Nominations Open 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.
Tennessee Green Fleets Certification Program Open for 2019
The Tennessee Green Fleets (TGF) program offers an opportunity for fleets to receive certification for their transportation efficiency efforts. Organized by Tennessee Clean Fuels, TGF certification is based on an applicant’s vehicle data and fleet fuel use. The TGF program recognizes fleets based on actions taken to reduce petroleum consumption, lessen greenhouse gas emissions, and implement alternative fuel vehicles.
Applicants who receive certification will be honored at a special ceremony during the 2019 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo. Applications for 2019 TGF certification are due by June 30. For more information about the program, visit
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 Brittany Kunkle at or 865-974-1880.
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. Click here to access the Roadmap.
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
2019 Transit IDEA Program Now Accepting Proposals
The Transit IDEA Program is part of the Transit Cooperative Research Program, a cooperative effort of the Federal Transit Administration, the Transportation Research Board (TRB), and the Transit Development Corporation (a nonprofit educational and research organization); the program provides start-up funding for new innovations in transit systems. A new round of funding for 2019 has been announced by TRB, and applications are currently being accepted. The Transit IDEA Panel has established four high-priority focus areas to encourage proposals in the following areas:
  1. Increasing transit ridership;
  2. Improving transit safety, security, and emergency preparedness;
  3. Improving transit capital and operating efficiencies; and
  4. Protecting the environment and promoting energy independence.
Proposals for the Transit IDEA Program must be submitted by May 1. Suggested research areas, proposal evaluation criteria, and the forms for submitting proposals can be found here.
TDEC Seeking Applications for Risk and Resilience Strategic Planning and Engagement Sessions
The TDEC Office of Policy and Sustainable Practices (OPSP) is seeking applicants to participate in its Risk & Resilience Strategic Planning and Community Engagement Sessions. These sessions are designed to support Tennessee communities in performing comprehensive vulnerability and needs evaluations, identifying local priorities, and providing technical assistance and community engagement activities that align with risk-management, resilience planning, environmental stewardship, conservation, smart growth, and sustainability. Up to five community applicants will be selected to receive technical assistance over the project period, which includes: 
  • A half-day strategic planning session with community leaders to identify resilience, environmental, infrastructure, public health, energy, and/or smart growth needs, vulnerabilities, and priorities;
  • A report summarizing the strategic planning session, community vulnerabilities and priorities, and identification of available resources and technical assistance to support strategic action;
  • A full-day workshop featuring technical experts and/or peer communities identifying resources to support community risk management, resilience, and mitigation efforts in at least one community priority area (e.g. water quality, general hazard mitigation planning, or access to natural resources and open spaces) and a community involvement session to identify activities that will educate and engage citizens (e.g., a watershed clean-up, home energy efficiency workshop, or backyard composting workshop); and
  • Periodic follow-up and technical assistance to support the community as it implements its strategic plan.
Click here to learn more and download an application. The deadline to submit is May 3, and announcement of participant selection is anticipated by May 17. Applications can be emailed to Christina Guidry at For more information about OPSP’s Sustainable Resilience for Communities program, click here.
U.S. DOE Announces Funding Opportunity for High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation
U.S. DOE recently announced a $5.2 million funding opportunity under the High Performance Computing for Energy Innovation (HPC4EI) Initiative. The new funding opportunity seeks qualified industry partners to work collaboratively with U.S. DOE’s national laboratories on projects that use High Performance Computing to solve key technical challenges, including development and optimization of modeling and simulation codes; porting and scaling of applications; application of data analytics; and applied research and development of tools or methods.
HPC4EI has three funding tracks: Manufacturing, Materials, and Mobility. The Mobility track, led by ORNL, seeks to do the following:
  • Improve the awareness and applicability of high performance computing, machine learning, and big data science to address real world transportation energy problems;
  • Work with interested U.S. companies, as well as cities, states, and regional governments and metropolitan planning organizations; and
  • Ultimately lead to tangible and measurable improvements to our transportation system.
Eligibility for the Mobility track is limited to relevant government entities, entities that manufacture or develop products in the U.S. for commercial applications, and organizations that support such manufacturers. Selected projects and follow-on projects will be awarded up to $300,000 to support compute cycles and work performed by the national laboratory partners. Applications are due by July 30.
USDA Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program provides affordable financing to develop essential community facilities in rural areas, which are defined as cities, villages, townships, and towns with no more than 20,000 residents. The program provides prioritization for projects in small communities with a population of 5,500 or less and/or low-income communities having a median household income below 80% of the state nonmetropolitan median household income. Funding is available via low interest direct loans, grants, or a combination of the two. Eligible loan and grant applicants include public bodies, community-based non-profit corporations, and federally-recognized Tribes. Funds can be used to purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, and pay related project expenses. Examples of essential community facilities include those used for health care (hospitals, medical clinics, nursing homes, etc.), education (museums, libraries, private schools, etc.), public safety (fire departments, police stations, prisons), community support (child care centers, community centers, transitional housing, fairgrounds, etc.), and other services.
In addition to facility upgrades or construction, financing under this program may cover relevant fleet and infrastructure improvements, including the purchase and/or upgrade of police vehicles, fire trucks, public works vehicles, other equipment, and related refueling infrastructure. Vehicles and related refueling infrastructure may include alternative fueled vehicles and refueling infrastructure for alternative fuels such as propane, compressed natural gas, biodiesel, or electricity. Loan and Grant applications are currently being accepted. Contact Terence McGhee at or 615-783-1349 for more information or to discuss a potential project.
U.S. DOE Announces Funding Opportunity for Advanced Vehicle Technologies
U.S. DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) recently announced a funding opportunity for projects in the following transportation areas: advanced batteries and electric drive systems; energy efficient mobility systems; materials for more efficient powertrains; co-optimized advanced engine and fuel technologies; and alternative fuels and new mobility options. The funding opportunity further specifies several areas of interest (AOI), which interested parties should review here.
With regard to alternative fuels and new mobility options (AOI 6), applicants may apply for funding under the following sub-topic areas:
  • AOI 6a – Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Infrastructure for Resiliency and Emergency Preparedness
  • AOI 6b – New Mobility Services in Rural America
  • AOI 6c – Alternative Fuel Proof-of-Concept in New Communities and Fleets
  • AOI 6d – EV Data Collection
  • AOI 6e – Open Topic (only Clean Cities Coalitions may apply as the primary recipient under this AOI)
Projects submitted under AOI 6 are encouraged to partner with a U.S. DOE Clean Cities Coalition. There are two Clean Cities Coalitions in Tennessee, known collectively as Tennessee Clean Fuels or TCF. TCF will host a webinar on Tuesday, April 16 at 3:00 PM ET to discuss the funding opportunity and help interested stakeholders identify potential projects and partnerships. Registration is not required—just click on this link to join the webinar.
Applicants must submit a concept paper to VTO by 5:00 PM ET, May 1. Those invited to submit full applications following review of the concept papers must do so by 5:00 PM ET, June 19. Click here to learn more and apply.
Earth Day Events in Tennessee
First established on April 22, 1970, Earth Day is now a global event dedicated to improving the environment through political action and civic participation. Throughout April, events across the state will be held in honor of Earth Day. Below is a list of some of these events:
Sign Up for the 2019 Commuter Challenge
Nashville Connector, Davidson County’s first transportation demand management program, seeks to help employers and employees in the Nashville region plan for a better commute. The program assists individuals and companies alike in identifying bus, carpool, train, and walking/biking commuter options available to commuters in the Nashville area.
Recently, Nashville Connector announced that it will host its 2019 Commuter Challenge from April 27-May 3. As part of this challenge, Nashville’s downtown commuting participants can pledge to not drive alone for at least one trip to work during the week. To do this, commuters may carpool, ride a bike or scooter, take public transit, walk to work, or work from home. Click here to sign up as a company or as an individual for the 2019 Challenge. Registrants will receive a Challenge Guide and Tracking Template to help plan for the event. Awards will also be given to top participants. Learn more at
National Bike to School Day is May 8, 2019
The National Center for Safe Routes to School is organizing National Bike to School Day, which will take place on May 8. This event increases community awareness on the need for safe routes to bike and walk to school, builds a sense of community or school spirit, and inspires families to walk and bike to school. Registration for Bike to School Day is now open for schools, community organizers, and other interested partners. Click here to download event materials such as graphics, logos, fliers, banners, and more to coordinate a Bike to School Day event.
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 an RNG WORKS event 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
Save-the-Date: 2019 Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo
The Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum & Expo (STF&E) is an annual conference where attendees share and discover projects that can reshape what is possible in transportation and mobility. The research, technology, planning, and policy developments shared at STF&E aim to improve transportation efficiency, reduce vehicle emissions, and address the mobility needs of all. Panelists and speakers from across the country will highlight best practices to transform transportation systems efficiently, affordably, and sustainably. STF&E will return to Knoxville on October 1-2. Registration information will be made available soon! Sign up for the STF&E email list to receive event updates. Visit for more information.
Transportation Resilience Conference 2019
TRB, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and 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 this important topic, with benefits that are expected to extend beyond the transportation sector.
Conference organizers are now accepting solicitations for presentations to be shared at the conference. Interested parties should provide pitches on case studies, applied research, and innovative approaches to resilience in transportation. Click here to submit presentation ideas, due by May 3. Visit for more information about the event.
Propane Autogas Fleet Map
The Propane Education and Research Council (PERC) recently launched an interactive, online map designed to showcase the growing number of U.S. fleets that use propane autogas to fuel their trucks, vans, buses, sedans, and more. One Tennessee-based fleet included on the map is the City of Kingsport, which PERC recently highlighted in a video testimonial for its use of propane in police vehicles, work trucks, and other equipment.  Click here to view the map and find more Tennessee fleets using propane
Visit the TDEC Office of Energy Programs Website at
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