Public Participation and Presentations
Upcoming Public Participation Opportunities
The public is encouraged to review the State of Tennessee’s Proposed Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) and submit comments via a public comment form 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. In conjunction with the release of the proposed BMP, TDEC uploaded a recorded presentation that addresses the various sections of the State’s proposed BMP, which is available on the State's BMP webpage. 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.
Following the finalization of the BMP, TDEC will release funding opportunity announcements and/or project solicitations for corresponding programs. TDEC will also host workshops throughout the state and/or via webinar in order to provide the public with information regarding the proposal process, program and project eligibility, timelines for implementation, and reporting requirements.
Interested persons and entities are advised to sign up for the TDEC VW Settlement email list at https://signup.e2ma.net/signup/1843437/1737620/ in order to receive related email updates on topics including, but not limited to, BMP finalization, funding cycles, and project solicitation.
In the fall of 2016, TDEC created a public-facing webpage (“TDEC Webpage”), which is accessible at https://www.tn.gov/environment/VWSettlement. TDEC will continue to add and/or update information and resources to the TDEC Webpage as such information becomes available. Additionally, TDEC has also established and will continue to maintain a VW Environmental Mitigation Trust (EMT) email list (“TDEC Email List”). TDEC has and will continue to utilize the TDEC Email List when sending out updates regarding TDEC’s EMT efforts, including, but not limited to, the scheduling of public information sessions, release of a proposed BMP, and the release of project solicitations. Interested parties can be added to this list online, via email at TDEC.OEP@tn.gov, or in-person.
TDEC also developed a web-based form to allow interested stakeholders to submit comments regarding the State’s utilization of its EMT allocation. Specifically, TDEC sought input on the Eligible Mitigation Action (EMA) categories that the State should consider as well as the percentage of funds to dedicate to each category. TDEC accepted public comments via the Public Comment Form, as well as directly through email or phone, from October 2016 through January 2018. All public comments were to have been received by 11:59 pm Central on January 16, 2018 to be considered for the proposed Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP). By January 16, 2018, TDEC had received comments from 145 total respondents, representing 121 unique entities. These entities provided advocacy, business, government, higher education, individual, and other perspectives on how the State should administer its EMT allocation.
Lastly, on December 12, 2017, TDEC released a Request for Information (RFI) to seek cost information on EMAs, in order to inform TDEC's BMP planning process. Responses were due by January 23, 2018. TDEC received cost information from 34 distinct entities.
Volkswagen Diesel Settlement (VW Settlement) Public Information Sessions
TDEC hosted VW Settlement public information sessions across the State. These meetings provided an overview of the VW Settlement, the EMT, TDEC's process for developing a proposed BMP for Tennessee, and the types of EMAs that can be funded by Tennessee’s EMT allocation. All of these public information sessions were free and open to the public:
- Nashville: October 31, 2017
- Knoxville: November 7, 2017
- Memphis: November 17, 2017
- Chattanooga: December 15, 2017
- Webinar: December 19, 2017 - Click here for the webinar recording, and click here for a copy of the presentation.
Click here for a list of all Q&A from the TDEC VW Settlement Public Information Sessions.
TDEC has participated and will continue to participate as a speaker at various state and local conferences, forums, webinars, and other meetings to inform attendees about the VW Settlement, the EMT, and the development of the State’s BMP. A comprehensive listing of this public outreach and engagement activity to date follows:
- Tennessee Clean Fuels Stakeholder Webinar (March 3, 2017)
- Tennessee Statewide Interagency Consultation Group Call (April 5, 2017)
- Environmental Show of the South, Chattanooga (May 17-19, 2017)
- State of Tennessee Employees Continuing Legal Education Cooperative (July 28, 2017)
- TennSMART Consortium Meeting, Knoxville (September 21, 2017)
- Southeast Diesel Collaborative 12th Annual Conference, Atlanta (November 29-30, 2017)
- Tennessee Statewide Interagency Consultation Group Call (December 6, 2017)
- Memphis Area Maritime Security Committee Meeting, Memphis (December 14, 2017)
- Tennessee Renewable Energy & Economic Development Council Annual Conference, Cookeville (December 14-15, 2017)
- Clarksville Urbanized Area Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting, Clarksville (January 18, 2018)
- 2018 County Government Day (hosted by the Tennessee County Services Association), Nashville (March 12, 2018)
- Tennessee Statewide Interagency Consultation Group Call (April 11, 2018)
- Southeast Diesel Collaborative Monthly Call (April 18, 2018)
- TDEC Air Pollution Control Statewide Meeting, Paris Landing (May 2, 2018)
- Environmental Show of the South, Chattanooga (May 16, 2018)
- National Association of Clean Air Agencies (NACAA) Annual Meeting, Chattanooga (May 22, 2018)
- Tennessee Association of Pupil Transportation Annual Meeting, Pigeon Forge (June 6, 2018)
Click here to access TDEC’s most recent Volkswagen Diesel Settlement slide deck.