Air Quality & Transportation


Vasu Primlani [email protected]
(865) 215-2141

400 Main St., Room 598
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Knoxville SkylineThe quality of our air directly influences the quality of our lives. Polluted air can affect health, spoil crops, damage buildings, harm animals, and affect the natural beauty of our region. The declining health of our air is entirely due to human impacts; the heavy interstate traffic and long-commuting rural residents of our area release substantial amounts of greenhouse gases into the air every day. Fortunately, we can all do our part to reduce our city’s impact, and save money along the way.

What Can You Do?

Drive Less. 
o Walk bike, carpool, or use public transit instead.
Plan outings.
o Combine trips and reduce driving distance.
Consider the environment when it is time for a new car.
o New electric vehicles generally have ranges greater than 100 miles – sufficient for 90% of trips according to the Federal Highway Administration. 
Drive carefully.
o Avoid unnecessary acceleration and braking. 
Be conscious of what you burn.
o Never burn plastic or Styrofoam, treated wood, trash, paint, or chemicals.

Resources for East Tennessee Residents:

TN Clean Fuels Coalition LogoThe East Tennessee Clean Fuels Coalition guides fleet managers through the process of converting to renewable fuel sources for their vehicles.  Taking an entire fleet of combustion engines off the road at once is one of the best ways to reduce carbon emissions.  Many businesses are attracted to the monetary savings of  giving up gasoline.

KRTPO LogoThe Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization coordinates a comprehensive transportation planning process for the Knoxville Urban Area. As the area is regularly in non-attainment for two EPA-regulated pollutants (ground level ozone and fine particulate matter), the TPO is working with Tennessee’s Department of  Transportation to achieve the EPA’s standards.

Knox County SealThe Knox County Health Department’s Air Quality Division monitors and publishes the quality of our air, issues health alerts when necessary, and conducts compliance and complaint investigations. Ultimately, they strive to attain and maintain benchmark air quality standards through regulation. Additionally, they provide outreach and educational services. 

Smart Trips LogoSmart Trips promotes alternatives to driving alone; easing traffic congestion improves our region's air quality and quality of life. When you participate, you can improve your health, save money, protect the environment, and earn rewards. Smart Trips finds alternative transportation – carpooling, public transit, biking, walking,  and even telecommuting – for students and professionals in our area.

EPA LogoThe EPA’s Green Vehicle Guide offers extensive background on the issues behind traditional transportation, their impacts on our environment and our lives, and advice on responsible vehicle purchasing. Each year, they release a list of the most efficient vehicles available and strive to teach consumers the true impact we can have with what we choose to drive.