TDEC Announces Grantees for VW Settlement School Bus Replacement Grant Program
TDEC has selected 39 entities to receive $8,854,685.42 in grant funding to support School Bus replacement projects across Tennessee (a full list of grantees is available here). The competitive grant program, which is the State’s first grant program funded by the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust (VW Settlement EMT), will provide financial assistance to grantees to replace a minimum of one eligible School Bus with any new diesel, Alternate-Fueled, or All-Electric School Bus. The purpose of the EMT is to execute environmental mitigation projects that reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx).
After conducting a comprehensive review of all grant applications, TDEC selected the above-mentioned grantees that will replace a total of 143 engine model year 2009 or older School Buses with 68 new diesel, one All-Electric, 66 propane, and eight compressed natural gas school buses. These projects are expected to yield NOx emissions reductions of an estimated 117,725.95 pounds, or 58.86 tons, over the lifetime of the new vehicles.
The State of Tennessee’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) under the VW Settlement EMT has been updated, both to reflect this funding announcement as well as to address minor modifications made to the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement for State Beneficiaries. Visit TDEC’s BMP website at for more information.
Contact for more information about this competitive funding program. For additional information on the VW Settlement, visit the TDEC website here: Interested persons and entities are advised to sign up for the TDEC VW email list at
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 June 14, 2019 is the last day for nominations to be submitted. Questions about the awards can be directed to Alexa Voytek at or 615-532-0238.
Renewable Natural Gas Investments in Tennessee
Under collaboration with the Tennessee Renewable Group and Toro Energy, U.S. Gain recently announced the completion of a renewable natural gas (RNG) landfill development project in Church Hill, TN. Methane gas from the Carter Valley Landfill, owned and operated by Republic Services, Inc., will be captured, cleaned, and converted to RNG for use in natural gas vehicles. The project will generate enough RNG to fuel more than 80 Class 8 trucks daily, displacing almost 1.5 million gallons of diesel annually. RNG is a low-carbon alternative fuel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 125% as compared to diesel. RNG, which is chemically identical to pipeline natural gas, is not mined from geologic sources, but is instead created by the decomposition of organic materials via renewable waste streams.
The United Parcel Service (UPS) also recently announced that it will expand its use of RNG through an agreement with Clean Energy Fuels Corp.; through this agreement, UPS will purchase 170 million diesel gallon equivalents through 2026, or approximately 22-25 million diesel gallon equivalents per year. According to Clean Energy Fuels, this is the largest RNG use commitment by any company in the United States to date. RNG is a key part of UPS’s strategy to increase alternative fuel consumption to comprise 40% of total ground fuel purchases by 2025, supporting the company’s efforts to reduce the absolute greenhouse gas emissions of its ground fleet 12% by 2025. UPS refueling stations across the country will use RNG from Clean Energy Fuels to operate the company’s delivery vehicles, including the UPS refueling station in Chattanooga.
White County Receives School Bus Funding from EPA
Under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act School Bus Rebate Program, U.S. EPA recently awarded more than $9.3 million in funding to replace 473 older diesel school buses throughout the U.S. 145 school bus fleets, including Tennessee’s White County Board of Education, will receive rebates between $15,000 and $20,000 to replace buses with an engine model year of 2006 and older. The new buses will reduce pollutants that are linked to health problems such as asthma and lung damage. Learn more here:
TRB Releases RFP on Transit and Micromobility
The Transportation Research Board’s (TRB) Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) has released a request for proposals focused on understanding the full impacts of micromobility on public transportation systems. Micromobility technologies include station-based or dockless bike share systems, electric-assist bike share projects, electric scooter share projects, and more. Successful proposals will identify micromobility’s impact on transit ridership and the built environment (e.g., bike lanes, parking spaces, etc.); economic impacts of micromobility on communities and transit agencies; and ways to strengthen the relations between micromobility and transit to maximize sustainable trips. Proposals are due to TCRP by June 25, 2019. Click here to learn more.
TDOT'S Multimodal Access Grant
TDOT’s Multimodal Access Grant is a State-funded program created to support the transportation needs of transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists through infrastructure projects that address existing gaps along State routes. Eligible projects include, but are not limited to:
  • Pedestrian crossing improvements, including signage, signalization, median pedestrian refuge islands and crosswalks;
  • Shoulders and sidewalks;
  • Bicycle lanes;
  • Improvements that address requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • Shared-use paths (pedestrian plus bicycle traffic) located within the transportation corridor;
  • Transit stop amenities;
  • Road diets or traffic calming measures that enhance bicycle and/or pedestrian safety;
  • Separated bicycle facilities; and
  • Park and ride facilities for carpooling or access to transit.
Eligible applicants include Tennessee cities and counties. Multimodal Access Grants can provide up to 95% of a project’s total cost, requiring a 5% local match. Total project costs must not exceed $1 million. Applicants must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply to by June 28, 2019 at 4:00 PM Central. Click here to read more.
Tennessee Clean Fuels Offers Workplace EV Ride & Drives Under Drive Electric Tennessee
Tennessee Clean Fuels has recently launched the EV Experience, an initiative that provides electric vehicle ride and drives at no cost to workplaces across the state. Through the EV Experience, Tennessee Clean Fuels works with automotive manufacturers and local dealers to secure vehicles for employee test drive at the workplace. The group educates employees and fleet managers about electric vehicle costs and cost savings, how and where to charge, and more. For more information or to schedule an event at your office, contact Alexa Voytek at or 615-532-0238.
The EV Experience is being conducted on behalf of Drive Electric Tennessee, a statewide electric vehicle consortium, which recently released the first edition of its Electric Vehicle Roadmap for the state. The Roadmap identifies projects and initiatives for local stakeholder implementation that will increase electric vehicle adoption across multiple Tennessee use cases and sectors, including electric vehicle ride and drives.
In February, Drive Electric Tennessee released a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that gives organizations the chance to publicly endorse the group’s shared vision and mission. Signatory organizations will endeavor to collaboratively pursue and support implementation of the initiatives and projects outlined in the Drive Electric Tennessee Roadmap, referenced above. Additionally, organizations may also pursue membership with Drive Electric Tennessee. Additional details on membership will be made available soon. If your organization would like to sign on to the MOU, please contact Drew Frye at
Tennessee Clean Fuels to Host Nashville and Knoxville First Responder Training Session for Alternative Fuel Safety
Tennessee Clean Fuels will host two upcoming instructor-led classroom trainings provided by the National Fire Protection Association for first responders on alternative fuel vehicles and how to respond to electric, natural gas, and propane vehicle incidents. These trainings, scheduled for July 9 in Nashville and July 10 in Knoxville, are designed to equip local trainers with the knowledge and materials to teach their own staff members about alternative fuels. The session will also feature a live demonstration of onsite alternative fuel vehicles, which will consist of vehicles that currently operate in and around the Nashville or Knoxville areas.
Click here to learn more and to register for the trainings. Registration will cost $40 per person. Stipends or other registration cost assistance may be available based on need. Please call Daniel Siksay, Project Manager at East Tennessee Clean Fuels, at 865-974-9665 to discuss available discount options.
Urban Runoff 5k Celebrates Green Stormwater Management
Nashville’s Metro Water Services, TDEC, and the Tennessee Stormwater Association have teamed up to host the Urban Runoff 5k run in Nashville on August 3. The run is being held in Shelby Bottoms Greenway and will weave its way past several innovative stormwater management structures. The race will be chip-timed and held in rain or shine. To volunteer for the run, click here. For additional details or to register, click here. Registration for the race will cost $30.
2019 Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference
The Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference will showcase the latest alternative fuel technologies in the biofuels, electric, natural gas, and propane industries. The conference will also have a strong focus on data-driven innovations designed to make fleets more sustainable. Registration is now open for the conference, which will be held August 7-8 in Durham, North Carolina. Learn more about the event at
Save-the-Date: Renewable Natural Gas Workshop in Nashville
RNG WORKS is a two-day technical workshop and trade expo for the North American Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) industry, hosted by the RNG Coalition. The Coalition recently released a save-the-date for the annual event, which will be held in Nashville from September 11-12. The event is designed to educate feedstock owners (landfill, wastewater, livestock, agriculture, food processing, etc.); RNG project developers, operators, financiers, and engineers; and RNG end-users (fleets, municipalities, utilities, etc.) about RNG best practices and resources for increased development, deployment, and utilization of RNG across the region. Learn more at
Register Now for the 2019 Tennessee SustainableTransportation Forum & Expo
TDEC, TDOT, and Tennessee Clean Fuels will hold the fifth annual Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo (STF&E) on October 1-2 at the UT Conference Center in downtown Knoxville. The forum will highlight new research and technologies that improve transportation efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, and address the mobility needs of all Tennesseans. Panelists and speakers from across the country will highlight best practices to transform transportation systems efficiently, affordably, and sustainably. An agenda for the 2019 STF&E will be made available soon.
Each year, STF&E features an alternative fuel vehicle and equipment showcase as well as a luncheon that honors both winners of the Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Awards (see article above) and new inductees to the Tennessee Green Fleets (TGF) program. The TGF program recognizes fleets based on actions taken to reduce petroleum consumption, lessen greenhouse gas emissions, and implement alternative fuel vehicles. Applications for 2019 TGF certification are due by June 30. For more information about the program, visit
Additionally, STF&E organizers are currently soliciting proposals for a poster display session during the event. Posters should highlight projects or research focused on the implementation of sustainable transportation and enhanced mobility solutions. Proposals should be no more than 300 words and may be submitted by any entity so long as the summarized projects and/or research pertains to actionable sustainable transportation solutions. All poster presenters will receive free event registration. Poster proposals must be sent to by Thursday, July 18 for consideration at the 2019 forum.
Register now at STFE.eventbrite.comSign up for the STF&E email list to receive event updates. Visit for more information.
Transportation Resilience Conference 2019
TRB, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the Federal Highway Administration are sponsoring the second annual International Conference on Transportation System Resilience to Natural Hazards and Extreme Weather Events, which will take place in Washington D.C. from November 13-15. The conference will provide transportation professionals with information on emerging best practices on how to adapt surface transportation networks to the potential impacts of natural disasters and extreme weather events. The conference will also examine efforts to integrate resilience in all aspects of the transportation sector, including planning and programming, capital improvements, and operations and maintenance. Finally, the conference will promote international dialogue on research, implementation, and lessons learned on the topic, with benefits that are expected to extend beyond the transportation sector. Visit for more information about the event.
Sidewalk Labs Develops Street Design Principles
Sidewalk Labs recently released its Street Design Principles, describing notable practices in street design that allow cities to leverage new and emerging mobility technologies—such as connected and autonomous vehicles—to make streets safer, more comfortable, and more efficient. This living document proposes design principles that strive to harness these advances to create safer and more flexible streets. These principles will be updated periodically based on collaboration with city planners, engineers, mobility providers, and technology companies.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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