Nominations Open for 2022 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards
TDEC is inviting Tennesseans to submit nominations for the 2022 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Awards, which honor outstanding accomplishments that support the protection and enhancement of Tennessee’s natural resources. Nominations are currently being accepted for the 2022 awards, which include the following categories: Agriculture and Forestry, Building Green, Clean Air, Energy and Renewable Resources, Environmental Education and Outreach, Materials Management, Natural Resources, Water Quality, Sustainable Performance, and Lifetime Achievement.
Any individual, business, organization, educational institution, or agency is eligible for nomination, provided the entity is located in Tennessee and their associated environmental project was completed during the 2021 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 March 31, and winners will be announced during the summer. Contact Kathy Glapa at (615) 253-8780 or with any questions.
Metro Nashville Receives Funding for Traffic Management Center
Nashville Mayor John Cooper recently announced that Metro Nashville was selected to receive a $3.65 million federal grant to support the development of a smart-technology hub for traffic management. The newly-created Nashville Department of Transportation and Multimodal Infrastructure (NDOT) will utilize this center and associated advanced traffic signal control systems, sensor-based traffic monitoring technologies, and other tools to monitor and better manage congestion. The center will be a clearinghouse for traffic-flow updates, which NDOT will share in real time on roadway signs, social media, and online.

The project will be funded by the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program, which is administered by TDOT in Tennessee to support surface transportation projects and other related efforts that contribute to air quality improvement and congestion relief. Since adopting its Metro Transportation Plan in 2020, Metro Nashville has secured eight grant and partnership awards totaling nearly $44 million to advance its outlined goals. Click here to learn more about NDOT’s plans and programs to improve the city’s infrastructure.
Knoxville Utilities Board Recognized with Green Fleet Award
The National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA) Fleet Management Association’s Green Fleet Awards are given annually to recognize organizational excellence and achievement in sustainable fleet management. This year, the awards recognized the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB), marking its second consecutive appearance on the list after first being awarded in 2020. KUB operates several alternative fuel vehicle types (e.g., natural gas, electric/hybrid, etc.) and maintains a publicly accessible compressed natural gas vehicle refueling station for the area. In addition to the Green Fleet Awards recognition, both KUB and the City of Knoxville were separately recognized by NAFA in 2021 as two of the 100 Best Fleets in the Americas through an awards program intended to recognize peak-performing fleet operations and to identify and encourage progress and innovation in the public fleet industry.
I-40 Alternative Fuel Corridor Stakeholder Survey
The Tennessee Department of Transportation and Tennessee Clean Fuels continue to identify new organizations interested in supporting the conversion of I-40 in Tennessee into an Alternative Fuel Corridor. Data collected from an accompanying survey will allow the formation of partnerships amongst a diverse group of state and local partners to accelerate the development and installation of public alternative fuel infrastructure along the interstate. Target respondents include local power and utility companies, local planning and zoning departments, metropolitan planning organizations, rural planning organizations, local governing bodies, elected officials, and more. The survey should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete, and the team is accepting responses through January 31. Click here to access the survey.
Our Roads, Our Safety: Campaign to Improve Transportation Safety in Tennessee
Tennessee is one of the top 10 states for large truck fatalities. In 2020, there were 163 fatal crashes involving large trucks, resulting in 195 fatalities statewide. Based on preliminary data for 2021, there were 173 fatal crashes involving large trucks, resulting in 186 fatalities. In particular, the I-24 corridor between Nashville and Murfreesboro is a major freight corridor whose daily traffic has increased by 60% in recent years. Accordingly, Davidson and Rutherford Counties alone account for over 16% of Tennessee’s total large truck crashes in calendar year 2020.

In response to this issue, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Tennessee Division Office has joined with the FMCSA Office of Outreach and Education to bring its national Our Roads, Our Safety campaign to Tennessee. The campaign focuses primarily on educating commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger vehicle drivers on sharing the road safely. However, the safety of CMV and passenger vehicle drivers impacts everyone else on the road, too, including motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. FMCSA has deployed Facebook ads, gas station TV spots, and digital billboards with these safety messages along the I-24 Nashville-Murfreesboro corridor. Click here to learn more and find related safety resources.
Models for Electric Vehicle (EV) Infrastructure Programs
Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, states will spend $5 billion over the next five years to build out EV infrastructure along key corridors across the country. As states consider various elements of EV infrastructure planning and program design, it will be important to build on lessons learned from existing EV programs and work together to create a comprehensive, nationwide network. The National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) will hold a three-part webinar series to help states prepare for this EV infrastructure funding availability, including its next webinar on January 26 at 2:00 PM Eastern that will focus on strategies and partnerships for EV infrastructure buildout. During this webinar, states will explore the strategies they used to identify the best methods for infrastructure buildout along key corridors, with a focus on public-private partnership models as well as siting and analytical tools to prioritize EV infrastructure locations.
STRIDE Electric School Bus Webinar Series: The Power of Partnership
The Southeastern Team Reducing the Impacts of Diesel Emissions (STRIDE) Collaborative, part of U.S. EPA's National Clean Diesel Campaign, will host a webinar on February 2 at 10:30 AM Eastern that will provide information and understanding of the practical aspects of clean and efficient all-electric school buses for school superintendents, transportation directors, fleet managers, and others considering adding electric buses to their fleet.
The webinar will highlight the collaborative project that introduced Tennessee to its first all-electric school bus in Washington County in 2021, and attendees will hear about the experiences and benefits realized from the project in addition to lessons learned and best practices from representatives from Washington County Schools, TDEC, TVA, and BrightRidge. Click here to register.
Applications Open for 100 Best Fleets in the Americas Awards
The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas program identifies and encourages the ever-increasing levels of performance improvement and innovation within the public fleet industry. The purpose of this program is to help:
  • Foster pride in the industry;
  • Build recognition within the national fleet community;
  • Increase levels of productivity and operational effectiveness; and
  • Encourage more individuals to consider fleet operations as a career choice.
The 100 Best Fleets in the Americas contest is open to any public fleet in North, Central, or South America. Applications are due February 11. Click here to view the judging criteria. Application into the contest is free, and the full application can be accessed here.
Mentors Wanted for Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network
TennSMART and LaunchTN are actively recruiting seasoned leaders with experience in growing companies and raising capital and with technical or functional expertise related to the automotive industry for its Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network. The Automotive & Mobility Mentor Network pairs industry experts with startups through a structured, stage-gate process involving panel presentations and one-on-one mentoring sessions. The goal of the program is to provide sound, valuable advice that will help young companies develop and grow in Tennessee. Click here to apply.
Electrifying Transport: The State of Electric Vehicles
A recent webinar held by Our Energy Policy examines the evolving transportation sector and how it can meet federal and industry electrification goals, as recent actions from the federal government and key industry players have underscored the vision of a decarbonized transportation sector for the future. “Electrifying Transport: The State of Electric Vehicles” features both federal government and private industry representatives as they discuss the nationwide transition to EVs and how the transportation sector can facilitate and advance EV adoption for all. The webinar, which was held in early December, is available to view now as a recording.
Global EV Outlook 2021
The International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook is an annual publication that identifies and discusses recent developments in electric mobility across the globe. It is developed with the support of the members of the Electric Vehicles Initiative. Combining historical analysis with projections to 2030, the report examines key areas of interest such as EV and charging infrastructure deployment, energy use, CO2 emissions, and battery demand. Using insights from frontrunner EV markets, the report provides the following: 
  • Policy recommendations that promote EV adoption;
  • Updates on electric heavy-duty vehicle models coming into commercial markets in the coming years;
  • Updates on the status of megacharger development;
  • An assessment of the number of EV chargers required per EV in diverse markets;
  • Analysis on the impact of EV adoption on fuel tax revenues; and
  • Highlights on new online tools, including the Global EV Data Explorer and Global EV Policy Explorer, each of which allow users to interactively explore EV statistics, projections, and policy measures worldwide.
Click here to access the full report.
The First All-Electric School Bus in Tennessee: A Video Discussion
In 2021, Washington County Schools purchased and put into service the first all-electric school bus in the state of Tennessee. Funded in part by TVA, local power company BrightRidge, and the State's allocation under the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust, the project necessitated dedicated collaboration from multiple organizations. TDEC OEP interviewed representatives from several of these organizations and compiled a video to coincide with Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo programming to highlight the efforts of all involved as well as discuss lessons learned, best practices for other organizations to undertake similar projects, and the outlook moving forward for transportation electrification across Tennessee. The video includes input from:
  • Jarrod Adams, Washington County Schools
  • Drew Frye, TVA
  • Jeff Dykes, BrightRidge
  • Maria Brown, Lion Electric
Click here to watch the video.
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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