40.570.050    Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

A.    Purpose of This Section and Adoption by Reference.

    This section contains the rules for preparing environmental impact statements. The county adopts the following sections of the SEPA Rules by reference, as supplemented by this section:


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 (optional)

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 non-project proposals

197-11-443    EIS contents when prior non-project 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

B.    Scoping.

1.    An environmental impact statement (EIS) is required to analyze only those probable adverse environmental impacts that are significant (RCW 43.21C.031). The responsible official shall narrow the scope of every EIS to the probable significant adverse impacts and reasonable alternatives, including mitigation measures.

2.    Scoping is required for the preparation of all new draft EIS’s, but is optional at the discretion of the responsible official for the preparation of a supplemental EIS or when adopting another environmental document for the EIS.

3.    As a minimum, the county shall invite agency and public comment on the scope of the EIS by circulating the DS/scoping notice in accordance with Section 40.570.040(G)(2). The scoping notice may stipulate that written comments are required, in which case agencies and the public shall be allowed twenty-one (21) days from the date of issuance of the DS in which to respond.

C.    Preparation of EIS – Additional Considerations.

1.    Preparation of draft and final EIS’s (DEIS and FEIS) and draft and final supplemental EIS’s (SEIS) shall be under the direction 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 DEIS and FEIS or draft and final SEIS may be prepared by county staff, or by a consultant selected by the county or the applicant and approved by the county. For private proposals, the applicant will normally be required to retain a consultant to prepare a preliminary environmental document that county staff may then refine into a draft EIS. 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 immediately after completion of the threshold determination. The responsible official shall also notify the applicant of the county’s procedure for EIS preparation, including approval of the DEIS and FEIS prior to distribution.

3.    The county may require an applicant to provide information the county does not possess, including specific investigations. 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.)

D.    Availability of EIS.

1.    A draft EIS shall be distributed in accordance with WAC 197-11-455(1), and public notice that a DEIS is available shall be given under Section 40.570.060(C). Any person or agency may submit written comments on the DEIS within thirty (30) days of the date of issue, or within any extension to that comment period.

2.    A final EIS should normally be issued within sixty (60) days of the end of the DEIS comment period, and shall be completed within one (1) year of the issuance of the determination of significance unless the county and applicant have otherwise agreed in writing to a longer period of time. The FEIS shall be sent to the Washington Department of Ecology (two (2) copies), to all agencies with jurisdiction, to all agencies submitting written comments on the DEIS, and to anyone requesting a copy of the FEIS. The responsible official shall also send a notice of FEIS availability and cost to anyone who commented on the DEIS and to those who received but did not comment on the DEIS, and to other parties of record. The county shall not act on a proposal for which an EIS has been required prior to seven (7) days after issuance of the FEIS.