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Green development grants offered to city, county gov’t

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The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is once again partnering with the Tennessee Stormwater Association, the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Department of Transportation to offer a grant program designed to help local governments fund green infrastructure and low-impact development projects.

A total of $103,080 in grant funds will be available for allocation this year.

“We are proud to offer this funding resource as an option to help local communities improve Tennessee’s water quality, while working to meet their stormwater management goals through creative design and green development practices,” said Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Shari Meghreblian.

Grants ranging from $10,000 to $30,000 will be awarded to local governments through a competitive process.

Eligible projects include rain gardens, green roofs, pervious concrete applications, trees and tree boxes, in addition to outreach and education efforts designed to promote green development in Tennessee communities.

The grants require a 20-percent local match.

“Investing in this grants program gives TDOT the opportunity to help local governments implement best management practices and support improvements to local infrastructure that will have economic and sustainable impacts in our Tennessee communities,” said Deputy Commissioner Toks Omishakin, chief of TDOT’s Environment and Planning Bureau.

This year’s grant cycle represents the fourth time the Green Development Grants have been offered to local governments.

Communities selected during the 2014 grant cycle will join the cities of Athens, Chattanooga, Lakeland, Memphis, Knoxville and Nashville, Farragut, Morristown, Shelby County and University of Tennessee.

All have received funding since the grant’s inception in 2008 for various projects ranging from pervious concrete parking or walking paths to green infrastructure improvements to community recreational areas.

“This is a great opportunity for Tennessee Stormwater Association members to implement innovative stormwater management techniques that are designed around green technology and that benefit the local communities,” said TNSA President Andy Best.

“Protecting Tennessee’s watersheds is a shared responsibility,” added Brenda Brickhouse, TVA vice president, environment.

“Controlling and filtering stormwater prior to it entering Tennessee’s waterways is a key component to safeguarding our waterways, while ensuring our communities can rely on good, clean water.”

Applications for the 2014 Green Development Grants are due by Oct. 15, and grant awards will be announced by Dec. 31.

Grant applications will be reviewed and ranked by a team comprised of representatives from each of the partner agencies.

Online application materials and additional information about the Green Development Grants are available on TDEC’s website at www.tn.gov/environment/water/green-development.shtml or through the Tennessee Stormwater Association at www.tnstormwater.org/.