2020 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award winners announced

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers announced the winners of the 2020 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards.

“Tennesseans continue to show their commitment to the environment in innovative ways, and we want to recognize their outstanding efforts,” Lee said. “These awards show that responsible environmental stewardship is happening across our state.”

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards program recognizes exceptional voluntary actions that improve or protect our environment and natural resources with projects or initiatives not required by law or regulation.

In its 34th year, the awards program covers nine categories: agriculture and forestry; building green; clean air; energy and renewable resources; environmental education and outreach; materials management; natural resource conservation; sustainable performance; and water quality conservation.

Read the full announcement by visiting TDEC’s website.

Deadline to submit nominations for 2020 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards

The Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards (GESA) are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements by individuals, local governments, businesses, organizations, educational institutions, and agencies for successful environmental projects and conservation measures. The awards program was instituted in 1986 by Ernie Blankenship of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Health, a predecessor of TDEC, and has been adopted by the Governor’s office as one of its award programs.

GESA are designed to enhance knowledge and awareness of effective conservation and environmental practices and projects making outstanding contributions to the preservation and protection of community and state natural resources and to give proper recognition to those who engage in these outstanding practices. GESA also encourage leadership by example through its award winners, leading to increased protection and conservation of Tennessee’s wildlife, forests, soils, air, water, natural heritage, parks, and recreation. Applications are judged in nine different criteria areas, including such items as project results and transferability, as well as three eligibility areas: location within the state of Tennessee, completion of a majority of the project in the current calendar year, and three years of exceptional environmental compliance with TDEC.

GESA are the most prestigious environmental and conservation awards in the state. For more than 30 years, the awards have been presented to individuals and organizations making significant contributions to the protection and improvement of our natural resources and wildlife. GESA supports the Governor’s priorities of Job and Economic Development and Health and Welfare, while also supporting TDEC priorities of Public/Private Partnerships and Positive Environmental Outcomes.

Projects must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award:

  • Be located or reside in Tennessee
  • Nominated projects must have been largely completed during the 2019 calendar year
  • Nominees shall have a minimum three years of exceptional environmental compliance
  • Be submitted in the provided format
  • Winning applicants must agree to allow a summary of their accomplishments to be published
  • There must be a three-year window between wins for each category to be eligible for that category again

Deadline to apply is March 31, 2020.

Click here to learn more!

Deadline for nominations: 2019 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards

TDEC is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the 2019 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, which honor outstanding accomplishments that support the protection and enhancement of Tennessee’s natural resources. “Being good stewards of our state’s resources is part of what makes Tennessee the beautiful and remarkable place it is,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “These awards help show that we all can do our part, and I can’t wait to see the potential solutions that individual Tennesseans come up with.”

Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2019 awards, which include the following categories: Building Green; Clean Air; Energy and Renewable Resources; Environmental Education and Outreach (for both school and non-school projects); Land Use; Materials Management; Natural Heritage; Sustainable Performance; and Lifetime Achievement.

Alternative fuel vehicles and sustainable transportation projects could be eligible under several categories, including under Clean Air or Energy and Renewable Resources. Any individual, business, organization, educational institution, or agency is eligible for nomination, provided it is located in Tennessee and the project was completed during the 2018 calendar year. A panel of judges will select award recipients based on criteria including level of project or program completion, innovation, and public education. The deadline for nominations is April 30, and winners will be announced in June. Contact Kathy Glapa at (615) 253-8780 or GESA.Awards@tn.gov with any questions.

There’s still time to submit nominations for the 2019 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards

TDEC and TDOT invite nominations for the fifth annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards. Winners will be announced at the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo, which will take place on Oct. 1-2, 2019 in Knoxville.

The Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards recognize outstanding initiatives to improve the efficiency, accessibility, affordability, and sustainability of transportation systems in the state, consistent with ongoing efforts to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans, provide for a strong economy, and protect and enhance our state’s natural resources. A panel of reviewers representing an array of interests will select award winners based on the following criteria:

  • Innovation – how the project utilized new thinking or creative approaches to meet a particular transportation challenge;
  • Best Practices and Replicability– how the project demonstrates a transferable solution, such that others could adopt or implement similar programs or initiatives;
  • Changes in Transportation Behavior– how a project worked to encourage or achieve changes in transportation behavior in order to make a transportation system more efficient;
  • Improvements to Public Health and Safety– how a project creates improvements to public health, well-being or safety in a given community.

Eligible applicants include federal, state, and local governments; commercial, nonprofit, and industrial organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; and utilities. The entity must be located in Tennessee, and the project must have been completed in the last five years. All nominees must have a minimum of three consecutive, current years of exceptional environmental compliance with TDEC. Self-nominations are encouraged.

More information, including the nomination form, can be found at https://www.tn.gov/environment/TSTA.

June 14, 2019 is the last day for nominations to be submitted. Questions about the awards can be directed to Alexa Voytek at Alexa.Voytek@tn.gov or 615-532-0238.

Here’s how Tennessee plans to spend $45.8 million from the VW settlement

(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.