Environmental Summit for Businesses

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WDEF-TV) – Manufacturing is important to Tennessee’s economy–providing more than $41 billion in total economic output and employing more than 300,000 workers.
But manufacturers are learning that their plant cannot operate like it did in the old days—environmental concerns play a major role.

The scenic city is a major source of manufactured products in the state…with players ranging from Astec Industries to Volkswagen.
But for the small and medium size companies, it’s sometimes a challenge dealing with today’s rules and regulations.

TIM SPIRES, PRES. CHATTANOOGA MANUFACTURERS ASSOC. "We put together this summit to give them many opportunities to learn about best practices with air,water, waste, regulatory..health and safety. And this is a good will opportunity for us."

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More than a hundred manufacturers were represented at the summit as experts outlined regulatory and legal boundaries.
The EPA is a major player.

CAROL KEMPER, EPA DEPUTY DIR., TOXIC MANAGEMENT DIVISION "Environmental protection is human health protection..it’s quality of life. Its having the economic and environmental…the whole system work together."

A forum of experts offered plenty of ideas for businesses large and small.

ALAN SCHWENDIMANN, DEPUTY DIR. OF TDEC "Most of the permit holders across the country in Tennessee want to do the right thing ..They want to know what is the expectations ..What is the standard."

MIKE MALLAN, MILLER & MARTIN, ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY "A business needs to understand what the rules are ..What the compliance obligations are..what the regulators expectations are …A lot of it is subjective."

Today’s manufacturers are urged to interact well with the community.

ELAINE PATTERSON, CONSULTANT FOR CHEMICAL INDUSTRY "You want to insure them that you are committed to protecting both workers, the environment and the community."

The moderator for that panel discussion was our own Amy Katcher.
It was the third annual Environmental conference sponsored by the Chattanooga Manufacturers Association.