At our annual Policy and Practice meeting in August 2015, more than 40 participants from across Tennessee met in small groups to identify the key priorities for a more sustainable Tennessee.  Each group crafted a vision statement, indicators of success over time, and top priorities for immediate action.  Once all priorities were identified, each participant had 12 votes to distribute among the list of priorities.  The results that follow will be incorporated into the Agenda & Priorities for a Sustainable Tennessee and presented to the Tennessee General Assembly in Winter 2016.  NOTE: There will be additional Policy & Practice workshops in Chattanooga on November 17 and at Tennessee Tech (Cookeville) on December 15 at the TREEDC International Conference.

 

Group: Air Quality

Vision:  

Tennessee to lead the South in exceeding federal air standards

Indicators of Success:

  • Tennessee no longer on list of top 10 asthma capitols
  • All of Tennessee in attainment
  • 50% reduction in childhood respiratory illness
  • Elimination of industrial coal boilers
Priorities for Immediate Action

Vote Count

 

More bike/pedestrian/transit and less cars

14

Install more solar units and apply energy efficiency to home, industry, and transport sectors

4

Collaborate with broader coalitions of academic, community, and church groups

4

Balance composition of county and state air boards

 2

Petition county and state government for stronger rules

2

 

Group: Clean Energy

 Vision: 

We want transition to 100% clean energy 

Priorities for Immediate Action

Vote Count

Pass Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) bill to make more solar, energy efficient, and water conservation possible in the 2016 Tennessee State legislation 

 

34

Request TVA set 30% renewable energy goal for 2020 and commit to increase EE budget at least 50% annually every year until TVA achieves at least 4% annual savings

17

Support Community Solar

13

Decommission Browns Ferry and abandon Bellefonte by 2017

8

 

Urge TVA to require Local Power Companies to implement uniform interconnection standards by 2017 

8

Work with TDEC on Clean Power Plan to ensure maximization of energy efficiency and renewables in state plan

5

Clean Energy transparency-open meeting and open records for electric co-ops. Salary incentives for LPCs and co-ops tied to EE and renewable energy

3

Group: Water

Vision: 

Health and abundant surface and groundwater resources that support humans while maintaining the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems

Indicators of Success:

  • Zero discharge of toxic pollutants
  • Listing of impaired 303 (d) listed streams
  • Protection and enhancement of headwaters, wetlands, and riparian corridors
  • Sustainable regional water resource planning, including green infrastructure
  • Increased recreational access and use
  • Increased use of sustainable agricultural practices to reduce erosion, nutrient loading and pathogens
Action Item Vote Count
Promote swift, effective and even-handed enforcement of water laws and permits:

  • Electronic DMR submission èonline data
  • Increase monitoring, reporting and enforcement of logging runoff, CAFOs, and discharges
15
Reduce the impact of coal on Tennessee waters:

  • Blocking SMCRA primacy
  • Promoting renewable energy
  • Rapidly incorporating new effluent limitation guidelines for coal-fired power plants
  • Effectively implementing Coal Combustion Residual rule: Move Your Ash 
14
Promote strong state water protection rules including EPA’s ammonia criterion and eliminating mixing zones for pathogens and bio-accumulative pollutants  11
Support the broadest and most effective definition of WOTUS  7
Broaden stewardship ethic through outreach to civic, public and religious groups:

  • Increased access to and enjoyment of natural water-based recreation
  • Support local watershed organizations 
4

Group: Transportation & Land Use

Vision: 

Urban and rural communities work to promote smart growth and connectivity as well as reduce emissions and environment impacts related to the transportation sector 

Action Item

Vote Count

100% of new development works to reuse existing infrastructure in urban core (high density, reused redevelopment) 

 

13

90% of trips conducted by alternative transportation 

7

Business needs to lessen ___ infrastructure and incentivize______ for all employees 

6

80% of transportation in fuels derived from renewable energy (CNG, LNG, Hydrogen) 

5

Conduct feasibility study to assess alternative existing transportation infrastructure in the state

1

Group: Recycling

Vision: 

All sectors of Tennessee economy have achieved a zero waste goal.

Priorities:

  • Integrated materials management infrastructure
  • Support waste reduction, reuse, repair, composting, recycling
  • Interim metrics 
  • Access by population 
Action Item

Vote Count

 

Implement tipping fee, enterprise fund accounting, and enhance funding authorities (grants, loans, bonds, and state legislation) 

15

Establish statewide goal

  • TDEC

 

14

Perform wet/dry collection pilot program 

11

Education, jobs & economics

  • Schools
  • Public service announcements

10

 

Group: Green Infrastructure

Vision: 

Cleaner streams with widespread used of green infrastructure 

Indicators of Success:

  • Preservation and restoration of wild lands 
  • Trees planted on all available streets
  • All new buildings constructed are required to capture the first inch of rain
Action Item

Vote Count

Amend TCA SS 7-34-101 to allow water/sewer to be used for green infrastructure 

 

20

Amend state law to allow use of gray water 

17

Increase state funding toward land acquisition with tax on outdoor goods 

9

Amend state law to require all new development to capture 1 inch 

5

Have state match 319 grant

3                        

Group: Farms & Food

Vision: 

Double the number of farms and variety of foods produced at each 

Indicators of Success:

  • Incentivize instead of regulating
  • Encourage grocery stores and restaurants to buy more local produce
  • Educate on benefits of locally grown food.
  • Organizations work together and there is high awareness of resources 
  • Removal of ted tape and excessive paperwork for donating extra food
Action Item

Vote Count

 

Beneficial end-use of excess/unsellable food (e.g., donations, animal feed, compost) 

6

Initiate dialogue with local farmers on specific needs and how to better support them

4

 

Encourage and educate people to support local food and local farmers

3