40.570.070    Use of Existing Environmental Documents

A.    Purpose of This Section and Adoption by Reference.

    This section contains the rules for using and supplementing existing environmental documents prepared under SEPA or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the county’s own environmental compliance. The county adopts the following sections of the SEPA Rules by reference, as supplemented in this section:


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

B.    Methods for Utilizing Existing Documents.

    Whenever possible, the county shall reduce paperwork and the accumulation of background data by using existing environmental documents. The responsible official shall determine when the use of existing documents is appropriate, and may employ one (1) or more of the following methods:

1.    Preparation of a supplemental EIS under WAC 197-11-620, if there are substantial changes in a proposal or new information which would identify probable significant adverse environmental impacts not covered in the existing environmental documents;

2.    Preparation of an addendum that adds to, but does not substantially change, analyses or information in the existing environmental document, in accordance with WAC 197-11-625;

3.    Adoption by notice of part or all of an existing environmental document to meet SEPA responsibilities under WAC 197-11-630; and

4.    Incorporation by reference of existing studies or material into environmental documents being prepared, as prescribed by WAC 197-11-635.

C.    Using NEPA Documents.

    The county may use any environmental analysis prepared under NEPA to satisfy requirements of SEPA, subject to the limitations of WAC 197-11-610. In particular, either a NEPA environmental assessment or a NEPA EIS may be adopted as a substitute for preparing a SEPA EIS. A NEPA assessment may also be used in support of a SEPA determination of nonsignificance.