Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Ecology's Central Regional Office walking the talk

by Joye Redfield-Wilder, communications manager

Ecology Director Maia Bellon  helped christen Ecology’s new Central Regional Office in Union Gap on Tuesday, July 7 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony  under sunny skies and in 100 degree heat.
Joining in the celebration were Union Gap Mayor Roger Wentz, Yakima County commissioners Rand Elliott and Kevin Bouchey, Rep. Norm Johnson, building owner Tim Nelson and construction contractor Mike Davis.
Maia Bellon introduces Central Regional Office interim director James Rivard

During the event, CRO interim regional director James Rivard was introduced. Rivard, a Waste 2 Resources Program manager, will act in former director Tom Tebb’s position until it’s filled.

Tim  Nelson of Nelson Realty showed off the special features of the building, including solar power, a geothermal heating and cooling system, xeriscaping with native vegetation and several electrical car charging stations.

In the first week, employees “saved” the equivalent of 1,000 plastic bottles of water by filling sustainable containers at a new water dispenser.

New building features electric vehicle charging stations
The Central Regional Office serves seven counties ranging from the Canadian border in Okanogan County to Klickitat County at the Oregon border. In addition to housing 10 environmental programs with 130 employees, the state-of-the-art facility improves our ability to respond to hazardous material releases and oil spills and reduces our carbon footprint.

Here are some of the features of the new CRO building at 1250 W. Alder St., Union Gap:
  • A geothermal heating and cooling system — 75 percent of the hot water used in the building is pre-heated underground.
  • Interior lighting adjusts based on the amount of natural light that streams through the seven-foot windows. 
  • Stormwater will be captured in a gently sloped drainage system that takes advantage of landscape elements designed to remove silt and pollution from runoff.
  • Certified wood, regional materials and native landscape plants are used.
  • Low VOC paint, glue, carpet, flooring and tile are used throughout.
  • The building boasts a top-notch security system as well as a special building to house Spills emergency response equipment and vehicles.
  • There are electric car charging stations, secure bike racks for employees and public bike racks near the main entrance. 

Yakima County commissioner Rand Elliott, Rep. Norm Johnson, Union Gap Mayor Roger Wentz, Yakima County Commissioner Kevin Bouchey, Ecology Director Maia Bellon, building owner Tim Nelson and contractor Mike Dale take part in a ribbon-cutting for the new Central Region Office.

Here’s a story map highlighting some of the green features of our new building.

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