6. Using SEPA in Decision Making
One of the most important aspects of the SEPA process is the consideration of environmental impacts and possible mitigation measures during agency decision-making. SEPA substantive authority [WAC 197-11-660] gives all levels of government the ability to condition or deny a proposal based on environmental impacts.
Before requiring mitigation measures under SEPA substantive authority, agencies are to first consider whether local, state, or federal requirements and enforcement would mitigate the identified significant adverse impacts [WAC 197-11-660(1)(e)].
Decision-makers should judge whether possible mitigation measures are likely to protect or enhance environmental quality. Mitigation measures must be related to a specific adverse impact clearly identified in an environmental document [WAC 197-11-744] on the proposal, and must be reasonable and capable of being accomplished [WAC 197-11-660(1)(b) and (c)].
To deny a proposal under SEPA, an agency must find that:
SEPA supplements the existing authority of all agencies. To exercise SEPA substantive authority each agency must adopt SEPA policies that will be the basis for conditioning or denying proposals. These policies must be readily available to the public for the benefit of applicants and concerned citizens. (See adoption procedures in WAC 197-11-902.)
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