A New Division of Sustainability for Pierce County

A New Division of Sustainability for Pierce County

– Derek Young, Pierce County Council

Like the rest of the region, we’re facing two major environmental crises in Pierce County — global climate change and local issues related to Puget Sound recovery. Without immediate action, the place we love and call home will change forever. As the second largest county in Washington, and part of the fastest growing region in the country, it’s critical that Pierce County assume a leadership role in response to these crises.

I will be proposing the creation of a new and distinct Division of Sustainability within the Planning and Public Works Department. The ordinance proposes that the division will “be responsible for supporting Countywide efforts to increase energy conservation throughout County facilities and operations, foster resiliency to impacts of a changing climate, promote efficient County operational initiatives, improve land use practices, and reduce air and water pollution in efforts to improve the health of Puget Sound.”

While many of these functions are currently being performed with existing staff, there must be a coordinated effort by senior leadership to make sustainability a priority.

The ordinance also requests Executive staff to return with a recommendation for an appropriate level of funding and staffing necessary to administer and manage the division.

We will hear the ordinance in Community Development Committee on June 17th, at 1:30 pm in Council Chambers.