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County to evict Pasco needle exchange program

February 13, 2019

PASCO, Wash. (AP) — The Tri-Cities experimental syringe exchange is losing its Pasco home.

The Tri-City Herald reports the Franklin County commission decided Tuesday to stop providing office space to Blue Mountain Heart to Heart, which in January alone collected 18,000 dirty needles.

The Walla Walla nonprofit operates syringe exchanges as part of its mission to prevent the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and prevent drug overdoses.

The topic was not on the commission’s official agenda.

The commission did not vote but reached a consensus after several critics demanded it be shut down during the public comment section of the meeting.

The exchange launched last May and has served about 350 Tri-Citians.

The nearest exchange is Blue Mountain’s Walla Walla site.

Blue Mountain executive director Everett Maroon says he will discuss the next step with his board.

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Information from: Tri-City Herald, http://www.tri-cityherald.com

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