Chattanooga lands top environmental sustainability rating from TVA

photo People walk near solar panels arranged in line on 33 acres of property at the Chattanooga Volkswagen Plant in Chattanooga. Volkswagen's Chattanooga manufacturing plant has implemented energy management and environmentally friendly procedures that will be used in other Volkswagen plants across the globe.

photo Charles Wood of the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce

About a generation ago, newscaster Walter Cronkite labeled Chattanooga "the dirtiest city in America" because of its staggering air pollution.

Tuesday, the city won a top environmental sustainability rating that officials believe will help it attract more jobs and businesses.

"Gosh, have we not come a long way?" said Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger after the city and county accepted TVA's platinum ranking in its Valley Sustainable Communities program.