By John Phillips, ENV SP
On April 15, 2019, The United States Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers closed the public comment period on a rulemaking process to redefine “waters of the United States.” This definition has been an on-going discussion in the watershed management community for several decades.
What is the Clean Water Act?
Let’s start at the beginning by giving some background on the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the “waters of the United States.” The law was enacted in 1948 and was originally called the Federal Water Pollution Control Act but was significantly reorganized and expanded in 1972. "Clean Water Act" became the common name with amendments in 1972. The law has since prevented pollution from industries and created a massive investment in wast... (more)
By Josh Channell, AICP, LEED-AP
Acronyms, permits, and documents… oh my! There’s a lot to navigate when it comes to environmental terms. For those of us who deal with this language daily, these are second nature. However, to someone who doesn’t work in the environmental realm these can be quite confusing! Contrary to the title of this blog post, these terms aren’t intended to confuse you. Check out this short list of some of the most common environmental terms we use on transportation projects.
NEPA: National Environmental Policy Act (of 1969) – Federal agencies must evaluate the environmental impacts of their projects. Applies to many projects receiving Federal money or that require Federal decisions (including some Federal permits)
Most Common Federal Permits:
Section 401: Clean Water Act – Requires water quality permits issued by State (NPDES permits)... (more)
March is Women’s History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Sarah Touey, PE.
Sarah is a Senior Transportation Engineer based out of Parametrix’s Portland office. She has 13 years of industry experience and is currently serving as Deputy Project Manager for TriMet’s MAX Red Line Extension project.
What sparked your interest in the engineering field?
Countries across the world don’t have access to some of the things that we in the U.S. take for granted on a daily basis. Clean water, electricity, solid infrastructure, paved roads, etc. I would like to deliver projects that achieve those luxuries that we all too often take for granted.
Are there any women who have inspired you in your career, and how so?more)
March is Women’s History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Denise Ledingham.
Denise is the Director of Communication and Client Outreach at Parametrix. She has been with Parametrix for 19 years and serves as a member of the Operations Leadership Team. She holds an MBA and BA in Communications. Her role includes traveling to meet with clients and get feedback on the service Parametrix provides.
Which women have inspired you in your career?
One of my first supervisors at Parametrix, Colleen Gants, now a co-president of PRR in Seattle, always encouraged me to try new things. It's rewarding to have someone early in your career to give you the confidence to follow your passion and seek out opportunities that match your personality and interes... (more)
Mallory is a transportation engineer based out of Parametrix’s Bremerton, WA office. While she has just under 10 years of experience in the industry, she has already accomplished so much. In 2018, she was selected to participate in the Leaders Emerging at Parametrix program. She also received the American Public Works Association Washington Chapter’s Young Leader Award which recognizes young Public Works leaders who demonstrate commitment to the profession and potential for growth.
We asked Mallory – which women have inspired you in your career?
There are many women who have inspired me in my career. Some of them are at Parametrix, some of them are from outside Parametrix. One person who has given me a lot of career inspiration is my mom. For a large majority of my childhood, my mom raised my sister and I as a single parent (my parents divorced when I was very young). She worked full time in IT for C... (more)
March is Women’s History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Anne Timmermans, CCM, LEED AP BD+C.
Anne is a Senior Construction Manager based out of Parametrix’s Seattle office, although you can often find her out at a project site. Anne is a recipient of the 2012 Building Design & Construction Magazine “40 under 40” award. She is the former President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the Construction Management Association of America.
Which women have inspired you in your career?
I had the good fortune of working with a cost estimator named Leslie Hirai at the first construction management firm I was employed at out of college. We would always work in parallel efforts on projects, and one day we were on a conference call for a major ... (more)
March is Women's History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Jennifer Dvorak, PE.
Jennifer is a Senior Engineer based out of Parametrix’s Puyallup office. She has a passion for working on trails and pedestrian transportation projects. Her experience includes time in the United States Air Force serving as a Civil Engineer.
Are there any particular women who have inspired you in your career and how so?
There were so few women in engineering when I first started my career, that I had to think much broader in order to answer this question. There was a woman named Lori who, while in ROTC in college, recognized that I was too quiet to command a marching squadron of 20 cadets. She spent significant time with me, teaching... (more)
March is Women's History Month. We asked the women of Parametrix – who inspires you and what advice would you give to other women in the industry? Today we introduce you to Allie Reiling, EIT.
Allie is a water engineer based out of Parametrix’s Portland office. In her four years of experience, she has already had the opportunity to make a meaningful impact on projects in her community and abroad. Last year, Allie took a few months off work to travel to Ecuador and work alongside women coffee farmers.
Why did you decide to become a water engineer?
I wanted to become an engineer so that I could have a tangible skill to help people and make our world a better place. And what other way to do that, than with one of our most powerful, yet ... (more)
This week has been established by the National Society of Professional Surveyors to help kids discover and be inspired by careers in surveying. This National Surveyors Week we would like to thank surveyors for what they do and encourage others to learn more about this exciting career opportunity.
Parametrix has provided surveying services since we were founded 50 years ago. Today, we have 40 surveyors based out of ten offices across the Western United States. We asked a few of them what inspired them to pursue a career in surveying and what they enjoy most about their job.
Colin Palmer... (more)
By Bardia Nezhati, PE, PTOE
Co-authored by Jackie Kuechenmeister, AICP
What is the 4th Industrial Revolution?
We are in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, which is the convergence of and the interaction between emerging technologies. Unlike the three industrial revolutions that came before (steam and water power, electricity and assembly lines, and computerization), this industrial revolution is unfolding within and around us, pushing beyond new forms of mechanization and challenging our ideas about what it means to be human.
By Doug Berschauer and Mike Ollivant
During major rainfall events many wastewater systems have insufficient capacity to convey all of the combined water and stormwater to the plant. It results in a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) or Sanitary Sewer Overflow (SSO) into an adjacent water body. These overflows occur sporadically during heavy rainfall but are required to be treated or limited to one event per year under EPA consent decree in Washington State.
CSO and SSO equipment only operates a few times a year. These CSO/SSO treatment systems are often very costly and take up a lot of room. They also require quick start up at a moment’s notice.
What if there was a system that took up less space, could start quickly, and provide extremely high-quality water? Approximately 3 years ago, Parametrix began working with the manufacturer OVIVO, a water and wastewater technology solutions company based in Austin, ... (more)
This week, the State Route 99 tunnel through downtown Seattle opened to traffic, culminating many years of planning efforts. At over $3 billion, the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program has been one of the largest transportation investments in Washington State. The now-closed viaduct carried more than 110,000 vehicles per day along the City’s waterfront. While many Seattleites will miss the view from the double-decker freeway, we will all be much safer. The structure was not expected to withstand the “big one” – the major earthquake due for the Seattle area. The possibility of damage or failure in the next earthquake gave the project a sense of urgency and drive for progress.
View from the Alaskan Way Viaduct
Parametrix began working on the envi... (more)
Over the holidays, we had an amazing nine people participate in helping at the soup kitchen near our Bremerton, WA office on New Year’s Eve.
The group, including several Parametrix employee-owners and their families, helped clean up after dinner was served. It was about an hour-and-a-half of bussing tables, wiping down tables and chairs and mopping.
A number of community leaders were present, which was great to see. They spent their time washing dishes and teaching us all how to mop the floors!
I spoke with a woman who has been helping the local homeless in our area by making bubble-wrap camp mats to help people get up off the cold, wet ground. She estimated that there are about 4,000 homeless in the Bremerton area, half of whom are living outside of formal shelters (either in their vehicles or in tents).
A big thanks to these employee-owners and their families who were able to help out. This was ... (more)
Future City is a project-based STEM learning program that allows students to design cities using advanced technology (real or not) to solve complex problems that we face today and then compete against other students. There are several regions in the US that make up about 40,000 participating middle school students. Each team is formed through a group at their school, and also has a professional mentor, usually with a background in engineering or architecture. This competition is a great way for the kids to reach that next level of creativity by solving complex problems without the structure of a classroom or standardized test.
I, along with several of my fellow employee-owners, had the honor of judging the Idaho Regional Future City competition last week. The winner of the Idaho Regional competition will go on to compete in the national competition next month in Washington D.C.
With over 30 teams to judge, we saw some ... (more)
Photo courtesy of the Pacific Science Center.
Background: The Alaskan Way Viaduct (SR99) is the "double-decker" freeway that runs along the Seattle Waterfront. This month it is being shut down permanently. Experts say the structure would not survive the big earthquake that the Seattle area is due for. Therefore it is being torn down and replaced by an underground tunnel. With Seattle traffic already hectic, this shut down has been a major topic in the news and has many Seattleites worried about their commute.
On a rainy night exactly two days and three hours prior to the permanent closure of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the Pacific Science Center hosted a panel of transportation geeks to talk about the future of transportation in Seattle. The timing was great, as Seattleites grew anxious about the impending doom to their commute thanks to the extensive news coverage on the closure.
I was honored to be par... (more)
2019 marks Parametrix’s 50th anniversary as a company. Throughout the year we’ll be celebrating this milestone by sharing the history of Parametrix. Today, we would like to share an overview of how Parametrix was founded and has grown into the company we are today.
Parametrix was founded in 1969 in Sumner, WA by George Capestany and Waite Dalrymple, originally as Delta Engineering. The firm was focused on the wastewater business but grew quickly and diversified into six very different business divisions. In 1974, two of the divisions, Delta Engineering and Seattle Marine Laboratories were restructured as Parametrix. With strength in both engineering and science, Parametrix became known as the premier firm for solid waste and city engineering in Washington. Continued steady growth led to expansion into Oregon in 1989 with the opening of our Portland office which specialized in solid waste and environmental remedia... (more)
On December 11, 2018 industry leaders from the public and private sector gathered in Seattle to discuss topics such as Autonomous and Connected Vehicles, Smart Cities, Utilities of the Future and what it all means for the future of our industry.
Here are the 4 Key Takeways from the summit.
1. Our world is rapidly changing and we need to change with it.
“Historical boundaries are disappearing, and better-connected and community-centered aspirations are driving us to seek new ways of living and working.” - Eleanor Allen, PE, CEO at Water for People
2. We have lots of data – the ch... (more)
Rachel Yonamine is an intern in our Portland, OR office. She came to Parametrix through the Civil Engineering Cooperative Program (CECOP) at Oregon State. Parametrix is a partner of the program and selected Rachel as an intern. She is currently studying Civil and Humanitarian Engineering at Oregon State University and is originally from Mililani, Hawaii. Rachel started her internship at Parametrix in June and it will conclude this month as she heads back to school.
I asked her a few questions about her experience at Parametrix as an intern and what her career goals are. Read her responses below.
Parametrix recently launched a new program called POET, which stands for Parametrix Office Exchange Traveler. This program creates the opportunity for employee-owners to travel to one of our 12 offices throughout the West for training, teaching, empowerment, and fun, all while getting to meet fellow employee-owners face to face. Jenica Hillyard, a transportation engineer from our Bremerton, WA office traveled to our Boise, ID office in late October. Read about her experience below.
Spending the last week of October in the Boise Office was such an amazing experience! I escaped the early morning Seattle fog and enjoyed the sunrise while passing over the Cascade Mountains.
Upon my arrival, I was given the grand tour of the Boise Office. Coming from a... (more)
Each year, we name an employee-owner of the year who fully exemplifies our core values of integrity, compassion, collaboration, fun, client service, and employee-ownership. Employee-owners nominate their coworkers and vote for a winner within each office and then our leadership team selects the overall company employee-owner of the year. That individual then has the opportunity to participate in Board of Directors meetings as the Employee-Owner Representative.
We are excited to announce that this year Cedar Simmons, PE was named Parametrix’s 2018 Employee-Owner of the Year. Cedar is based out of our Bremerton, WA office and is a part of our environmental planning & compliance industrial group.
I asked Cedar a few questions to learn more about her career and goals as employee-owner of the year.
Tell us about your career path – how did you get to where you are now?
After graduating fr... (more)