Chapter 27.01


Part One. Authority

27.01.010    Authority.

Part Two. General Requirements

27.01.020    Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

27.01.030    Additional definitions.

27.01.040    Designation of responsible official.

27.01.050    Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

27.01.060    Additional considerations in time limits applicable to the SEPA process.

27.01.070    Additional timing considerations.

Part Three. Categorical Exemptions and Threshold Determinations

27.01.080    Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

27.01.090    Use of exemptions.

27.01.100    Environmental checklist.

27.01.110    Mitigated determination of nonsignificance (MDNS).

Part Four. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

27.01.120    Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

27.01.130    Preparation of EIS – Additional considerations.

27.01.140    Additional topics to be covered in an EIS.

Part Five. Commenting

27.01.150    Adoption by reference.

27.01.160    Public notice.

27.01.170    Designation of official to perform consulted agency responsibilities for the County.

Part Six. Using Existing Environmental Documents

27.01.180    Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

Part Seven. SEPA and Agency Decisions

27.10.190    Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

27.01.200    Substantive authority.

27.01.210    Appeals.

27.01.220    Notice/statute of limitations.

Part Eight. Definitions

27.01.230    Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

Part Nine. Categorical Exemptions

27.01.240    Adoption by reference.

Part Ten. Forms

27.01.250    Adoption by reference.

Part Eleven. Enforcement

27.01.260    Enforcement.

27.01.270    Repealed.

Part Twelve. Agency Compliance

27.01.280    Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

27.01.290    Environmentally sensitive areas.

27.01.300    Fees.

27.01.310    Adoption of Washington Administrative Code.

27.01.320    Effective date.

27.01.330    Severability.

27.01.340    Repealer.


Ord. 241    09/18/84


Ord. 470    06/09/92

Ord. 586    04/09/96

Ord. 631    02/03/98

Ord. 814    04/03/07

Ord. 879    12/13/11

Code Reviser’s Note: Ordinance No. 241, 1984 adopted September 18, 1984, repealed “Clallam County Environmental Policy Ordinances #55 . . .” (See CCC 27.01.340, Repealer.) It has been concluded that this was probably a typographical error and was intended to repeal “Clallam County Environmental Policy Ordinances #53 . . .”

Part One. Authority

27.01.010 Authority.

The County of Clallam adopts this chapter under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), RCW 43.21C.120, and the SEPA Rules, WAC 197-11-904.

Part Two. General Requirements

27.01.020 Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

This part contains the basic requirements that apply to the SEPA process and to intergovernmental coordination of natural resource issues. Clallam County adopts the following SEPA Rules by reference:

197-11-040    Definitions.

197-11-050    Lead agency.

197-11-055    Timing of the SEPA process.

197-11-060    Content of environmental review.

197-11-070    Limitations on action during SEPA process.

197-11-080    Incomplete or unavailable information.

197-11-090    Supporting documents.

197-11-100    Information required of applicants.

(1) By June 1st of each year, the Board shall notify State and federal agencies managing land, water, wildlife, or other natural resources within Clallam County of its interest in early and full participation in decision-making for major plans, regulations, policies, or other actions affecting lands of the County. Such notification shall be directed to those offices having direct local responsibilities as well as other administrative offices at the district, regional or headquarters level, as appropriate. These notices shall specifically:

(a) Reference specific projects or issues of interest whenever appropriate.

(b) Outline the basis for County interest.

(c) Request that each agency respond by listing any pending or anticipated projects, policies, plans, regulations, or other actions affecting natural resources in the County.

(2) From responses to the above notices and from any other sources of information, the Board shall establish priorities for County involvement, and direct the Department of Community Development to notify agencies of County interest and desire to:

(a) Review draft documents.

(b) Participate in formal and informal discussions prior to decision-making.

(c) Be notified of and invited to participate in public hearings.

(d) Hold any public meetings and/or hearings in Clallam County.

(e) Participate fully in any NEPA determinations pertaining to the management of natural resources of the County.

(3) The County shall pro-actively utilize available information sources such as the Federal Register, or computer networks, as fully as time and resources allow, to identify and track issues and opportunities for local involvement in federal land management issues.

27.01.030 Additional definitions.

In addition to those definitions contained within WAC 197-11-700 through 197-11-799, when used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context indicates otherwise:

(1) “Aggrieved party” means those parties with standing to bring action on appeals and is limited to the following parties:

(a) The applicant or owner of property on which a development is proposed;

(b) Any person entitled to special notice of development proposals on the underlying governmental action;

(c) Any person who deems themselves aggrieved by a decision and who will suffer direct and substantial impacts from the underlying governmental action.

(2) “Department” means any division, subdivision or organizational unit of the County established by ordinance, rule, or order.

(3) “Early notice” means the County’s response to an applicant stating whether it considers issuance of a determination of significance likely for the applicant’s proposal (mitigated DNS procedures).

(4) “Environmental clearance” means the status given an activity when all requirements of the State Environmental Policy Act and this chapter have been satisfied.

(5) “Final DNS” means the final date upon which action concerning the proposal may be taken by Clallam County. For DNSs issued under WAC 197-11-340(2), a DNS shall not be considered final until the fifteen (15) day comment period closes.

(6) “License” means any form of written permission given by the County to any person, organization, or agency to engage in any activity, as required by law or agency rule. A license includes all or part of an agency permit, certificate, approval, registration, charter, or plat approvals or rezones to facilitate a particular proposal. The term does not include a license required solely for revenue purposes.

(7) “Procedural determination” as used in CCC 27.01.210 shall mean the adequacy of a determination of significance/nonsignificance or of a final environmental impact statement.

(8) “Responsible official” as defined in WAC 197-11-788 shall refer to the Director of Community Development or his designee.

(9) “Substantive determination” as used in CCC 27.01.210 shall mean any decision to require particular mitigation measures or to deny a proposal based on this chapter.

(10) “SEPA Rules” means Chapter 197-11 WAC adopted by the Department of Ecology implementing the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) as they exist or are hereafter amended.

27.01.040 Designation of responsible official.

(1) For those proposals for which the County is lead agency, the responsible official shall be the Director of Community Development or his designee.

(2) For all proposals for which the County is the lead agency, the responsible official shall make the threshold determination, supervise scoping and preparation of any required EIS, and perform any other functions assigned to the “lead agency” or “responsible official” by those sections of the SEPA rules that are adopted by reference in this chapter.

27.01.050 Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

(1) The responsible official shall determine the lead agency for proposals under WAC 197-11-050 and WAC 197-11-922 through 197-11-940; unless the lead agency has been previously determined pursuant to Chapter 43.21C RCW or the responsible official is informed that another agency is in the process of determining the lead agency.

(2) When the County is the lead agency for a proposal, the responsible official shall supervise compliance with the threshold determination requirements, and if an EIS is necessary, shall supervise preparation of the EIS.

(3) When the County is not the lead agency for a proposal, all departments of the County shall use and consider, as appropriate, either the DNS or the final EIS of the lead agency in making decisions on the proposal. No County department shall prepare or require preparation of a DNS or EIS in addition to that prepared by the lead agency, unless required under WAC 197-11-600. The County may conduct supplemental environmental review under WAC 197-11-600.

(4) If the County or any of its departments receives a lead agency determination made by another agency that appears inconsistent with the criteria of WAC 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, it may object to the determination. Any objection must be made by the responsible official to the agency originally making the determination and resolved within fifteen (15) days of receipt of the determination, or the County must petition the Department of Ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11-946 within the fifteen (15) day time period. Any such petition on behalf of the County may be initiated by the responsible official. Resolution of the said inconsistent determination shall be by the Department of Ecology pursuant to WAC 197-11-946.

(5) The responsible official of the County is authorized to make agreements as to lead agency status or shared lead agency duties for a proposal under WAC 197-11-942 and 197-11-944.

(6) The responsible official when making a lead agency determination for a private project shall require sufficient information from the applicant to identify which other agencies have jurisdiction over the proposal (that is: which agencies require nonexempt licenses).

(7) The responsible official upon review of a DNS may transmit to the initial lead agency a completed “Notice of Assumption of Lead Agency Status.” This notice shall be substantially similar to the form in WAC 197-11-985. Assumption of lead agency status shall occur only within fifteen (15) days of issuance of a DNS.

(8) Upon transmitting the DS and notice of assumption of lead agency status, the County shall become the “new” lead agency and shall expeditiously prepare an EIS; provided, however, that the responsible official may issue a mitigated DNS, after assuming lead agency responsibility, pursuant to CCC 27.01.090. In addition, all other responsibilities and authority of a lead agency under this chapter shall be transferred to the County as the new lead agency.

27.01.060 Additional considerations in time limits applicable to the SEPA process.

The following time limits (expressed in calendar days) shall apply when the County processes licenses for all private projects and those governmental proposals submitted to the County by other agencies:

(1) Categorical Exemptions. The County shall identify whether an action is categorically exempt within ten (10) days of receiving a completed application as defined in the codes or ordinances of the underlying governmental action.

(2) Threshold Determinations.

(a) The County should complete threshold determinations that can be based solely upon review of the environmental checklist for the proposal within fifteen (15) days of the date an applicant’s complete application and completed checklist are submitted.

(b) When the responsible official requires further information from the applicant or consultation with other agencies with jurisdiction:

(i) The County should request such further information within fifteen (15) days of receiving a complete application and completed environmental checklist;

(ii) The responsible official should complete the threshold determination within fifteen (15) days of receiving the requested information from the applicant or the consulted agency.

27.01.070 Additional timing considerations.

(1) For nonexempt proposals, the DNS or final EIS for the proposal shall accompany the County’s staff recommendation to the decision-making body or appropriate advisory body, such as the Planning Commission, Shorelines and Sensitive Areas Committee, Board of Adjustment, or Board of Commissioners.

(2) If the County’s only action on a proposal is a decision on a building permit or other license that requires detailed project plans and specifications, the applicant may request in writing that the County conduct environmental review prior to submission of the detailed plans and specifications. However, the applicant must still apply for the required license(s) and submit plans detailed enough to accomplish adequate environmental review pursuant to this chapter.

Part Three. Categorical Exemptions and Threshold Determinations

27.01.080 Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

This part contains the rules for deciding whether a proposal has a “probable significant, adverse environmental impact” requiring an environmental impact statement (EIS) to be prepared. This part also contains rules for evaluating the impacts of proposals not requiring an EIS. Clallam County adopts the following SEPA Rules by reference, as supplemented in this part:

197-11-300    Purpose of this part.

197-11-305    Categorical exemptions.

197-11-310    Threshold determination required.

197-11-315    Environmental checklist.

197-11-330    Threshold determination process.

197-11-335    Additional information.

197-11-340    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

197-11-350    Mitigated DNS.

197-11-360    Determination of significance (DS/initiation of scoping).

197-11-390    Effect of threshold determination.

27.01.090 Use of exemptions.

(1) The responsible official shall determine whether the license and/or the proposal is exempt. The responsible official’s determination that a license and/or proposal is exempt shall be final and not subject to administrative review. If a proposal is exempt, none of the procedural requirements of this chapter apply to the proposal. The County shall not require completion of an environmental checklist for an exempt proposal.

(2) In determining whether or not a proposal is exempt, the responsible official shall make certain the proposal is properly defined and shall identify the governmental licenses required (WAC 197-11-060). If a proposal includes exempt and nonexempt actions, the responsible official shall determine the lead agency, even if the license application that triggers the responsible official’s consideration is exempt.

(3) If a proposal includes both exempt and nonexempt actions, the responsible official may authorize exempt actions prior to compliance with the procedural requirements of this chapter, except that:

(a) The responsible official shall not give authorization for:

(i) Any nonexempt action;

(ii) Any action that would have an adverse environmental impact; or

(iii) Any action that would limit the choice of alternatives;

(b) A County department or the responsible official may withhold approval of an exempt action that would lead to modification of the physical environment, when such modification would serve no purpose, if the nonexempt action(s) associated thereto were not approved; and

(c) A department or the responsible official may withhold approval of exempt actions that would lead to substantial financial expenditures by a private applicant when the expenditures would serve no purpose if the associated nonexempt action(s) were not approved.

27.01.100 Environmental checklist.

(1) A completed environmental checklist shall be filed at the same time as an application for a license or other non-exempt proposal; except, a checklist is not needed if the County and applicant agree an EIS is required, SEPA compliance has been completed, or SEPA compliance has been initiated by another agency. The checklist shall be in the form of WAC 197-11-960.

(2) For private proposals, the County will require the applicant to complete the environmental checklist, providing assistance as necessary. For County proposals, the department initiating the proposal shall complete the environmental checklist for that proposal.

(3) The County may require that it, and not the private applicant, will complete all or part of the environmental checklist for a private proposal, if either of the following occurs:

(a) The County has technical information on a question or questions that is unavailable to the private applicant; or

(b) The applicant has provided inaccurate information on previous proposals or on proposals currently under consideration.

27.01.110 Mitigated determination of nonsignificance (MDNS).

(1) As provided in this section and in WAC 197-11-350, the responsible official may issue a determination of nonsignificance (DNS) based on conditions attached to the proposal by the responsible official or on changes to, or clarifications of, the proposal made by the applicant. This type of determination shall herein after be referred to as a mitigated determination of nonsignificance (MDNS).

(2) As much as possible, the County should assist the applicant with identification of impacts to the extent necessary to formulate mitigation measures.

(3) When an applicant submits a changed or clarified proposal, along with a revised environmental checklist, the County shall base its threshold determination on the changed or clarified proposal and should make the threshold determination pursuant to requirements of this chapter.

(a) The applicant’s proposed mitigation measures must be in writing and must be specific. For example, proposals to “control noise” or “prevent stormwater runoff” are inadequate, whereas proposals to “muffle machinery to X decibel” or “construct 200-foot stormwater retention pond at Y location” are adequate.

(b) The County shall review the amended application and make a threshold determination, issuing a DNS or DS as appropriate.

(4) Staff reports and other County approved studies analyzing the proposal shall be considered environmental documents as amendments to and part of the environmental checklist. Mitigation measures which justify issuance of a MDNS may be incorporated in the DNS by reference to agency staff reports, studies or other documents.

(5) When issuing a MDNS, the responsible official shall review the environmental checklist, staff reports, and other County approved studies concerning the proposal and issue an environmental clearance resolution stating conditions to be attached to the license to mitigate identified environmental impacts.

(6) Mitigation measures incorporated in the mitigated DNS shall be deemed conditions of approval of the permit decision and may be enforced in the same manner as any term or condition of the permit, or enforced in any manner specifically prescribed by the County.

(7) A mitigated DNS is issued under WAC 197-11-340(2), and requires a fourteen (14) day comment period and public notice which shall be consistent with Chapter 26.10 CCC.

Part Four. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

27.01.120 Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

This part contains the rules for preparing environmental impact statements. Clallam County adopts the following SEPA Rules by reference, as supplemented by this part:

197-11-400    Purpose of EIS.

197-11-402    General requirements.

197-11-405    EIS types.

197-11-406    EIS timing.

197-11-408    Scoping.

197-11-410    Expanded scoping.

197-11-420    EIS preparation.

197-11-425    Style and size.

197-11-430    Format.

197-11-435    Cover letter or memo.

197-11-440    EIS contents.

197-11-442    Contents of EIS on nonproject proposals.

197-11-443    EIS contents when prior nonproject EIS.

197-11-444    Elements of the environment.

197-11-448    Relationship of EIS to other considerations.

197-11-450    Cost-benefit analysis.

197-11-455    Issuance of DEIS.

197-11-460    Issuance of FEIS.

27.01.130 Preparation of EIS – Additional considerations.

(1) Preparation of draft and final EISs and SEISs is the responsibility of the responsible official. Before the County issues an EIS, the responsible official shall be satisfied that it complies with this chapter and Chapter 197-11 WAC.

(2) The draft and final EIS or SEIS shall be prepared by County staff, or by a consultant employed by contract to the County. Preparation of an EIS by the applicant or the applicant’s consultant can occur only in those circumstances where the scope of the EIS has been narrowed to no more than two (2) technical issues, such as storm water and transportation. In all cases the responsible official shall determine who prepares the EIS and shall have approval authority over its contents. If the responsible official requires an EIS for a proposal and determines that someone other than the County will prepare the EIS, the responsible official shall notify the applicant within ten (10) days after completion of the threshold determination. In such cases, the County will contract directly with a qualified consultant for preparation of the EIS.

(3) The responsible official may require an applicant to provide additional environmental or project description information, including specific investigations necessary to reasonably understand the proposal and its impacts and to enable the responsible official to make a well-reasoned environmental determination. However, the applicant is not required to supply information that is not required under this chapter or that is being requested from another agency. (This does not apply to information the County may request under another ordinance or statute.)

(4) If the responsible official determines that a consultant will be required to prepare an EIS, the Department of Community Development shall call for proposals and qualifications of firms to prepare the EIS within ten (10) days of completion of the EIS scoping process. A call for proposals may be made prior to completion of the scoping process, provided that a draft scoping notice has been completed to the satisfaction of the responsible official.

(5) The responsible official shall determine which consultants are qualified to complete an EIS as described in a call for proposal. The County shall place the names of consultants eligible to prepare the EIS on a list to be submitted to the applicant. The applicant shall select the consultant from the list and shall submit a letter to the responsible official providing the applicant’s consent to the consultant. Clallam County shall then enter into a contract for professional services with the consultant setting forth duties, responsibilities and costs for preparation of the EIS. Fees for preparation of the EIS shall be required of the applicant as set forth in CCC 27.01.300 and Chapter 3.30 CCC.

27.01.140 Additional topics to be covered in an EIS.

The following additional topics may be considered as part of the environment if deemed appropriate by the responsible official for the purposes of EIS content, but do not add to the criteria for threshold determinations or perform any other function or purpose under this chapter:

(1) Economic impact;

(2) Cultural factors;

(3) Social policy analysis;

(4) Employment;

(5) Quality of life;

(6) Neighborhood stability.

Part Five. Commenting

27.01.150 Adoption by reference.

This part contains rules for consulting, commenting, and responding on all environmental documents under SEPA including rules for public notice and hearings. Clallam County adopts the following SEPA Rules by reference, as supplemented in this part:

197-11-500    Purpose of this part.

197-11-502    Inviting comment.

197-11-504    Availability and cost of environmental documents.

197-11-508    SEPA Register.

197-11-535    Public hearings and meetings.

197-11-545    Effect of no comment.

197-11-550    Specificity of comments.

197-11-560    FEIS response to comments.

197-11-570    Consulted agency costs to assist lead agency.

27.01.160 Public notice.

(1) Whenever Clallam County issues a DNS under WAC 197-11-340(2) or a DS under WAC 197-11-360(3) the County shall give public notice as follows:

(a) The County shall give notice of comment and appeal periods of a DNS in accordance with Chapter 26.10 CCC.

(b) Whenever the County issues a DS under WAC 197-11-360(3), the County shall give notice in accordance with Chapter 26.10 CCC and shall state the scoping procedure for the proposal in the DS as required in WAC 197-11-408.

(2) Whenever the County issues a draft EIS under WAC 197-11-455(5) or a supplemental EIS under WAC 197-11-620, notice of the availability of those documents shall be given by:

(a) Indicating the availability of the DEIS in a public notice required for a nonexempt license; and

(b) Publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the County where the proposal is located.

(3) Whenever possible, the County shall integrate the public notice required under this section with existing notice procedures for the County’s nonexempt permit(s) or approval(s) required for the proposal.

(4) The County may require an applicant to complete the public notice requirements for the applicant’s proposal at his or her expense.

27.01.170 Designation of official to perform consulted agency responsibilities for the County.

The responsible official shall be responsible for responding to a consultation request on a threshold determination, scoping, or a draft EIS. Additionally, the responsible official shall be responsible for the County’s compliance with WAC 197-11-550 and is authorized to develop operating procedures that will ensure that responses to consultation requests are prepared in a timely fashion and include data from all appropriate departments of the County.

Part Six. Using Existing Environmental Documents

27.01.180 Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

This part contains rules for using and supplementing existing environmental documents prepared under SEPA or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for Clallam County’s own environmental compliance. Clallam County adopts the following SEPA Rules by reference:

197-11-600    When to use existing environmental documents.

197-11-610    Use of NEPA documents.

197-11-620    Supplemental environmental impact statement – Procedures.

197-11-625    Addenda – Procedures.

197-11-630    Adoption – Procedures.

197-11-635    Incorporation by reference – Procedures.

197-11-640    Combining documents.

Part Seven. SEPA and Agency Decisions

27.10.190 Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

This part contains rules (and policies) for SEPA’s substantive authority, such as decisions to mitigate or reject proposals as a result of SEPA. This part also contains procedures for appealing SEPA determinations to agencies or the courts. Clallam County adopts the following SEPA Rules by reference:

197-11-650    Purpose of this part.

197-11-655    Implementation.

197-11-660    Substantive authority and mitigation.

197-11-680    Appeals.

27.01.200 Substantive authority.

(1) The policies and goals set forth in this chapter are supplementary to other County codes.

(2) The County may attach conditions to a license or for a proposal so long as:

(a) Such conditions are necessary to mitigate specific probable adverse environmental impacts identified in environmental documents prepared pursuant to the ordinance; and

(b) Such conditions are in writing; and

(c) The mitigation measures included in such conditions are reasonable and capable of being accomplished; and

(d) The County has considered whether other local, state, or federal mitigation measures applied to the proposal are sufficient or insufficient to mitigate the identified impacts; and

(e) Such conditions are based on one or more County SEPA policies specified in subsection (4) of this section and cited in the license or other decision document.

(3) The County may deny a license or approval for a proposal on the basis of SEPA so long as:

(a) A finding is made that approving the proposal would result in probable significant adverse environmental impacts that are identified in a final EIS or final supplemental EIS prepared pursuant to this chapter; and

(b) A finding is made that there are no reasonable mitigation measures capable of being accomplished that are sufficient to mitigate the identified impact; and

(c) The denial is based on one or more SEPA policies identified in subsection (4) of this section and identified in writing in the decision document.

(4) The County designates and adopts by reference the following SEPA policies as the basis for the County’s exercise of authority pursuant to subsections (2) and (3) of this section.

(a) The County shall use all practicable means, consistent with other essential considerations of State policy, to improve and coordinate plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the State and its citizens may:

(i) Fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;

(ii) Assure for all people of Washington safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;

(iii) Attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;

(iv) Preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national heritage;

(v) Maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice;

(vi) Achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life’s amenities; and

(vii) Enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources.

(b) Clallam County recognizes that each person has a fundamental and inalienable right to a healthful environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.

(c) The County adopts by reference, as SEPA policies, the policies in the following County codes and State and federal laws: CCC Title 31, County Comprehensive Land Use Plan; CCC Title 33, Zoning Ordinance; CCC Title 29, Subdivision Ordinance; Chapter 27.08 CCC, Open Space Ordinance; CCC Title 32, Floodplain Management Ordinance; CCC Title 35, Shoreline Master Program; CCHR 2 Solid Waste; CCHR 4, Sewage Disposal; Chapter 15.02 CCC, Assembly Ordinance; Clallam County Six-Year Road Program; Clallam County Park Plan; Chapter 19.27 CCC, State Uniform Building and Fire Codes; Chapter 90.48 RCW, Water Pollution Control Act; Chapter 90.52 RCW, Pollution Disclosure Act of 1971; Chapter 90.54 RCW, Water Resources Act 1971; Chapter 90.58 RCW, Shoreline Management Act of 1971; Chapter 70.93 RCW, Model Litter Control and Recycling Act; Chapter 70.94 RCW, Washington Clean Air Act; Chapter 70.95 RCW, Solid Waste Management – Recovery and Recycling; Chapter 70.105 RCW, Hazardous Waste Disposal; Chapter 70.105A RCW, Hazardous Waste Regulations; Chapter 70.107 RCW, Noise Control; Sequim Bay Watershed Management Plan; Dungeness River Flood Control Management Plan; Interim Critical Areas Ordinance, Chapter 27.12 CCC; Growth Management Act of 1990, Chapter 36.70A RCW.

Each condition based on State law shall reference said law and shall be accomplished pursuant to the State administration mechanisms established to implement such law.

(d) The County establishes the following additional policies: Clallam County shall apply any mitigation conditions necessary to mitigate identified adverse environmental impacts associated with license applications. Further, if impacts cannot be adequately mitigated as specified in an EIS, Clallam County may deny the license application based upon these impacts. In implementation of this policy for each individual license application Clallam County shall review all of the elements of the environment listed in WAC 197-11-444 and shall attempt to apply conditions as appropriate to mitigate identified adverse environmental impacts under all elements of the environment. Mitigation conditions may include but shall not be limited to: timing and scheduling of construction and operation, modification of site design, project design or location, modification of the physical environment, installation of physical and vegetation improvements, installation of pollution abatement equipment or safety equipment or improvements, providing of or upgrading of on- and off-site infrastructure improvements, including transportation systems, schools, parks and recreation facilities, utilities and drainage systems; conditions for the preservation or protection of specified habitat and species of flora and fauna, mitigation of pollution sources, provision for buffers and open spaces, site restoration, provision for lot owners or homeowners’ maintenance associations.

(5) When any license is conditioned or denied on the basis of SEPA by the responsible official, the decision shall be appealable to the County Commissioners as provided in CCC 27.01.210.

27.01.210 Appeals.

Clallam County establishes the following administrative appeal procedures under RCW 43.21C.075, WAC 197-11-680, and Chapter 26.10 CCC whereby consolidation of public hearings on projects and appeal hearing are made to the fullest extent possible, as follows:

(1) An aggrieved party may appeal the adequacy of a final EIS (FEIS) pursuant to the following procedures:

(a) Appeals relating to the adequacy of a FEIS shall be consolidated in all cases with the public hearing, if any, of the underlying governmental action. Appeals of the adequacy of a FEIS shall be made within 14 days of the issuance of the FEIS and shall be consistent with Chapter 26.10 CCC.

(b) If an appeal relating to the adequacy of a FEIS is filed, at the same public hearing on the underlying governmental action, if applicable, the decision-making body shall either affirm or reverse the decision of the responsible official and shall prepare a finding on its decision on the FEIS appeal. The powers of the decision-making body (e.g., Planning Commission) on FEIS appeals shall be consistent with the powers on the underlying governmental action. For example, the Planning Commission provides a recommendation on rezones to the Board of Commissioners; in such a situation, the Board of Commissioners would have final authority on the adequacy of the FEIS. On the other hand, the Hearing Examiner issues final decisions on shoreline permits, subject to appeal; in this situation, an appeal of the adequacy of the FEIS would accompany an appeal of the shorelines decision. If the decision-making body determines that the FEIS is not adequate, it may remand the FEIS to the responsible official requiring that specific impacts be reconsidered.

(c) If no public hearing process is required for the underlying governmental action, or if the underlying governmental action is appealed or advisory, review of the FEIS adequacy shall be heard by the Hearing Examiner in accordance with appeal procedures as set forth in Chapter 26.10 CCC.

(2) An aggrieved party may appeal a final DNS pursuant to the following procedures:

(a) Appeals relating to the adequacy of a final DNS shall be filed with the Hearing Examiner, except that an appeal of a SEPA threshold determination, which is part of the decision on the underlying permit, shall be filed with the Superior Court as an appeal of a land use or other appropriate tribunal.

(b) At the open or closed record hearing before the Hearing Examiner on the appeal, whichever applies, the Hearing Examiner shall either affirm or reverse the decision of the responsible official which is a part of the underlying permit decision. If the Hearing Examiner determines that the DNS is not adequate, it may:

(i) Remand the decision to the responsible official requiring that specific impacts be reconsidered. The Hearing Examiner shall adopt a finding which substantiates the need for a new public hearing for proper and adequate review of the project and wherever possible, all parties shall agree to such process. The new public hearing shall be duly advertised to the parties of record after which the decision-making body shall take action on said permit; or

(ii) Modify the decision of the decision-making body in accordance with the processing of appeals of the underlying permit as specified in Chapter 26.10 CCC.

(3) An applicant may appeal a determination of significance to the Hearing Examiner within 14 days of the date the DS is issued. The processing of an appeal of a DS is exempt from the public hearing limitations set forth in Chapter 26.10 CCC.

(4) For any appeal under this section, the County shall provide for a record that shall consist of the following:

(a) Findings and conclusions; and

(b) A taped or written transcript.

(c) The County may require the appellant to provide an electronic transcript.

(5) The procedural determination by the County’s responsible official shall carry substantial weight in any appeal proceeding.

(6) The County shall give official notice pursuant to WAC 197-11-680(4) and (5) whenever it issues a license or project approval for which a statute or ordinance exists which establishes a time limit for commencing judicial appeal.

27.01.220 Notice/statute of limitations.

The County, applicant for, or proponent of an action may publish a notice of action pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080 for any action.

Part Eight. Definitions

27.01.230 Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

This part contains uniform usage and definitions of terms under SEPA. Clallam County adopts the following SEPA Rules by reference, as supplemented by WAC 173-806-040:

197-11-700    Definitions.

197-11-702    Act.

197-11-704    Action.

197-11-706    Addendum.

197-11-708    Adoption.

197-11-710    Affected tribe.

197-11-712    Affecting.

197-11-714    Agency.

197-11-716    Applicant.

197-11-718    Built environment.

197-11-720    Categorical exemption.

197-11-722    Consolidated appeal.

197-11-724    Consulted agency.

197-11-726    Cost-benefit analysis.

197-11-728    County/city.

197-11-730    Decisionmaker.

197-11-732    Department.

197-11-734    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

197-11-736    Determination of significance (DS).

197-11-738    EIS.

197-11-740    Environment.

197-11-744    Environmental document.

197-11-748    Environmentally sensitive area.

197-11-752    Impacts.

197-11-756    Lands covered by water.

197-11-758    Lead agency.

197-11-760    License.

197-11-762    Local agency.

197-11-766    Mitigated DNS.

197-11-768    Mitigation.

197-11-770    Natural environment.

197-11-772    NEPA.

197-11-774    Nonproject.

197-11-776    Phased review.

197-11-778    Preparation.

197-11-780    Private project.

197-11-782    Probable.

197-11-784    Proposal.

197-11-786    Reasonable alternative.

197-11-788    Responsible official.

197-11-790    SEPA.

197-11-792    Scope.

197-11-793    Scoping.

197-11-794    Significant.

197-11-796    State agency.

197-11-797    Threshold determination.

197-11-799    Underlying governmental action.

Part Nine. Categorical Exemptions

27.01.240 Adoption by reference.

Clallam County adopts by reference the following rules for categorical exemptions, as supplemented in this chapter, CCC 27.01.090 (Use of exemptions), and CCC 27.01.290 (Environmentally sensitive areas):

197-11-800    Categorical exemptions.

197-11-880    Emergencies.

197-11-890    Petitioning DOE to change exemptions.

Part Ten. Forms

27.01.250 Adoption by reference.

Clallam County adopts the following forms and sections by reference:

197-11-960    Environmental checklist.

197-11-965    Adoption notice.

197-11-970    Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

197-11-980    Determination of significance and scoping notice (DS).

197-11-985    Notice of assumption of lead agency status.

197-11-990    Notice of action.

Part Eleven. Enforcement

27.01.260 Enforcement.

(1) A violation of the provisions of this chapter shall constitute a civil violation subject to a monetary penalty as well as prosecution as a misdemeanor. Conviction of a violation or payment of a penalty does not relieve a violator from compliance with this chapter.

(2) A violation of the provisions of this chapter is hereby determined to be detrimental to the public health, safety, and environment and is hereby declared to be a public nuisance, subject to prevention, removal, or abatement at the expense of the person(s) creating, causing, or committing such violation, and subject to the recording of a lien for such expenses against the property where the public nuisance is located, with such lien to be of equal rank with State, County, and municipal taxes.

(3) The provisions of this chapter are subject to the enforcement and penalty provisions contained in CCC Title 20, Code Compliance, except to the extent preempted by State or federal law, and except to the extent preempted by any contrary enforcement and penalty provisions contained in this chapter.

(4) Any person subject to this chapter who violates any provision of this chapter or the provisions of a permit or approval issued pursuant to this chapter shall be liable for all damage to public or private property arising from such violation, including the cost of restoring the affected area to its condition prior to such violation.

(5) Clallam County shall not issue any permit, license, or other development approval on a development proposal site subject to an enforcement order under this section; provided, that Clallam County may issue such permits to rectify or correct enforcement orders.

27.01.270 Penalty for violation.

Repealed by Ord. 814, 2007.

Part Twelve. Agency Compliance

27.01.280 Purpose of this part and adoption by reference.

This part contains rules for agency compliance with SEPA, including rules for charging fees under the SEPA process, designating environmentally sensitive areas, listing agencies with environmental expertise, selecting the lead agency, and applying these rules to current agency activities. Clallam County adopts the following SEPA Rules by reference:

197-11-900    Purpose of this part.

197-11-902    Agency SEPA policies.

197-11-916    Application to ongoing actions.

197-11-920    Agencies with environmental expertise.

197-11-922    Lead agency rules.

197-11-924    Determining the lead agency.

197-11-926    Lead agency for governmental proposals.

197-11-928    Lead agency for public and private proposals.

197-11-930    Lead agency for private projects with one agency with jurisdiction.

197-11-932    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one agency, when one of the agencies is county.

197-11-934    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from a local agency, not a county/city, and one or more state agencies.

197-11-936    Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one state agency.

197-11-938    Lead agencies for specific proposals.

197-11-940    Transfer of lead agency status to a state agency.

197-11-942    Agreements on lead agency status.

197-11-944    Agreements on division of lead agency duties.

197-11-946    DoE resolution of lead agency disputes.

197-11-948    Assumption of lead agency status.

27.01.290 Environmentally sensitive areas.

(1) Clallam County shall designate environmentally sensitive areas under the standards of WAC 197-11-908 and shall file maps designating such areas, together with the exemptions from the list in WAC 197-11-908 that are inapplicable in such areas, with the County Auditor and the Department of Ecology, headquarters office, Olympia, Washington. The environmentally sensitive area designations shall have full force and effect of law as of the date of filing.

(2) The County shall treat nonexempt proposals located wholly or partially within an environmentally sensitive area no differently than other proposals under this chapter, making a threshold determination for all such proposals. The County shall not automatically require an EIS for a proposal merely because it is proposed for location in an environmentally sensitive area.

(3) Certain exemptions do not apply on lands covered by water, and this remains true regardless of whether or not lands covered by water are mapped.

27.01.300 Fees.

The County shall require fees for its environmental evaluation activities in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 5.100 CCC.

(1) Threshold Determination. For every environmental checklist the County will review when it is lead agency, the County shall collect a fee pursuant to Chapter 5.100 CCC from the proponent of the proposal prior to undertaking the threshold determination. The time periods provided by this chapter for making a threshold determination shall not begin to run until payment of the fee. When the County completes the environmental checklist at the applicant’s request or under CCC 27.01.090(3), an additional fee as provided in Chapter 5.100 CCC shall be collected.

(2) In the majority of cases most of the County’s cost in making a threshold determination will be covered by the normal checklist fee. However, in some cases where impacts are more significant and varied, the research and analysis required may become more costly and regular costs do not adequately cover the County’s expenses in consideration of the applications. This is particularly true when expanded environmental checklists or extensive addendums to the checklist are developed and submitted for an application for a license. In cases where such applications are submitted, Planning Department time involved in review of the application may become extensive. When expanded checklists or applications with extensive addendums are submitted or when a checklist application and related project takes more than eight work hours to review and analyze, an additional fee shall be collected as provided by Chapter 5.100 CCC.

(3) Environmental Impact Statement.

(a) When the County is the lead agency for a proposal requiring an EIS and the responsible official determines that the EIS shall be prepared by employees of the County, the County may charge and collect a reasonable fee from the project proponent to cover costs incurred by the County in preparing the EIS. The responsible official shall advise the applicant(s) of the projected costs for the EIS prior to actual preparation; the applicant shall post bond or remit payment of such costs pursuant to Chapter 5.100 CCC.

(b) The responsible official may determine that the County will contract directly with a consultant for preparation of an EIS, or a portion of the EIS, for activities initiated by a person or agency other than the County and may bill such costs and expenses directly to the applicant. Such consultants shall be selected by mutual agreement of the County and applicant after a call for proposals. The County may require the applicant to post bond or remit payment of such costs prior to the consultant beginning work on the preparation of the EIS.

(c) If a proposal is modified so that an EIS is no longer required, the responsible official shall refund any fees collected under subsection (3)(a) or (3)(b) of this section which remain after incurred costs are paid pursuant to Chapter 5.100 CCC and CCC 27.01.170.

(4) The County may collect a reasonable fee from an applicant to cover the cost of meeting the public notice requirements of this chapter relating to the applicant’s proposal.

(5) The County shall not collect a fee for performing its duties as a consulted agency.

(6) The County may charge any person for copies of any document prepared under this chapter, and for mailing the document, in a manner provided by Chapter 42.17 RCW.

27.01.310 Adoption of Washington Administrative Code.

This chapter refers to specific sections of the Washington Administrative Code. These references are intended to adopt the regulation in its current form and any future amendments thereto.

27.01.320 Effective date.

This chapter shall become effective 10 days after adoption.

27.01.330 Severability.

If any provision of this chapter or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this chapter, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected.

27.01.340 Repealer.

The Clallam County Environmental Policy Ordinances Nos. 55 and 56 of 1974 and 154 of 1981, relating to environmental policy and categorical exemptions, are repealed effective as of the effective date of this chapter.