Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer announces the formation of a new Environmental Advisory Council for the department. The group will focus on enhancing TDOT’s commitment to protecting Tennessee’s natural resources while building, operating and maintaining the state’s transportation system.
“We want to continue to build on the progress TDOT has made in its efforts to protect the environment, particularly in the area of large construction projects,” said Commissioner Schroer. “The Environmental Advisory Council will work closely with TDOT in the development of transportation solutions that protect and enhance Tennessee’s environment.”
Various environmental groups from across the state nominated the members of the Environmental Advisory Council. The members were selected based on several factors including experience in environmental leadership, statewide perspective on environmental policies, and interest in working toward environmentally-sensitive transportation approaches.
“TDOT has made great strides in the area of environmental protection over the last several years,” added Toks Omishakin, TDOT’s Chief of Environment and Planning. “This council will help the department expand our efforts and achieve our goal of sustaining a multimodal transportation system in a manner that enhances communities, protects the environment, and saves energy.”
Council members include:
Dorene Ann Bolze – Executive Director for the Harpeth River Watershed Association, which restores and preserves the Harpeth River Watershed touching six counties in the greater Nashville region.
Anne Davis – Managing Attorney for the Nashville Office of Southern Environmental Law Center, a not-for-profit law firm that protects the south’s environment through the power of law.
Hugh Davis, Jr. – Chairman of the Board for Memphis Area Association of Governments, as well as the Vice Mayor for the City of Piperton, TN where he also serves on the Planning Commission.
James R. Hagerman, P.E. – Director of Engineering for the City of Knoxville, and previously served as environmental engineer and project manager for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
Gina Hancock – State Director for the Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, a leading conservation nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states and more than 30 foreign countries.
Michelle Williamson Haynes – Current Vice Chair for the Tennessee Real Estate Commission, and has previously served as a board member of the Land Trust for Tennessee.
Skip Lawrence – Chief Managing Officer of Lawrence Brothers, LLC builders, and member of the Nashville Downtown Partnership Residential Development Committee and the Cumberland River Compact.
Shari Meghreblian – TDEC Deputy Commissioner with responsibility for the department’s environmental regulatory programs that protect Tennessee’s air, land and water. She also represents the department on Governor Haslam’s Customer Focused Government Working Group and the Department of Economic and Community Development’s Fast Track Infrastructure Development Program.
The TDOT Environmental Advisory Committee will hold its first meeting in July.