(1) Agencies shall use the environmental checklist substantially in the form found in WAC 197-11-960
to assist in making threshold determinations for proposals, except for:
(a) Public proposals on which the lead agency has decided to prepare its own EIS; or
(b) Proposals on which the lead agency and applicant agree an EIS will be prepared; or
(c) Projects which are proposed as planned actions (see subsection (2) of this section); or
(d) Projects where questions on the checklist are adequately covered by existing legal authorities (see subsection (6) of this section); or
(e) Nonproject proposals where the lead agency determines that questions in Part B do not contribute meaningfully to the analysis of the proposal. In such cases, Parts A, C, and D at a minimum shall be completed.
(2) For projects submitted as planned actions under WAC 197-11-164
, a GMA county/city shall use the existing environmental checklist or modify the environmental checklist form to fulfill the purposes outlined in WAC 197-11-172
(1), notwithstanding the requirements of WAC 197-11-906
If the GMA county/city chooses to modify the existing environmental checklist, the modified form shall be submitted to the department of ecology to allow at least a thirty-day review prior to use. The department shall notify the GMA county/city within thirty days of receipt if it has any objections to the modified form and the general nature of the objections. If the department objects, the modified form shall not be used until the GMA county/city and the department have reached agreement.
(3) Agencies may use an environmental checklist whenever it would assist in their planning and decision making, but shall only require an applicant to prepare a checklist under SEPA if a checklist is required by subsection (1) of this section.
(4) The lead agency shall prepare the checklist or require an applicant to prepare the checklist.
(5) The items in the environmental checklist are not weighted. The mention of one or many adverse environmental impacts does not necessarily mean that the impacts are significant. Conversely, a probable significant adverse impact on the environment may result in the need for an EIS.
(6) In the checklist provided to applicants, the lead agency for an environmental review under this chapter may identify questions on the checklist adequately covered by a locally adopted ordinance, development regulation, land use plan, or other legal authority. A lead agency still must consider whether the action has an impact on the particular element or elements of the environment in question.
(a) In instances where the locally adopted ordinance, development regulation, land use plan, or other legal authority provide the necessary information to answer a specific question, the lead agency must explain how the proposed project satisfies the underlying local legal authority.
(b) If the lead agency identifies instances where questions on the checklist are adequately covered by a locally adopted ordinance, development regulation, land use plan, or other legal authority, an applicant may still provide answers to any questions on the checklist.
(c) Nothing in this section authorizes a lead agency to ignore or delete a question on the checklist.
(7) The lead agency may determine the appropriate methods for receipt of electronic submittals of the checklist from applicants including electronic signature of Part C of the checklist.
(8) Lead agencies may include helpful information (including web links) in the checklist to assist applicants in completing the questions.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.21C.110
. WSR 13-02-065 (Order 12-01), § 197-11-315, filed 12/28/12, effective 1/28/13. Statutory Authority: 1995 c 347 (ESHB 1724) and RCW 43.21C.110
. WSR 97-21-030 (Order 95-16), § 197-11-315, filed 10/10/97, effective 11/10/97. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.21C.110
. WSR 84-05-020 (Order DE 83-39), § 197-11-315, filed 2/10/84, effective 4/4/84.]