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Most King County offices will be closed on Monday, May 28, for Memorial Day.  
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Green Community Initiative
Access low-interest financing for projects that conserve energy, water, and promote environmental sustainability.  Applications accepted now.

Green Bonds
Financial investments that fund projects that reduce climate pollution and improve water quality in King County 

Green tools
Comprehensive resources to help professional builders recycle, reduce waste, save money, and get recognition for embracing sustainable building practices in King County.

Green building and low impact development - incentives and building permits
Permit process, cost-share and fee discount Incentives for builders and developers who apply sustainable development techniques in King County's jurisdiction.

Low impact development (LID) - external link, Puget Sound Partnership
Learn how to contribute to a clean Puget Sound and healthy local streams by applying scientific best practices to retrofitting existing developed areas and building new.

Native plant resources for the Pacific Northwest
Find out how to use and where to order native plants that are adapted to thrive in our area. Landscape designs using native plants are beautiful, resist diseases and pests, create habitat for native wildlife and help reduce water consumption, saving homeowners money.

King County - Seattle Brownfields Program 
Provides assistance to small businesses and property owners for the assessment, cleanup and redevelopment of environmentally contaminated land in King County and the City of Seattle.

Transfer of development rights program 
Learn how individuals can buy and sell residential development rights to preserve public benefits-- for example farms, forestlands, open space, regional trails and designated urban separator lands and habitat for threatened or endangered species. Owners benefit financially through the transfer of development rights to more appropriate areas while the public benefits through permanent preservation of these lands.

Resource protection incentives 
Apply for tax reductions in rural King County in exchange for practices that benefit public interests. Includes the public benefit rating system (or PBRS) and timber land program.

King County surface water design manual 
Supporting documents and software to help engineers design storm drainage systems that cleanse stormwater and reduce flooding problems for downstream neighbors. Architectural tips to help design attractive stormwater ponds can be found by reading the Integrated Pond.

Stormwater pollution prevention manual 
Look up best practices to apply on business and multifamily lands to help control stormwater pollution, to avoid fouling lakes, streams and Puget Sound.

Puget Sound shoreline stewardship guidebook 
Provides info and contacts for owners of beach and bluff shorelines to learn about natural shoreline protection, manage runoff, use native plants, control aggressive non-native plants, and maintain septic systems.

Surface water management fee discounts and cost-sharing program 
Reduce your SWM fee by applying sustainable building practices that reduce and cleanse your stormwater.

Rural stewardship planning 
Rural homeowners in King County can receive free technical assistance with site design and property management practices to achieve more flexibility in development and resource protection on their property.

What do I do with...?
Find recycling and disposal options for common materials including construction leftovers, demolition debris, landscaping waste, and appliances.

Resource recovery
Overview of King County's work to recover resources from waste as part of clean water processing.

  • Garden compost
    Overview of GroCo, a high-quality soil amendment including scientific analysis and where to find it.
  • Reclaimed water
    Purified water from the wastewater stream available for reuse in non-potable applications such as irrigation and industrial processes.

DNRP KingStat
Look up the current status of the environment in King County, Washington, learn how King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks works to improve environmental indicators, learn how you can help, and review the department's performance measures.

Safe Energy Leadership Alliance (SELA) 
Coalition of local, state and tribal leaders working to raise awareness about safety risks from oil and coal transportation.

Infographic: learn about King County's efforts to confront climate change

King County climate change response

Local governments and sustainability: examples from King County, Washington (Chinese)
Local Governments and Sustainability: Examples from King County, Washington
(Acrobat pdf)
Presentation by Bob Burns, deputy director of King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks at the China-US Professional Workshop on Regional Sustainable Development (external link), University of Washington in Seattle.

King County building permits
Find information about building permits and environmental review for developers working on building projects in King County, provided by the Department of Permits and Environmental Review (formerly Dept. of Development and Environmental Services).

Erosion control for construction sites
This page provides information for about how to comply with construction codes and prevent runoff at construction sites during the wet season, from the Dept. of Development and Environmental Services.

Erosion and sediment control standards
Appendix D of the King County Surface Water Design Manual. 1 MB Adobe Acrobat file.

History of King County's regional wastewater treatment utility
Read how our region worked to keep our lakes and Puget Sound clean and healthy, including the early days of sewage treatment and disposal in King County, the birth of Metro and development of regional facilities to process the waste produced by our metropolitan area.

Lower Boise Creek Habitat Restoration Project
Overview of a LEED platinum rated project to remove contamination and restore a creek to create salmon spawning habitat near Enumclaw.

King County Comprehensive Plan
Read the policies that guide King County land use and development regulations, and regional services such as transit, sewers, parks, trails and open space.

Shoreline Management Program
Learn about King County's program to protect shorelines, promote public access, and establish land use priorities for shorelines of Puget Sound, large rivers and lakes.

Wetland information
Comprehensive resources related to wetlands in King County including info on the importance of wetlands, map resources, development regulations, and programs.

Flood buyout and home elevation program
This page answers frequently asked questions about King County's program to buy out flood-prone houses and provide homeowner assistance in having homes elevated. The page also provides information about related programs that can help homeowners affected by flooding.

Sustainability-related organizations

Sustainable Building Practices

Sustainable or green building practices cover all aspects of building, including:

  • land preparation
  • materials selection
  • life-cycle of the building (construction, operation and maintenance, demolition)

Sustainable building includes such practices as

  • redevelopment of inefficiently designed or environmentally damaged sites
  • job-site recycling of construction materials
  • native vegetation landscapes
  • stream and wetland protection and restoration
  • natural drainage
  • energy and water efficiency
  • low toxicity materials
  • use of recycled materials
  • reduced use of land and materials
  • design for re-use
  • revitalization of decayed areas to improve residents' quality of life

News and announcements

May 21, 2018
King County is now a leading producer of clean, renewable biofuel that can be used by commercial vehicles

May 18, 2018
External article, NW News Network
Meet The Companies Testing Self-Driving Vehicles In The Pacific Northwest

May 9, 2018
King County sues oil companies for climate impacts 

Apr. 30, 2018
External article, Curbed
Seattle tree law could be getting a revision 

Apr. 26, 2018
Modernizing regulations to support thriving wineries and breweries while protecting the environment and rural communities

Apr. 4, 2018
External news release, city of Seattle
Mayor Durkan Announces New Bold Actions to Reduce Emissions from Transportation and Buildings 

Mar. 27, 2018
External article, OPB
Electric-Powered Ferries Could Be Coming To Washington

Mar. 14, 2018
External article, Harvard University
Harvard's Advanced Leadership Initiative Takes a Deep Look at Climate Change 

Mar. 5, 2018
External article, Seattle Times
Winds of change: What will power the Northwest’s future?

Mar. 4, 2018
Exernal report, KUOW 
No more mangoes and meat. The hard truth for competitive clean living

Mar. 2, 2018
External article, Seattle Times
As Washington state looks for cleaner power, a Montana coal town faces an uncertain future

Feb. 27, 2018
External article, Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber
Islanders call for clean, renewable energy at recent PSE meeting

Feb. 5, 2018
External Editorial, Seattle Times
Lawmakers should push forward on carbon-tax plan

Jan. 8, 2018
Executive Constantine appoints five members to the Sound Transit Board committed to building a world-class regional transit system

Dec. 28, 2017
South Plant pump replacement project earns major grant funding from PSE

King County Executive 2017 accomplishments

Dept. of Natural Resources and Parks 2017 accomplishment 

» Archived news and announcements