The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines Brownfields as real property, the expansion, redevelopment or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or contaminant. The Tennessee Brownfields Redevelopment Program works with the public to assist in the reuse and revitalization of brownfields in Tennessee. Many properties in Tennessee which were previously used as gas stations, drycleaners, factories or properties that may have contamination from unknown sources qualify as brownfields. Since 1996, the Tennessee Brownfields Redevelopment Program has worked with developers, communities and property owners to bring over 1,700 brownfields properties across the state back into productive reuse.
Having clean air to breathe is necessary for good health. Poor air quality reduces quality of life. Some air pollutants are irritants. Some smell bad. Some air pollutants can cause respiratory disease or even cancer. Air quality is important both indoors and outdoors. Ground level ozone, particulate matter and allergens are common outdoor air pollutants. Secondhand smoke, mold and radon are common indoor air pollutants. Poor air quality may limit people’s ability or opportunity to be physically active. People with preexisting medical conditions such as asthma, emphysema or COPD are at greater risk from poor air quality. Good air quality is an important livability indicator for a healthy community.
Although Tennessee has great expanses of rural countryside, land is not limitless. Communities need land for everything from neighborhoods to downtowns, from sidewalks to highways, and from large industries to small farms. Coordination among local governments and citizen involvement is needed to achieve efficient development. It is also important to set aside land for parks and wildlife to ensure conservation of plants, animals and natural resources. Planning and zoning can help people, places and Nature to coexist. There are many ways Tennessee is working to keep our lands protected from pollution.
Having clean water to drink is necessary for good health. In addition to water for drinking, water is needed for making baby formula, preparing foods, flushing toilets, brushing teeth and showering. Tennessee communities get their water from a variety of sources that need to be managed and protected including rivers, lakes and groundwater. To keep people safe, the state monitors public water supplies and permits septic systems. Water is an important natural resource for recreation, wildlife and industry. Some communities are suffering from not having enough water due to increasing demand or drought. The opposite extreme of having too much water and flooding has devastated communities. Available water, appropriate drainage and good water quality are important livability indicators for a healthy community.
To protect the health and prosperity of people who live, work, study or visit Tennessee, the state Department of Health requires some businesses to have a license, certificate or permit to operate. The Office of Health Care Facilities licenses or certifies many types of health care facilities including hospitals, adult care homes, nursing homes, and laboratories. The Division of Environmental Health issues permits to food service establishments, hotels and motels, bed and breakfasts, organized camps, swimming pools and tattoo and body piercing artists. To protect the health and prosperity of people who live, work, study or visit Tennessee, the state Department of Health requires some businesses to have a license, certification or permit to operate. The Office of Health Care Facilities licenses or certifies many types of health care facilities including hospitals, adult care homes, nursing homes and laboratories. The Division of Environmental Health issues permits to food service establishments, child care, schools, hotels and motels, bed and breakfasts, organized camps, swimming pools and tattoo and body piercing artists.