Chapter 18D.10


18D.10.010    Authority.

18D.10.020    Purpose, Applicability and Intent.

18D.10.030    Abbreviations.

18D.10.040    Definitions.

18D.10.050    Designation of Responsible Official.

18D.10.060    Lead Agency Determination and Responsibilities.

18D.10.070    Time Limits Applicable to SEPA Review Process.

18D.10.080    Appeal Procedures.

18D.10.090    Compliance.

18D.10.010 Authority.

The following regulations concerning environmental policies and procedures are established and adopted pursuant to Chapter 43.21C RCW, as amended, entitled, "The State Environmental Policy Act of 1971" (SEPA), and the Washington State Administrative Code, Chapter 197-11, entitled, "State Environmental Policy Act Rules." (Ord. 96-19S § 3 (part), 1996)

18D.10.020 Purpose, Applicability and Intent.

A.    The purpose of this Chapter is to provide County regulations implementing the State Environmental Policy Act of 1971 (SEPA) which are consistent with the SEPA Rules.

B.    This Chapter is applicable to all County departments/divisions, commissions, boards, committees, the County Council and Executive.

C.    This Chapter is not intended to require County compliance with the National Environ-mental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA). When the County is required by federal law or regulations to be in compliance with NEPA, such compliance shall be governed by the applicable federal statute and/or regulations and not by this Chapter.

(Ord. 96-19S § 3 (part), 1996)

18D.10.030 Abbreviations.

The abbreviations used in this Chapter are defined as follows:

A.    DEIS – Draft Environmental Impact Statement;

B.    DNS – Declaration of Nonsignificance;

C.    PPW – Planning and Public Works Department;

D.    DS – Declaration of Significance;

E.    EIS – Environmental Impact Statement;

F.    FEIS – Final Environmental Impact Statement;

G.    NEPA – National Environmental Policy Act;

H.    RCW – Revised Code of Washington

I.    SEIS – Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement;

J.    SEPA – State Environmental Policy Act;

K.    WAC – Washington Administrative Code.

L.    MDNS – Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance

(Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 96-19S § 3 (part), 1996)

18D.10.040 Definitions.

Pierce County adopts by reference the definitions stated in WAC 197-11-700 through 197-11-799 as now or hereafter amended. In addition to those definitions, see Chapter 18.25 PCC for a complete list of defined terms. (Ord. 2004-58s § 4 (part), 2004; Ord. 96-19S § 3 (part), 1996)

18D.10.050 Designation of Responsible Official.

For those proposals for which Pierce County is the lead agency, the Responsible Official shall be the Director of Planning and Public Works and/or his/her designee. (Ord. 2017-12s § 2 (part), 2017; Ord. 96-19S § 3 (part), 1996)

18D.10.060 Lead Agency Determination and Responsibilities.

A.    When receiving an application for or initiating a proposal that involves a nonexempt action, the Responsible Official shall determine the lead agency for that proposal under WAC 197-11-050 and 197-11-922 through 197-11-940; unless the lead agency has been previously determined or the department is aware that another agency is in the process of determining the lead agency.

B.    For all proposals for which Pierce County is the lead agency, the Responsible Official shall make the threshold determination, supervise scoping and preparation of any required environmental impact statement (EIS), and perform any other functions assigned to the "lead agency" or "Responsible Official" by those sections of the SEPA rules that were adopted by reference in WAC 197-11.

C.    In addition, the Responsible Official shall be responsible for preparation of written comments for Pierce County in response to a consultation request prior to a threshold determination, participation in scoping, and/or reviewing a DEIS.

D.    This person shall be responsible for the County's compliance with WAC 197-11-550 whenever the County is a consulted agency 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.

E.    Pierce County shall retain all documents required by the SEPA rules (WAC Chapter 197-11) and make them available in accordance with RCW Chapter 42.17.

F.    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.

G.    When Pierce County is not the lead agency for a proposal, all departments of the County shall use and consider, as appropriate, either the DNS, MDNS or the final EIS of the lead agency in making decisions on the proposal. The Responsible Official shall not 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. In some cases, the County may conduct supplemental environmental review under WAC 197-11-600.

H.    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 to the agency originally making the determination. If the objection is not resolved within 15 days of receipt of the determination, the County shall petition the Department of Ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11-946 within the 15-day time period. Any such petition on behalf of the County must be initiated by the Responsible Official of Pierce County.

I.    Departments of the County are 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; provided, that the Responsible Official and any department that will incur responsibilities as the result of such agreement approve the agreement.

J.    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.

(Ord. 96-19S § 3 (part), 1996)

18D.10.070 Time Limits Applicable to SEPA Review Process.

Time periods (expressed in calendar days) for establishing a threshold determination or preparing an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to this Title, Chapter 43.21C RCW and WAC 197-11 are as follows:

A.    Threshold Determinations. If it is possible to make a threshold determination based solely upon review of the environmental checklist for the proposal, said determination shall be completed no later than 30 days from the date of submittal of the applicant's complete application and checklist. The Threshold Determination shall be issued no later than 40 days prior to any scheduled public hearing, if applicable.

B.    If the Responsible Official determines that it is necessary to obtain information in addition to that contained on the environmental checklist, such further information shall be requested pursuant to PCC 18.60.020.

C.    Environmental Impact Statement Preparation. Commencing at the issuance of a Determination of Significance, the Responsible Official shall have 315 days (County review time), plus the time needed by the EIS preparer, to issue an FEIS. The 315 days shall be used for: scoping, review of preliminary DEIS, issuance of DEIS, public/agency comment period, review of preliminary final EIS, and issuance of FEIS. This period excludes any time during which the applicant and/or the EIS preparer is preparing or revising EIS related documents.

(Ord. 96-19S § 3 (part), 1996)

18D.10.080 Appeal Procedures.

The procedures governing an appeal of a threshold determination, DEIS, FEIS or SEIS are set forth in Chapter 1.22, Pierce County Code. (Ord. 96-19S § 3 (part), 1996)

18D.10.090 Compliance.

The regulations for compliance with the provisions of this Title are set forth in Chapter 18.140, Compliance. (Ord. 2010-70s § 13 (part), 2010; Ord. 97-84 § 4 (part), 1997)