The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)

The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) provides a way to identify possible environmental impacts that may result from governmental decisions. These decisions may be related to issuing permits for private projects, constructing public facilities, or adopting regulations, policies, or plans. Information provided during the SEPA review process helps agency decision-makers, applicants, and the public understand how a proposal will affect the environment. This information can be used to change a proposal to reduce likely impacts, or to condition or deny a proposal when adverse environmental impacts are identified.

Lead agencies under SEPA

Under SEPA, one government agency is usually identified as the lead agency for every proposal review. The lead agency identifies and evaluates potential adverse environmental impacts of a proposal or determines if the project is exempt from SEPA. Lead agencies include:

  • Washington state agencies
  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Ports
  • Special districts such as school and water districts

More information about SEPA is available on our SEPA Overview page.

Guidance and tips 

Records received by Ecology

Current SEPA Rulemaking


Guidance and Resources

 

More information

Need assistance?

If you need technical assistance, document review and commenting, and other questions, please email sepahelp@ecy.wa.gov or call (360) 407-6922.

 

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