Securing the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate
for all present and future generations


Legal Updates

OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST helped Tennessee youth and partners take important action toward achieving scientifically adequate emission reductions in Tennessee. Youth working with OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST filed a rulemaking petition with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation seeking the establishment of a science-based Climate Recovery Plan for Tennessee. The rulemaking petition was part of a strategically coordinated national effort in which youth filed official actions in every state in May, 2011.

This rulemaking petition filed on behalf of Tennessee youth raised awareness in the state about the scientific remedies necessary to address climate change and educated Tennessee officials about their duty to protect the atmosphere. But, as expected, the rulemaking petition was denied by state officials. See below. However, that state denial now plays an important role in supporting the need for the federal protections that youth supported by OUR CHILDREN’S TRUST are now seeking in federal court. Learn more about the youth-driven federal case here.

The rulemaking petition filed in Tennessee, and other rulemaking petitions filed by youth around the country, are critical components of the comprehensive national strategy we are engaged in to establish science-based Climate Recovery Plans before it is too late. And, as part of that comprehensive national strategy, we are shaping our next steps in Tennessee. If you live in Tennessee and would like to get involved, please contact us.

June 2011

The Air Pollution Control Board denied OCT’s petition for rule making.

June 13th, 2011

Hearing before the Air Pollution Control Board at 9.30 am. Location: 17th Floor, L & C Annex, 401 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37243

May 4th, 2011

Petition for rule-making filed with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation and the Division of Air Pollution Control.

Climate Change Impacts in Tennessee

The following points are taken from the petition filed in May. Click on each topic below for more information.

Since 1970 annual average temperature in the Southeastern U.S. has risen about 2 degrees (Fahrenheit), with the greatest increases in temperature observed during the winter months. It is predicted that by the year 2100, temperatures in Tennessee could increase an additional 2-3 degrees, with a 20%-30% increase in rainfall in the spring, summer and fall months. Average daily temperature in Nashville has increase 1 degree in the last century, and in many parts of the state, precipitation has increased as much as 10%. With further warming trends, the frequency of extreme hot days in the summer is expected to increase, as are extreme fluctuations between drought and flooding.

Higher temperatures cause increased evapotranspiration in plants and moisture loss from soils. As a result, it is predicted that there will be an increase in the frequency, intensity and duration of drought events in the southeast region of the U.S.

Precipitation in the Southeastern U.S. has increased approximately 10%, primarily in the fall months since 1970, and is expected to increase by more than 30% in the coming century. Even with these increases in precipitation, the extent of drought area in the region has increased in the fall, spring and summer by 9%, 12% and 14% since 1970. This trend is expected to continue with climate change.

The number of freezing days in the southeast Region has decreased by 4-7 days per year since 1975.

It is predicted that with further changes to climate, increases in frequency and severity of summer thunderstorms will occur.

1. Strained Water Resources

2. Climate Change will adversely effect Tennessee's Forests and Wildlife

3. Human Health Risks

4. Threats to Tennessee Economy

Tennessee Petition.pdf1.4 MB