(Certified Best Practice by BMPCOE)
City of Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN
Following Chattanooga's designation in 1969 as one of the worst air polluters in the country, the City sought and received State approval to develop local air pollution control regulations. This was a significant effort as Chattanooga was eighth in the nation in manufacturing jobs per capita. It was also a transportation hub and home to many foundries, and locally available soft coal was the fuel of choice. The community acknowledged that success would require significant support of companies affected, and that local regulations must also comply with state and federal standards.
The Hamilton County Air Pollution Control Bureau was established to develop needed regulations. In an effort to obtain input from local manufacturers, draft regulations were shared with industry, of which the major stakeholder was the Chattanooga Manufacturers' Association (CMA). Significant effort was made to resolve issues with this highly respected and proactive group. Today, the Bureau
is governed by ten directors appointed by the Mayor and the County Executive. It maintains a staff of 20 personnel, mostly engineers, with an annual budget of $1.2M.
When reasonable consensus is reached, proposed regulations are recommended for approval by the 11 legislative bodies within the City and county. The Bureau has been highly successful because the legislative bodies and local industry understand and trust the consensus building efforts which precede the recommendations. Although the Bureau is responsible for enforcement, it uses seminars, workshops, and information sharing with the community to facilitate compliance. Pollution prevention opportunities and best practices are shared with citizens and regulated industries.
A central philosophy of the Bureau is that companies will reduce emissions if a competent, credible professional staff can demonstrate that cost savings will result from doing so.