By Taya MacLean, PWS
On May 25, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), narrowing the interpretation of federal waters of the United States (WOTUS). Specifically, the court determined that wetlands on the Sackett property, located in northern Idaho, were not subject to federal Clean Water Act (CWA) regulations because they are “distinguishable” from any other jurisdictional water. Per this decision, only those adjacent wetlands that are directly touching or have a continuous surface connection to a relatively permanent water or “distinguishable” are considered WOTUS. In addition, the decision abandons the existing significant nexus test for adjacent wetland. Considering this decision, the Environmental Pr... (more)
By Greg Brink
Strategic Advisory Services is a growing practice at Parametrix that serves public agencies across the country with business advisory, owner’s advisory, and delivery advisory services. We help our clients answer questions such as “what is our vision for the future?”, “where do we currently stand?”, and “how can we improve employee and client satisfaction?”. This team of 15+ staff at Parametrix gets to work with a wide array of clients, from transit agencies and departments of transportation to cities and counties and private sector businesses.
As business advisory consultants, we have the unique opportunity to take an inside look at agencies to implement strategic planning and capacity building, improve processes, manage organizational change, provide communications and training, facilitate groups, and deploy technology.
“Restoring the health of the planet for future generations” is part of Parametrix’s purpose statement. With the recent acquisition of Good Company, A Division of Parametrix, we’re excited to expand our services related to climate resiliency, adaptation, and sustainability. This Earth Day, we celebrate the progress made while recognizing drastic change must happen to ensure the health of the planet for future generations.
Here are just a couple projects we are proud to be a part of that are making a difference in the fight against climate change.
Building Resiliency: Oregon Department of Energy Cooling Needs Study
The Ore... (more)
By Dylan Bailey, PLA
April is World Landscape Architecture Month! This month celebrates landscape architects’ role in shaping healthy, resilient, and beautiful places for all. A prime example - Port of Kennewick’s Vista Field Southern Gateway.
Once complete, the project will transform two unused former hangar buildings into lively community-use facilities. It will also attract private-sector investment to the regional town center. This gathering space is something the Kennewick community has expressed interest in since the early planning stages.
This project is part of the larger Vista Field, known as one of Washington’s most ambitious community creation endeavors in recent years. This new regional town center aims to raise the bar for what urban spaces are in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Vista Field is at the commer... (more)
By Steve Seville
Recently I joined Joy Lee and Rick Endicott of Long Live the Kings (LLTK) to release adult steelhead in the North Fork Skokomish River on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. LLTK operates a hatchery that rears collected wild salmon eggs, ensuring a certain number of the wild genetic stock reaches maturity for release and return to the river when the fish are three to five years old.
LLTK has been effectively implementing this salmon rearing technique on the Hamma Hamma River since 1998, and they now assist Tacoma Power and the Skokomish Tribe with an expanded program that includes the North Fork Skokomish River.
By Mike Brady, LG, LHG
Groundwater Awareness Week, taking place March 5 – 11, 2023, was established in 1999 to highlight the responsible
development, management, and use of groundwater. The week is also a good reminder to conduct yearly water well testing and well maintenance and promote policies that impact groundwater quality and supply.
Groundwater is an amazing resource that, when used effectively, can be a sustainable and reliable r... (more)
By Claudia Denton and Louisa de Heer
What is your organization’s impact on the environment? And how can you understand that impact to meaningfully reduce it? It may be hard to know where to start, but a good first step is to conduct a greenhouse gas inventory.
Simply put, a greenhouse gas inventory measures an organization’s current carbon footprint, which can include both direct and indirect emissions pathways. A greenhouse gas inventory is often the first step in the process that an organization will take toward doing their part in slowing climate change and creating a more sustainable, resilient, and responsible future.
Who s... (more)
Carlos Licon, Jr. joined Parametrix in April 2022 as a Transportation Engineer based in Albuquerque, NM. He graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso in 2019, completing a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Master of Science in Civil Engineering with a focus on Transportation Engineering and Pavement Design. In January 2023, he earned his professional engineer (PE) license.
He discusses his careers goals, experience earning a PE license, and advice for future PE’s!
What do you hope to achieve as a Professional Engineer?
I hope to continue expanding my knowledge and expertise on roadway design and traffic modeling. As a Professional Engineer, I look forward to working on infrastructure projects that both benefit the public and improve safety.
What was most difficult about earning your PE license?
I took the PE exam imm... (more)
Going back to school once you've entered the workforce can be challenging, but having the support of your employer can help! Recently Parametrix employee-owners Jade Parsons and Lonnie McKnight completed degrees with help from Parametrix's Educational
Assistance Program. They share their stories and tips on how to balance work, school, and life.
Jade Parsons is a surveyor based in our Bremerton, WA office. She recently graduated from the University of Florida's online program, earning a master's degree in geomatics. She says that she originally had no intention of pursuing a master's
degree. When she began her career at Parametrix in 2017, she didn't have any previous knowledge of surveying. H... (more)