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Employer Options for Improving Air Quality. Alan Jones Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. The Challenge. About 3.8 million people in state ozone nonattainment areas EPA rules will reduce emissions but not enough for urban areas More reductions needed from

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Employer options for improving air quality

Employer Options for Improving Air Quality

Alan Jones

Tennessee Department of

Environment and Conservation


The challenge
The Challenge

  • About 3.8 million people in state ozone nonattainment areas

  • EPA rules will reduce emissions but not enough for urban areas

  • More reductions needed from

    • Diesel trucks, SUVs, and cars

    • Construction equipment

    • Gas-powered lawn equipment


Crucial for success
Crucial For Success

  • Many different measures needed

    • No silver bullet

    • No single sector can do it alone

  • We all must do our part

    • All levels of government

    • Business and industry

    • Citizens


Employers essential clean air partners
Employers - Essential Clean Air Partners

  • Community leadership

  • Unique relationship with employees

  • Efficient message delivery

    • Employees pay more attention


Employer options to reduce emissions
Employer Options To Reduce Emissions

  • Trip reduction programs

  • Commute benefits for employees

  • Air quality action alerts

  • Operations and maintenance

  • Energy efficiency/green power

  • Cleaner fuels/vehicles for fleets

  • Urban forestry


Commuting and employees
Commuting and Employees

  • Nearly 50% of workers describe their commute as unsatisfying or stressful

  • 36% say they would take a 10% pay cut or more for a shorter commute

    • 2001 Career Builder Survey, HR Magazine, October 2001


Establish a trip reduction program
Establish A Trip Reduction Program

  • Reduce frequency that employees drive alone

  • Make transportation alternatives easier to use

    • Transit, vanpools, carpools, walk, bike, telework


Trip reduction actions
Trip Reduction Actions

  • Establish employee rideshare program

  • Provide lunch options onsite

  • Offer telework option

  • Adopt flextime policy and alternative work schedules


Encourage use of transportation alternatives
Encourage Use Of Transportation Alternatives

  • Offer commuter benefits

  • Employees with commuter benefits are 8 times more likely to use transit

    • 2001 Xyla Survey

  • With good commuter benefits, 10% to 30% of employees will shift transportation modes


Commute benefits for employees
Commute Benefits For Employees

  • TEA-21 (title 9, section 910, PL 105-178)

  • Section 132(f) - Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefits

  • Benefit options for transit, vanpools and parking cash out

  • Requires employer involvement


Transit passes
Transit Passes

  • Up to $100/month to commute by

    • Transit

    • Eligible vanpools

  • No payroll or income tax on benefit

  • Employer tax deduction

  • Completely tax-free for employees





Pre tax benefits
Pre-Tax Benefits

  • Allow employees to set aside pre-tax income up to $100/month for

    • Transit

    • Eligible vanpools

  • Employee saves payroll and income taxes

  • Employers save payroll taxes


Potential annual cost and savings for pre tax payroll deduction
Potential Annual Cost and Savings for Pre-Tax Payroll Deduction

W-2 is reduced by $1,200 (Employee sets aside $100/month)


Cash in lieu of parking
Cash In-lieu Of Parking Deduction

  • Parking cash out - employees agree not to park

  • In return, they receive

    • Cash value of parking space (taxable) OR

    • Transit or vanpool pass (nontaxable)

  • Save money with fewer employee parking spaces


Best workplaces for commuters sm
Best Workplaces For Commuters DeductionSM

  • EPA program recognizes employers that meet a National Standard of Excellence for commute benefits

  • Goal - 14% of employees non-SOV

  • 14% do something other than drive to work alone (transit, carpool, telework, etc.)


Air quality alert days
Air Quality Alert Days Deduction

  • Public education on air quality

  • How government, business and citizens can help

  • Ozone forecasting

  • Alerts when high levels predicted

  • Community action


Employers and air quality alert programs
Employers and Air Quality Alert Programs Deduction

  • Get involved in regional effort – Clean Air Nashville

  • Inform the public about clean air

  • Publicize ozone alerts

  • Develop air quality action plan for high ozone days


Operations maintenance
Operations & Maintenance Deduction

  • Reduce use of gasoline and diesel engines (e.g., less mowing)

  • Develop anti-idling policy

  • Delay refueling until after 7 p.m.

  • Keep engines well-tuned

  • Reduce use of paint sprayers

  • Shift to water-based paints


Energy efficiency
Energy Efficiency Deduction

  • Energy audits

  • Performance contracting

  • Building energy improvements

    • Lighting upgrades

    • Energy-efficient equipment

  • Support Green Power


Cleaner fuels and vehicles
Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles Deduction

  • For existing fleets

    • Use cleaner alternative fuels (biodiesel, ethanol, natural gas, propane)

    • Use cleaner traditional fuels (ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel)

    • Add emission control devices (retrofits) to diesel engines


New fleet vehicles
New Fleet Vehicles Deduction

  • Purchase cleaner vehicles and equipment

    • Alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs)

    • Hybrid-electric vehicles (e.g., Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid)

    • Cleaner diesel engines (in 2007)

    • Propane commercial lawn mowers

    • Electric forklifts


Urban forestry
Urban Forestry Deduction

  • Trees provide air quality benefits

  • Cooling effect of their shade

    • Reduces evaporative emissions

    • Reduces power generation

    • Reduces ozone formation

  • Trees sequester certain pollutants

    • Ozone, NOx, particulate matter


Web resources
Web Resources Deduction

  • www.tdec.net/apc/eac

    • Ozone Early Action Compacts

  • www.cleanairnashville.org

    • Middle TN air alert program

  • www.bwc.gov

    • Best Workplaces for Commuters

  • www.afdc.doe.gov

    • Alternative Fuels Data Center


For more information
For More Information Deduction

Alan Jones, Senior Policy Analyst

Tennessee Department ofEnvironment and Conservation

Phone: 615-253-1436

Email: [email protected]


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