Michelle B. Walker
William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower
312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 2nd Floor
Nashville, Tennessee 37243
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The Office of Policy and Planning was created to enhance the Department’s capacity to conduct short and long term environmental policy analysis and planning, implement strategic management initiatives and perform Title VI and Environmental Justice functions. The Policy Office provides the Department’s leadership and staff with research and analysis capabilities, strategic planning assistance, environmental policy advice, and other support necessary to fulfill the Department’s mission. The Policy Office works collaboratively within the Department and with other state Departments to implement strategic initiatives designed to increase customer satisfaction through the efficient use of state resources and identify innovative, cost effective opportunities for state government to lead by example. The Policy Office also works to engage federal, state and local government agencies as well as non-governmental organizations and the academic and business community to exchange views on matters relevant to existing and developing environmental policy to ensure broad public opinion informs the policy formation process.
The Department is continually preparing for and responding to a variety of complex, challenging issues and challenges when it comes to safeguarding human health, protecting the environment, conserving natural resources and managing an award-winning state park system for Tennessee. The Policy Office will assist in this endeavor by examining legacy, current and emerging issues that cut across environmental media, the Department’s divisions and programs, geographic locations, and political jurisdictions. Through independent and comprehensive research and analysis, the Policy Office will provide option alternatives and policy recommendations for the Department.
The Policy Office is coordinating with the Department’s Office of General Counsel and Divisions within the Bureau of Environment to respond to requests for review and comment for proposed projects within Tennessee that trigger the need for review and consideration pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. This process is currently being reviewed and undergoing LEAN process improvement to streamline the review and comment process for NEPA documents.
TDEC is using LEAN process management to help identify value, eliminate waste, and reduce steps in department processes, including permitting, enforcement, grants and state park activities. LEAN is an approach and set of tools that seek to eliminate inefficient and unnecessary steps in our processes. It is an adaptation of business process improvement methods, first applied to manufacturing, and now being applied to the government including environmental and regulatory fields. More than 50 LEAN events have been identified and top priority, and high yield LEAN events have been held. Recent multi-disciplinary LEAN events have made it possible to achieve target results with fewer tasks, fewer handoffs and fewer decisions. Results are not only achieved faster, but there is more capacity for employees to work at their highest skill level and on highest value activities. TDEC is dedicating time and attention to these LEAN process efforts because they are making a real difference for efficiency and service delivery in state government.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) promotes healthy and safe communities and quality environmental education for the benefit of the environment, public health and economy. The department is committed to protecting the health of Tennessee's citizens and its environment, and to promoting environmental equity in the administration of its programs to the extent it may do so legally and practicably. The department supports the objectives of achieving environmental equity for all Tennesseans.
"Environmental Justice" is based on the principle that all people should be protected from environmental pollution and have the right to a clean and healthy environment.
Environmental justice is:
Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is an essential component of the principles of environmental justice. Title VI states, “No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefit of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” 42 U.S.C. §2000d
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is committed to ensuring all management staff, contractees, and service beneficiaries are aware of the provisions of and responsibilities associated with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Environmental Justice Contact and Links