Chapter 11.05


11.05.010    Policies.

11.05.020    Adoption by reference.

11.05.030    Additional definitions.

11.05.040    Responsible official.

11.05.050    Timing.

11.05.060    Emergency actions.

11.05.070    Categorical exemptions.

11.05.080    Mitigated DNS.

11.05.090    Environmental impact statements.

11.05.100    Appeals.

11.05.110    Public notice.

11.05.120    Fees.

11.05.130    Supplementary procedures.

11.05.010 Policies.

The district adopts by reference the policies of SEPA as set forth in RCW 43.21C.010 and 43.21C.020 and as stated in WAC 197-11-030. The district, pursuant to RCW 43.21C.060, may condition or deny any district action to further these policies adopted by reference. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 1.]

11.05.020 Adoption by reference.

The district adopts by reference Chapter 197-11 WAC, including WAC 197-11-060(3)(c), 197-11-410 and 197-11-440(8), except the following sections of Chapter 197-11 WAC are not adopted by the district:




197-11-055(3)(a) – last sentence










A summary of each adopted section is provided in Attachment A to the resolution codified in this chapter, which by this reference is incorporated herein. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 2.]

11.05.030 Additional definitions.

In addition to the definitions in Chapter 197-11 WAC adopted by reference hereby, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context of the rules indicates otherwise:

“SEPA rules” shall mean the SEPA rules adopted as Chapter 197-11 WAC as supplemented or modified hereby. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 3.]

11.05.040 Responsible official.

(1) The responsible official shall be the manager of the district or his/her designee. When the manager designates another party as responsible official, the manager shall be guided in making such designation by the nature of the proposal(s) and the administrative decision-making process normally used by the district.

(2) The responsible official shall carry out the district’s duties, function and procedural responsibilities as lead agency under the SEPA rules.

(3) All decisions of the responsible official and the district relating to interpretation and application of the SEPA rules shall be accorded substantial deference. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 4.]

11.05.050 Timing.

(1) The responsible official shall begin any required environmental review for proposals initiated by the district at the earliest point in the planning and decision-making process when the principal features of that proposal and its probable environmental impacts are reasonably identified.

(2) The responsible official shall begin any required environmental review for proposals not initiated by the district no later than upon receipt of a complete application which application shall not be complete without any required environmental document and fee. However, the responsible official may initiate environmental review (including preparation of EISs) at the conceptual state rather than the final detailed design stage and have informal conferences with the applicant prior to the submittal of a complete application. When conducting such early environmental review, the application shall provide the responsible official with sufficient information (consistent with WAC 197-11-100 and 197-110-335) as to permit the responsible official to conduct an adequate review consistent with these rules.

(3) To the extent that the district establishes any advisory body for purposes of making a recommendation on a proposal to the board of commissioners, the responsible official shall provide such bodies with any relevant environmental documents for its consideration before any final recommendation is transmitted to the board of commissioners.

(4) Any environmental review may be organized in phases as specified in WAC 197-11-060(5).

(5) In all cases not otherwise covered below, the timing of the district’s environmental review for proposals shall be as specified on an individual, case-by-case basis by the responsible official consistent with these SEPA rules. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 5.]

11.05.060 Emergency actions.

Any action which in the opinion of the responsible official must be undertaken immediately, or within a time too short to allow full compliance with the provisions of these SEPA rules, to avoid an imminent threat to public health or safety, to prevent an imminent danger to property (public or private), or to prevent an imminent threat of serious environmental degradation, shall be exempt from the procedural requirements of SEPA and these SEPA rules. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 6.]

11.05.070 Categorical exemptions.

No presumption of impact significance shall be accorded any proposal due to it or any part of it not being categorically exempt or due to the property where the proposal is to be implemented being located within a designated environmentally sensitive area. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 7.]

11.05.080 Mitigated DNS.

(1) As provided in this section and in WAC 197-11-350, the district may clarify or change features of its own proposals, and may specify mitigation measures in its own DNSs, as a result of comments of other agencies or the public or as a result of additional district planning. For private proposals, the responsible official may issue a DNS based on conditions attached to the proposal by the responsible official or based on changes to, or clarifications of, the proposal made by the applicant.

(2) 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 provided by the district. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 8.]

11.05.090 Environmental impact statements.

An applicant may be required or authorized by the responsible official to participate in EIS preparation if the responsible official determines that this will aid in preparing a meaningful environmental analysis. The extent of applicant involvement in the EIS preparation shall be as specified by the responsible official so long as:

(1) The EIS shall be prepared under the direction of the responsible official and in conformance with these SEPA rules; and

(2) The applicant is not required to provide more information than allowed by these SEPA rules; provided, that the responsible official may authorize a lesser degree of participation by the applicant than allowed by these SEPA rules. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 9.]

11.05.100 Appeals.

(1) Any aggrieved person may appeal the district’s threshold determination or the determination of EIS adequacy by filing a notice of appeal with the secretary of the district. The notice of appeal shall be sufficiently detailed so as to provide reasonable notice to the district of (a) how the person or his/her property is adversely affected by the proposal, (b) any new facts which would be important to and affect the determination, and (c) the reasons why the determination was incorrect. The notice of appeal shall be accompanied by a filing fee of $25.00.

(2) The threshold determination and the EIS adequacy may each be appealed only once. Such limitation does not apply to appeals to the board of commissioners under RCW 43.21C.060 (or another state statute) or to administrative appeals before another agency.

(3) Any appeal of a threshold determination shall be filed within 15 days of the date of that determination or of the date whenever any required notice is made, whichever is later; provided, that if there are any state statutory requirements for appeals to the district, the time limits for filing appeals specified therein shall control. An appeal of a threshold determination may not be postponed until a decision is made on the proposal, but shall be made within the time limits provided here or thereafter be barred.

(4) Any appeal of EIS adequacy shall be filed within 15 days of the date of an agency’s final decision on a proposed action or the date whenever any required notice thereof is made, whichever is later; provided, that if there are any state statutory requirements for appeals to the district, the time limits for filing appeals specified therein shall control.

(5) Any appeal which is timely filed shall be scheduled for a hearing before the board of commissioners no later than 30 days after filing of the appeal. The hearing shall be electronically recorded, be conducted on the record consistent with applicable law, provide for testimony under oath and otherwise be in accord with applicable law. Within 10 days of the conclusion of the hearing, the board shall render its decision accompanied by appropriate findings of fact and conclusions of law.

(6) The procedural determinations made by the responsible official shall be entitled to substantial weight in any appeal.

(7) No person having a right to judicial appeal shall pursue judicial review without having first used this administrative appeal process prior to seeking judicial review, unless expressly provided otherwise by state statute. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 10.]

11.05.110 Public notice.

(1) Public notice and opportunity for public comment on adoption of or revision to these SEPA rules shall be provided by publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the general area where the district has its principal offices.

(2) Public notice and opportunity for public comment on the preparation of an environmental document or its availability, and notice that public hearing(s), if any, will be held, shall be provided by notifying a newspaper of general circulation in the general area where the district has its principal offices; provided, that the responsible official is not required, but may utilize, in his/her sole discretion, in addition to the notice required hereby, existing district notice procedures and/or procedures or methods set out in WAC 197-11-510(1)(a-f).

(3) The responsible official may use the form of “Notice of Action” provisions of RCW 43.21C.080 for public or official notices required by these SEPA rules.

(4) The district may require an applicant to complete any required public notice requirements for the applicant’s proposal at applicant’s expense. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 11.]

11.05.120 Fees.

No application shall be complete nor shall any environmental document be final until all fees imposed hereby have been paid to the district. For all proposals that the district is the lead agency, the applicant shall pay a fee equal to the administrative costs of supervision and preparation of a checklist and declaration of nonsignificance or the draft and final EISs or any amendments thereof unless otherwise expressly limited by these SEPA rules.

(1) The amount of the fee shall be based upon the actual total costs for services and materials plus reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses (including but not limited to consultant reports) borne by the district in complying with these SEPA rules. It shall not include costs for obtaining information from consulted agencies or efforts related to pre-draft consultation.

(2) The applicant shall make an initial payment of $250.00 to the district, or post bond in an amount equal to the projected costs as estimated by the responsible official, whichever is greater.

(3) All fees shall be paid in full before the document being prepared is finalized. [Res. 1989-12-1 § 12.]

11.05.130 Supplementary procedures.

The responsible official is authorized to develop and promulgate such procedure as he/she deems appropriate for implementing these SEPA rules. The responsible official shall provide for responses on behalf of the district when it is a consulted agency (see WAC 197-11-912). [Res. 1989-12-1 § 13.]