks
- Vanderbilt University
Read more here.
TDEC, in partnership with TDOT and TNCleanFuels, will hold the fourth annual Tennessee Sustainable TransportationForum from September 17-18, 2018 at the UT Conference Center in Knoxville. The forum will highlight new research and technologies that improve transportation efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, and address the mobility needs of all Tennesseans.
The forum will also honor winners of the 2018 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards. For more information about the awards, visit the website at https://www.tn.gov/environment/tsta.
Register at tsta.eventbrite.com. Registration includes access to all forum sessions and lunches, an alternative fuel vehicle showcase, and an offsite networking reception at the Sunsphere.
- An advanced conference registration rate of $35 will be available until September 10, 2018.
- Students may register for the event at a discounted rate of $5 and must present their student IDs at the time of event sign-in.
For attendees that require overnight accommodations, hotel blocks are available at the Holiday Inn World’s Fair Park(code: STC) and the Hilton Knoxville (code: STF18). These discounted rates will expire when the group blocks sell out, so be sure to book accommodations early.
Event staff are also working with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to organize a tour of the National TransportationResearch Center (NTRC) on the afternoon of September 18. The NTRC supports the U.S. Department of Energy with research focused on vehicle electrification, engines and emissions controls, new materials for future systems, data science, and automated vehicle technologies. Forum registrants will receive instructions via email on how to reserve a space on this tour. Learn more about the NTRC here: https://www.ornl.gov/ntrc.
The Tennessee Green Star Partnership (TGSP) is TDEC’s environmental leadership program that seeks to recognize Tennessee Industries that are committed to sustainable practices and continuous improvement throughout their entire operation.
The Tennessee Green Star Partnership is a voluntary program for manufacturers located within Tennessee. Click here for more information.
The webinar will be September 12, 2018. The topic is to be determined.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has released for public comment the State of Tennessee’s Proposed Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (proposed BMP) for purposes of implementing the State’s initial allocation under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement (VW Settlement) Environmental Mitigation Trust (EMT). The proposed BMP is intended to provide the public with insight into the State’s plan for use of the mitigation funds. Specifically, the proposed BMP outlines the Eligible Mitigation Actions (EMAs) or project categories that the State proposes to fund from the State’s initial EMT allocation of $45,759,914.40.
To access the proposed BMP, click here: State of Tennessee’s Proposed Beneficiary Mitigation Plan. Additionally, TDEC has recorded a presentation that addresses the various sections of the State’s proposed BMP. A copy of the presentation slide deck may be accessed here.
The State’s proposed BMP has been developed in accordance with the terms of the Environmental Mitigation Trust for State Beneficiaries (“State Trust Agreement“). This proposed BMP is not a solicitation for projects. As such, this proposed BMP includes limited detail on the application or project selection processes. Such information will be provided on the TDEC Webpage after the BMP has been finalized.
The public is encouraged to review the proposed BMP and submit comments via the public comment form below or via email to TDEC.OEP@tn.gov. The public comment period will remain open for thirty (30) days following the date of the release of the proposed BMP. TDEC will accept comments through 5:00 p.m. CST on August 17, 2018. All comments and input received will be reviewed and considered by TDEC personnel. The BMP will then be finalized, submitted to the Trustee, and released to the public.
Link to public comment form.