MRSC Insight Blog
Posts for Climate Change
The Inflation Reduction Act (2022) funds infrastructure projects focused on clean energy and climate resilience through tax credits. With a total of $47 billion available to local governments, even the smaller funding programs established through the Act are significant.
Written by a guest author with the University of Washington's Climate Impacts Group, local governments now have a new resource to call on for ideas on how to protect communities during extended periods of extreme heat.
In 2023, state legislators passed several bills addressing environmental concerns, including new climate elements for comprehensive planning, making impact fee revenue available for new bike and pedestrian facilities, and an optional permit process for clean energy projects.
After extensive planning and community engagement, Whatcom County is developing a comprehensive local food system plan. See Part 2 of the series on the plan's development and lessons learned.
What is a local food system plan and why would a local government want to develop one? Whatcom County is one of a few local governments statewide developing such a plan, and county staff share insight into the process.
As new legislation (HB 1181) has added equity components to the Growth Management Act, it is essential to understand what climate equity means and how it is successfully being carried out by local governments across the state.
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.
Local governments have been using various strategies to help implement their climate action and sustainability plans, including working with community partners, tracking progress on climate-related goals, and engaging residents through educational programs and incentives.
As cities and other urban areas in Washington State continue to grow and change, an urban forestry management plan can provide a coordinated, long-term vision for managing the urban tree canopy to ensure the continued livability of local communities.
The state's Washington Geological Survey is offering new and updated resources to help local governments integrate the best available science into their land use planning and emergency management efforts.
Electric vehicle (EV) fleets can help an agency save money and meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, but transitioning fleets to EVs will be a major undertaking. It helps to start small and to pair the program with the build out of local EV charging infrastructure.
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.
The online tool, Climate Mapping for a Resilient Washington, is a compilation of the best existing climate projection information for the state and includes information on state-specific climate hazards such as reduced snowpack, sea level rise, flooding, and more.
Any agency required to adopt a Compost Procurement Ordinance must also use compost for four specified types of projects and will need to report to the state on compost-related purchases. These agencies have some options in terms of where and how to purchase the product.
Many Washington cities, towns, and counties have implemented complete streets programs to encourage safe access for all users, regardless of mode of transit. These programs vary from place to place, each meeting the specialized needs of local communities.
A new state law covering organic materials management requires compost procurement ordinances for certain cities, towns, and counties by January 1, 2023. These ordinances must set forth how compost will be procured, purchased, and incorporated into applicable projects.
Increasingly, many local governments are shifting away from requiring too much off-street parking, citing social, economic, and/or environmental reasons. What tools can these communities use to better manage existing parking supply and to anticipate future needs?
While parking is an important commodity for a community, too much parking can prevent the land from being used for another purpose, encourage excess car travel, and possibly make other forms of transportation, like biking or walking, both more complicated and dangerous.
Some local governments are turning to high-efficiency, electric-powered heat pumps as a way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including developing programs that incentivize homeowners to install them in their place of residence.
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.