TDOT & Tennessee Diesel Working Group Receive EPA Leadership Award
Nashville, Tenn. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today awarded the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) and Tennessee Diesel Working Group with a National Leadership Recognition Award for their innovative use of projects and funds to reduce diesel emissions from trucks, trains and marine vessels.
EPA Regional Administrator Jimmy Palmer presented the award to Deputy Governor Stuart Brunson, TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely, and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner Jim Fyke during a ceremony today at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center.
“I am proud that TDOT and state government are effectively deploying innovative strategies to reduce pollution and protect human health for our communities,” said Governor Phil Bredesen. “I am excited about what is happening in both the public and private sector to create a new clean renewable energy economy. I am confident Tennessee will be an innovative leader as our nation rises to meet our country’s energy and environmental challenges.”
The EPA recognized TDOT for the first non-road construction program in the nation to use federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funds and for developing the Locomotive Diesel Retrofit program.
The EPA recognition of the state includes:
- TDOT’s Diesel Retrofit Grant program that provides CMAQ funds for retrofitting heavy-duty diesel engines in locomotives and construction equipment
- TDOT’s statewide use of biodiesel in TDOT vehicles
- TDOT’s “Green Island” Corridor Program which provides CMAQ funds for the establishment of retail biofuel stations across Tennessee
- Lowered speed limits for trucks in several non-attainment counties across the state
“TDOT is strongly committed to meeting the transportation needs of the state, while at the same time protecting public safety and environmental quality,” said TDOT Commissioner Gerald Nicely. “I am very pleased the EPA is recognizing TDOT’s efforts to reduce mobile source emissions. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners at TDEC, the Federal Highway Administration and the EPA as we seek more innovative opportunities to reduce air emissions and improve the quality of life in Tennessee.”
“This honor speaks as much to the priorities and leadership of Governor Bredesen as to the efforts of either of our departments,” added Commissioner of Environment and Conservation Jim Fyke. “There is a fundamental understanding in state government now that we are one team focused on shared goals to improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans.”