For years, people living in the valleys of East Tennessee have had to endure air quality problems, especially in the summer. Now, Oak Ridge leaders will use a $200,000 grant to help combat pollution in the area. The money will pay for LED lighting in the municipal building and the city’s civic center. Governor Bill Haslam presented the check to Oak Ridge mayor Tom Beehan and other local leaders at a ceremony Monday.
“It’ll save on the use of energy," said Haslam. "It’s the equivalent of taking 150 cars a year off the road. Second, it’ll save the city of Oak Ridge money. Third, it’ll contribute to the long-term economic impact of the area.”
The money comes from a $26 million legal settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority. The rest of that settlement will be used to fund eighteen other grants for similar clean energy projects in cities across Tennessee. Haslam says the grant process will distribute the money over the course of ten years.