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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for Leah LaCivita

Local Water Systems Grapple with 'Forever Chemicals'

Forever chemicals, or PFAS, have been detected in water systems across the state thanks to mandatory testing requirements that began in 2023. What are local agencies doing on both a short-term and long-term basis to address the problem?

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Wildfire under an electrical transmission line in a forested area

State-Based Efforts, Legislation Boost Local Risk Reduction, Resiliency to Wildfires

With wildfire season underway, local governments should be aware of bills passed during the 2023 Regular Legislative Session addressing wildfire events and proposed permanent rules to protect outdoor workers from wildfire smoke.

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A thermometer showing a temperature of 100+ against a background of an urban street

Protecting Communities When the Heat Is On

How can local agencies prepare for extreme heat events, including protecting those populations most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and death? By looking carefully at how heat impacts various neighborhoods, an agency can take a variety of approaches to maximize services. 

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An EMS personnel helping an older resident with medication in a home-based setting

Fire Departments Expand Services to Reach 911 Frequent Callers

With a goal of reducing non-emergency calls to 911 and limiting costly, unnecessary trips to the emergency room, several fire departments in Washington State have begun mobile health programs that provide coordinated follow-up care to patients after a 911 response has occurred. 

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An image of 3 people at a recycling center sorting out types of recycled material

Local Governments Pursue Zero-Waste Measures

Zero-waste measures for local governments run the gamut from multi-year materials management projects to consumer education on how to recycle or compost properly. The end goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and responsibly manage public resources.

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Local Governments Prepare for Broadband Expansion

With potential new sources of funding to support the expansion of reliable broadband services, local governments across Washington are busy building partnerships, identifying un- and underserved areas, and planning equitable deployment strategies to reach all communities.

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New Legislation, Guidance Targets a Green Energy Future in Washington

In a push to carbon neutrality, Washington State agencies and the legislature have put in place laws and mandates designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in buildings, invest in transportation alternatives, reduce waste, and expedite the approval of green energy projects.  

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Fire Season Brings Renewal of Certain Worker Protections, More Action, and Funding

Temporary rules are in place to protect outdoor workers from excessive heat or hazardous air quality. Meanwhile, some local governments are adopting provisions of the International Wildland Urban Interface Code, and state and federal governments are boosting firefighting efforts.

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Making Government Work Attractive

How can local governments build a strong workplace culture that engages current staff and attracts new workers? Here are some ideas, including a case study from the City of Issaquah.

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Local Governments Take Innovative Approaches To Prepare For Electric Vehicles

As electric vehicle use increases across Washington State, local governments are looking at ways to support, and even encourage, their use.

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Pierce County Offers a Model for Distributing Pandemic-Related Assistance Funding

With just three staff, the Pierce County’s Rental & Utility Assistance Program has distributed $59,100 in overdue rental payments and $14,800 in utility payments to needy households since late 2020. This blog looks at how the program works and what makes it successful. 

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Investing in Equity To Prepare for Environmental Challenges

Some Washington local governments have placed equity front and center when preparing for the impacts of climate change. This blog looks at efforts in Lakewood and Shoreline.

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More Climate-Related Legislation for 2021

The 2021 legislative session produced several bills on issues related to the changing climate. This blog discusses a few, including bills that focus on reducing pollution statewide, encouraging alternative fuel use, and promoting greener commuting options. 

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2021 Climate-Related Legislative Outcomes

As Washington State looks to become carbon neutral by 2050, the 2021 legislative session produced several bills that will facilitate the state's efforts. 

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Emergency Rule Protects Outdoor Workers from Wildfire Smoke

This blog provides an overview of a new rule meant to protect workers from the harms of excessive exposure to wildfire smoke. 

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Historic Bill Focuses on Wildfire Prevention, Forest Reclamation

This blog looks at 2SHB 1168, which will increase spending on wildland fire prevention and response activities by $125 million over the next two years and up to $328 million by 2027.

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Caring for the Homeless Challenged by Winter Weather, COVID-19

This blog post looks at how local governments are providing for the homeless, despite the twin challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and winter weather.

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Police, Mental Health Professionals Partner to Improve 911 Response

This blog looks at the co-responder law enforcement model, which brings social service responders and mental health professionals into the 911 crisis response.

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Six-County Pilot Program to Help with Eviction Backlog

This blog covers the pilot Eviction Resolution Program, a court-based approach to resolve more eviction-related cases before a landlord has the need to file an unlawful detainer action. 

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Micromobility Moves Forward in Washington, Despite the Pandemic

This blog post looks at scooter share pilots recently launched in King County and Seattle. 

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