Table of Contents

This detailed table of contents provides the chapter, section, and subsection headings for the on-line version of the SEPA Handbook. If using the frames version, you may also use the navigation bar on the left to move from chapter to chapter. For more information about the on-line version of the SEPA Handbook, see the Introduction. 


1. SEPA — General Background

1.1. Purpose and Intent
1.2. History

2. SEPA Environmental Review

2.1. Summary of the SEPA Process
2.2. Provide a Pre-application Process
2.3. Determine Whether SEPA Is Required

2.3.1. Defining the entire proposal Phased Review
2.3.2. Identify Permits
2.3.3. Categorical Exemptions Categorical Exemptions--Flexible Thresholds Categorical Exemptions in Critical Areas Emergency Exemptions Categorical Exemptions for Infill - 2003 Legislation Tips
2.4. The Lead Agency
2.4.1. Determining Lead Agency
2.4.2. Lead Agency Agreements
2.4.3. Transfer of Lead Agency Status
2.4.4. Assumption of Lead Agency Status
2.5. Evaluate the Proposal
2.5.1. The Environmental Checklist
2.5.2. Consultations
2.5.3. Identify Mitigation
2.6. Assess Significance
2.7. Use of Existing Documents
2.7.1. Adoption Tips
2.7.2. Incorporation by Reference
2.7.3. Addendum
2.7.4. Planned Actions
2.8. Issuing a Determination of Nonsignificance
2.8.1. Mitigated DNS
2.8.2. DNS Comment Period
2.8.3. Public Notice and Circulation of a DNS
2.8.4. Responding to Comments on a DNS

3. Environmental Impact Statement Process

3.1. Encouraging Public Participation in the EIS
3.2. Scoping
3.2.1. Issuing a Determination of Significance/Scoping Notice
3.2.2. Responding to Scoping Comments
3.2.3. Determining the Scope of the EIS Revising the Scope of the EIS
3.2.4. Withdrawing a DS/Scoping Notice
3.3. Purpose and Content of an EIS
3.3.1. Describing the Proposal
3.3.2. Identifying Alternatives No-Action Alternative Preferred Alternative
3.3.3. Affected Environment, Significant Impacts, and Mitigation Measures
3.3.4. EIS Summary Section

3.3.5. Optional EIS Pieces
3.4. Draft EIS
3.4.1. Issuing a Draft EIS
3.5. Final EIS
3.5.1. Responding to Comments on the Draft EIS
3.5.2. FEIS Timing
3.5.3. FEIS Format

3.5.4. Issuing a Final EIS
3.6. Supplementing an EIS
3.6.1. Tips

4. Nonproject Review

4.1. General Guidance for Nonproject Actions
4.2. Contents of a Nonproject EIS

5. Commenting

5.1. When to Comment
5.2. Commenting Effectively

6. Using SEPA in Decision Making

7. SEPA and the Growth Management Act (GMA)

7.1. Principles for Integrating SEPA and GMA
7.2. GMA Nonproject Review
7.2.1. Early (Preliminary) Environmental Analyses
7.2.2. Timing of the Threshold Determination
7.2.3. Expanded Scoping
7.2.4. Issuing and Distributing an Integrated Document
7.2.5. Adopting the GMA document
7.2.6. Integrated Document Format GMA Action EIS Non-EIS Integrated Documents
7.3. GMA Project Review
7.4. Planned Actions
7.4.1. Tip
7.4.2. Designating Planned Action Projects
7.4.3. Consistency Requirements for Planned Action Projects

8. Local Project Review Act

8.1. Requirements for Integrated Project Review
8.1.1. Requirements for All Counties and Cities

8.1.2. Requirements for GMA Cities and Counties
8.2. Steps in the Project Review Process for GMA Counties and Cities
8.2.1. Pre-application Process
8.2.2. Determination of Completeness
8.2.3. Notice of Application (NOA)
8.2.4. Notice of Final Decision
8.3. Optional DNS
8.4. Analyzing Consistency and Environmental Impacts in Project Review
8.4.1. Analyzing Consistency
8.4.2. Addressing Environmental Impacts of a Project
8.4.3. How Analysis of Consistency and Environmental Impacts Works Together

9. SEPA’s Relation to NEPA

9.1. NEPA Review Process
9.2. Integrating NEPA and SEPA
9.3. Tips

10. SEPA and MTCA

10.1. Integration of SEPA and MTCA
10.1.1. Review Process
10.1.2. MTCA Interim Actions

11. Appeals

11.1. Administrative Appeals
11.1.1. Requirements for Counties and Cities
11.2. Judicial Appeals

12. Adopting Agency SEPA Procedures and Policies

13. Special Districts and State Agencies

13.1. GMA and the Local Project Review Act
13.2. When State Agencies or Special Districts Are Lead Agency
13.2.1. Environmental Review Process


Appendix A. Frequently Asked Questions

A.1. General Questions
A.2. Categorical Exemptions
A.3. Lead Agency
A.4. Threshold Determination Process
A.5. Use of Existing Documents
A.6. Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS)
A.7. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)
A.8. Substantive Authority
A.9. Appeals
A.10. Nonproject Review

Appendix B. Significant SEPA Appellate Court Decisions

Appendix C. Additional Resources

Appendix D. Sample Letters and Forms

Sample Letter Notifying Another Agency That They Are Lead Agency
Sample Responses to a "Request for Early Notice"
Sample EIS Fact Sheet
Sample DNS/Adoption Notice
Sample DS/Adoption Notice


Table 1. SEPA Process
Table 2. SEPA Public Involvement Requirements
Table 3. Considerations During the Threshold Determination Process
Table 4. Typical Local Project Review When an EIS Is Required
Table 5. Typical Local Project Review with Optional DNS Process


Figure 1. SEPA Process Flow Chart
Figure 2. Sample Public Notice for a DNS
Figure 3. Sample Combined Public Notice
Figure 4. Sample Notice of Application with Optional DNS

More SEPA Handbook files - not part of the on-line version:

Title page and credits

Cover (pdf  95 kb)
pdf file of entire SEPA Handbook (1.8 MB)
doc file of entire SEPA Handbook (2.9 MB)

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