Public Participation and Presentations
Recent and Upcoming Public Participation Opportunities
A proposed BMP was released to the public on July 18, 2018. The public was encouraged to submit comments. Following the close of a 30 day public comment period on August 17, 2018, all comments and input received were reviewed and considered by TDEC personnel prior to the finalization of the BMP.
The State’s final BMP may now be accessed here: http://www.tn.gov/environment/VW_BMP. TDEC anticipates that it will employ the following order when releasing project solicitations, with the first solicitation now available for Class 4-8 School Buses:
1) Class 4-8 School Buses;
2) Class 4-8 Shuttle and Transit Buses;
3) Class 4-7 Local Freight Trucks, Class 8 Local Freight Trucks and Port Drayage Trucks; and
4) Light Duty ZEV Supply Equipment.
Additional project solicitations for these categories will implementation, and reporting requirements. Interested persons and entities arebe released until eligible project funds are exhausted.
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 email list at https://signup.e2ma.net/signup/1843437/1737620/ in order to receive related email updates on topics including, but not limited to, potential revisions to the BMP, funding cycles, and project solicitation. For additional information on the VW Settlement, visit the TDEC website here: http://www.tn.gov/environment/VWSettlement.
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.
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.
Lastly, in conjunction with the release of the proposed BMP to the public on July 17, 2018, TDEC uploaded a recorded presentation to the TDEC Webpage that addressed the various sections of the State’s proposed BMP. The public was encouraged to submit comments via a public comment form accessible online or via email. Following the close of a thirty (30) day public comment period on August 17, 2018, all comments and input received were reviewed and considered by TDEC personnel prior to the finalization of the BMP. TDEC received comments from 44 respondents, each representing a unique entity. As with the first public comment period, these entities provided advocacy, business, government, individual, and other perspectives.
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)
- Alternative Fuel Vehicle School Bus Workshop, Lebanon (July 25, 2018)
- Tennessee Statewide Interagency Consultation Group Call (August 1, 2018)
- Sustainable Fleet Technology Conference and Expo, Durham (August 23, 2018)
- Tennessee Sustainable Transportation Forum and Expo, Knoxville (September 17, 2018)
The State of Tennessee’s Beneficiary Mitigation Plan (BMP) was published on the TDEC Webpage in September 2018, as required by the State Trust Agreement. The State is also responsible for submitting requests for Eligible Mitigation Action (EMA) funding by filing with the Trustee a Beneficiary Eligible Mitigation Action Certification form (funding request). To view the elements that are required within a funding request, please read Quick Reference – Elements of a Funding Request.
The BMP and all documentation and records submitted by the State in support of each funding request to the Trustee will be available to the public on the TDEC Webpage. Funding requests submitted by the State to the Trustee will also be made available to the public via the Trustee Public Website (accessible at https://www.vwenvironmentalmitigationtrust.com/), as provided in Paragraph 5.2.14 of the State Trust Agreement. The State Trust Agreement details the elements that must be made available by the Trustee on this website, which shall include items such as the Notice of Beneficiary Designation, semi-annual reports, audits, funding requests and determinations with regard to such funding requests, Trust Administration Costs, and an accounting of all Trust Assets.
Summarized details regarding the expenditure of EMT funds by the State (e.g., cumulative totals for categories of EMAs identified in the BMP, identification of recipients of EMT funds and their project scopes) will also be maintained on the TDEC Webpage. Documentation and records supporting all expenditures of EMT funds by the State will be made publicly available. The general public may request such information by submitting a records request to TDEC.
If you would like to submit a public records request for information related to the Volkswagen Diesel Settlement Environmental Mitigation Trust in Tennessee, please refer to the online Public Records Request portal. You may also contact TDEC’s interim Public Records Coordinator, Melanie VanderLoop, at TDEC.Public.Records.Request@tn.gov.