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Longview School District

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Longview, WA, USA

Policy No. 6890

Management Support

 

SEPA GUIDELINES REGULATIONS

 

LONGVIEW SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 122

REGULATIONS FOR COMPLIANCE WITH THE

STATE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT

 

PART ONE

PURPOSE, AUTHORITY, AND POLICY

 

Section 1   Authority.  The Longview School District No. 122 adopts these regulations under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), RCW 43.210.120 and the SEPA Rules, WAC 197-11-904.

Section 2   Purpose.  This ordinance contains the District's SEPA procedures and policies.  The SEPA Rules, Chapter 197-11, Washington Administrative Code (WAC) will be used in conjunction with this code.

Section 3   Policies.  Pursuant to RCW 43.21C and WAC 97-11-030, it is the policy of Longview School District No. 122 to use all practicable means to improve and coordi­nate plans, functions, programs, and resources to the end that the state and its citizens may:

  1. Fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as trustee of the environment for succeeding generations;
  2. Assure for all people of Cowlitz County safe, healthful, productive, and aes­thetically and culturally pleasing surroundings;
  3. Attain the widest range of beneficial uses of the environment without degra­dation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended conse­quences;
  4. Preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our national her­itage;
  5. Maintain, wherever possible, an environment which supports diversity and variety of individual choice;
  6. Achieve a balance between population and resource use which will permit high standards of living and a wide sharing of life's amenities; and
  7. Enhance the quality of renewable resources and approach the maximum attainable recycling of depletable resources;
  8. Recognize that each person has a fundamental and inalienable right to a healthful environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.

 

PART TWO

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

Section 1   Purpose and Adoption by Reference.  This part contains the basic require­ments that apply to the SEPA process.  The District adopts the following sections of the WAC by reference.

197-11-040 Definitions.
197-11-050 Lead agency.
197-11-055 Timing of the SEPA process.
197-11-060 Content of environmental review.
197-11-070 Limitations on action during SEPA process.
197-11-080 Incomplete or unavailable information.
197-11-090

Supporting documents.

197-11-100 Information required of applicants.
197-11-922 Lead agency rules.
197-11-924 Determining the lead agency.
197-11-926 Lead agency for governmental proposals.
197-11-928 Lead agency for public and private proposals.
197-11-930 Lead agency for private projects with one agency with jurisdiction
197-11-932 Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one agency, when one of the agencies is a county/city.
197-11-934 Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from a local agency, not a county/city and one or more state agencies.
197-11-936 Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one state agency.
197-11-938 Lead agencies for specific proposals.
197-11-940 Transfer of lead agency status to a state agency
197-11-942 Agreements on lead agency status.
197-11-944 Agreements on division of lead agency duties.
197-11-946 DOE resolution of lead agency disputes.
197-11-948 Assumption of lead agency status.

 

Section 3   Additional Definitions.   In addition to those definitions contained within WAC 197-11-700 through 799, when used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context indicates otherwise:

  1. "District" means the Longview School District No. 122, Cowlitz County, Washington.
  2. "SEPA Rules" means chapter 197-11 WAC adopted by the Department of Ecology.
  3. "Ordinance" means the ordinance, resolution, or other procedure used by the District to adopt regulatory requirements.
  4. "Early notice" means the District's response to an applicant stating whether it considers issuance of a determination of significance likely for the applican­t's proposal (mitigated Determination of Non-Significance procedures).
  5. "EIS" - Environmental Impact Statement.
  6. "DNS" - Determination of Non-Significance.
  7. "DS" - Determination of Significance.
  8. "WAC" - Washington Administrative Code.

 

Section 4   Designation of Responsible Official.

  1. For those proposals for which the District is the lead agency, the responsible official shall be the Superintendent or his/her designee.
  2. For all proposals for which the District 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 adopted by reference in these regulations.

 

Section 5   SEPA Information.  The District shall retain all documents required by the SEPA Rules (197-11 WAC) and make them available in accordance with Chapter 42.17 RCW, at the Department of Maintenance, Operations, Transportation, and Facilities, 2080 - 38th Avenue, Longview School District No. 122, Longview, Washington 98632.

 

Section 6   Lead Agency Determination and Responsibilities.

  1. When the District initiates a proposal that involves a nonexempt action, the responsible official shall determine the lead agency for that proposal under WAC 197-11-050 and WAC 197-11-922 through WAC 197-11-940; unless the lead agency has been previously determined.
  2. When the District is the lead agency for a proposal, the responsible official shall supervise compliance with the threshold determination requirements, and if an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is necessary, shall super­vise preparation of the (EIS).
  3. When the District is not the lead agency of a proposal, all departments of the District shall use and consider, as appropriate, either the Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) or the final EIS of the lead agency in making deci­sions on the proposal.  No District department shall 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 District may conduct supplemental environmental review under WAC 197-11-600.
  4. If the District 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 and resolved within fifteen days of receipt of the determination, or the District must petition the Department of Ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11-946 within the fifteen-day time period.  Any such petition on behalf of the District shall be initiated by the Superintendent or his/her designee.
  5. The Superintendent is 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.

 

Section 7   Coordination of Environmental Review with District Action.

  1. For nonexempt proposals, the DNS or final EIS for the proposal shall accompany the District's staff recommendation to any appropriate decision-making body.

 

PART THREE

CATEGORICAL EXEMPTIONS AND THRESHOLD DETERMINATIONS

 

Section 1   Purpose and Adoption by Reference.  This part contains the rules for decid­ing whether a proposal has a "probably significant, adverse environmental impact" requiring an EIS to be prepared.  This part also contains rules for categorical exemp­tions and rules for evaluating the impacts of proposals not requiring an EIS as well as the application of exemptions.  The District adopts the following sections of the WAC by reference, as supplemented in this part.

197-11-300 Purpose of this part.
197-11-305 Categorical exemptions.
197-11-310 Threshold determination required.
197-11-315 Environmental checklist.
197-11-330 Threshold determination process.
197-11-335 Additional information.
197-11-340 Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).
197-11-350 Mitigated DNS.
197-11-360 Determination of significance (DS)/initiation of scoping.
197-11-390 Effect of threshold determination.
197-11-800 Categorical exemptions.
197-11-880 Emergencies.
197-11-890 Petitioning DOE to change exemptions.

 

Section 2   Use of Exemptions.

  1. When the District initiates a proposal, the responsible official shall determine whether the proposal is exempt.  This determination shall be based upon the categorical exemptions defined in the SEPA procedures of the city or county where the proposal is located and also whether the proposal is located in an environmentally sensitive area.  The determination that a proposal is exempt shall be final and not subject to administrative review.  If a proposal is exempt, none of the procedural requirements of this ordinance apply to the proposal.  The District shall not require completion of an environmental checklist for an exempt proposal.
  2. In determining whether or not a proposal is exempt, the responsible official shall make certain the proposal is properly defined and shall identify the governmental licenses required (WAC 197-11-060).  If a proposal includes exempt and nonexempt actions, the responsible official shall determine the lead agency, even if the license application that triggers the department's consideration is exempt.
  3. If a proposal includes both exempt and nonexempt actions, the District may authorize exempt actions prior to compliance with the procedural require­ments of this ordinance, except that:
    1. The District shall not give authorization for:
      1. Any nonexempt action;
      2. Any action that would have an adverse environmental impact; or
      3.  Any action that would limit the choice of alternatives.
    2. A department may withhold approval of an exempt action that would lead to modification of the physical environment, when such modification would serve no purpose if nonexempt action(s) were not approved.
    3. A department may withhold approval of exempt actions that would lead to substantial financial expenditures by a private applicant when the expenditures would serve no purpose if nonexempt action(s) were not approved.

 

Section 3   Environmental Checklist.

  1.  A completed environmental checklist (or a copy), in the form provided in WAC 197-11-960, shall be issued at the same time as or before the District applies for a permit, license, certificate, or other approval required by another agency.  A checklist is not needed if the District acknowledges an EIS is required, SEPA compliance has been completed, or SEPA compli­ance has been initiated by another agency.  The District shall use the envi­ronmental checklist to determine the lead agency and, if the District is the lead agency, for making the threshold determination.
  2. For District proposals, the department initiating the proposal shall complete the environmental checklist for that proposal.

 

 

PART FOUR

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS (EIS)

Section 1   Purpose and Adoption by Reference.  This part contains the rules for preparing environmental impact statements.  The District adopts the following sections of the WAC by reference, as supplemented by this part:

197-11-400 Purpose of EIS.
197-11-402 General requirements.
197-11-405 EIS types.
197-11-406 EIS timing.
197-11-408 Scoping.
197-11-410 Expanded scoping.
197-11-420 EIS preparation.
197-11-425 Style and size.
197-11-430 Format.
197-11-435 Cover letter or memo.
197-11-440 EIS contents.
197-11-442 Contents of EIS on nonproject proposals.
197-11-443 EIS contents when prior nonproject EIS.
197-11-444 Elements of the environment.
197-11-448 Relationship of EIS to other consideration.
197-11-450 Cost-benefit analysis.
197-11-455 Issuance of DEIS.
197-11-460 Issuance of FEIS.

 

Section 2   Preparation of EIS.

  1. Preparation of draft and final EISs and Supplemental EISs is the responsi­bility of the responsible official.  Before the District issues an EIS, the responsible official shall be satisfied that it complies with this ordinance and Chapter 197-11-WAC.
  2. The draft and final EIS or Supplemental EIS shall be prepared by District staff or by a consultant selected by the District.

 

PART FIVE

COMMENTING

Section 1   Purpose and Adoption by Reference.  This part contains rules for consult­ing, commenting, and responding on all environmental documents under SEPA, including rules for public notice and hearings.  The District adopts the following sec­tions of the WAC by reference, as supplemented in this part.

197-11-500 Purpose of this Part.
197-11-502 Inviting comment.
197-11-504

Availability and cost of environmental documents.

197-11-508 SEPA Register.
197-11-535 Public hearings and meetings.
197-11-545 Effect of no comment.
197-11-550 Specificity of comments.
197-11-560 FEIS response to comments.
197-11-570 Consulted agency costs to assist lead agency.

 

Section 2   Public Notice.

  1. Whenever the District issues a DNS under WAC 197-11-340(2) or a DS under WAC 197-11-360(3), the District shall give public notice by at least one of the following:
    1. Posting the property, for site-specific proposals;
    2. Publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, town, or general area where the proposal is located;
    3. Notifying public or private groups which have expressed interest in a certain proposal or in the type of proposal being considered;
    4. Notifying the news media;
    5. Placing notices in appropriate regional, neighborhood, ethnic, or trade journals; and/or
    6. Publishing notice in agency newsletters and/or sending notice to agency mailing lists (either general lists or lists for specific proposals or subject areas);
  2. Whenever the District issues a DS under WAC 197-11-360(3), the District shall state the scoping procedure for the proposal in the DS as required in WAC 197-11-408.
  3. Whenever the District issues a draft EIS under WAC 197-11-455(5) or a supplemental EIS under WAC 197-11-620, notice of the availability of those documents shall be given by at least one of the following methods:
    1. Posting of property, for site-specific proposals;
    2. Publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, town, or general area where the proposal is located;
    3. Notifying public or private groups which have expressed interest in a certain proposal or in the type of proposal being considered;
    4. Notifying the news media;
    5. Placing notices in appropriate regional, neighborhood, ethnic, or trade journals; and/or
    6. Publishing notice in agency newsletters and/or sending notice to agency mailing lists (either general lists or lists for specific proposals or subject areas);
  4. Whenever possible, the District shall integrate the public notice required under this section with existing notice procedures for the District's nonex­empt permit(s) or approval(s) required for the proposal.

 

Section 3   Designation of Official to Perform Consulted Agency Responsibilities for the District.

  1. The Superintendent or his/her designee shall be responsible for preparation of written comments for the District in response to a consultation request prior to a threshold determination, participation in scoping, or reviewing a draft EIS.
  2. The Superintendent shall be responsible for the District's compliance with WAC 197-11-550 whenever the District 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 District.

 

PART SIX

USING EXISTING ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS

Section 1   Purpose and Adoption by Reference.  This part contains rules for using and supplementing existing environmental documents prepared under SEPA or NEPA for the District's own environmental compliance.  The District adopts the following section of the WAC by reference:

197-11-600 When to use existing environmental documents.
197-11-610

Use of NEPA documents.

197-11-620 Supplemental environmental impact statement -- Procedures.
197-11-625 Addenda -- Procedures.
197-11-630 Adoption -- Procedures.
197-11-635 Incorporation by reference -- Procedures.
197-11-640 Combining documents.

 

PART SEVEN

AGENCY SEPA DECISIONS

Section 1   Purpose and Adoption by Reference.  This part contains rules and policies for SEPA's substantive authority, such as decisions to mitigate or reject proposals as a result of SEPA.  This part also contains procedures for appealing SEPA determina­tions to agencies or the courts.  The District adopts the following sections of the WAC by reference.
 

197-11-650 Purpose of this Part.
197-11-655 Implementation.
197-11-660 Substantive authority and mitigation.
197-11-680 Appeals.

 

Section 2   Substantive Authority.

  1. The policies and goals set forth in this ordinance are supplementary to those in existing regulations, resolutions, and plans of the Longview School District No. 122.
  2. The District may attach conditions to a proposal or action so long as:
    1. Such conditions are necessary to mitigate specific probable adverse environmental impacts identified in environmental documents prepared pursuant to this ordinance; and
    2. Such conditions are in writing; and
    3. The mitigation measures included in such conditions are reasonable and capable of being accomplished; and
    4. The District has considered whether other local, state, or federal mitiga­tion measures applied to the proposal are sufficient to mitigate the identi­fied impacts; and
    5. Such conditions are based on one or more policies in Part I, Section 3 above and cited in the decision document.
  3. The District may deny a proposal on the basis of SEPA so long as:
    1. A finding is made that approving the proposal would result in probable significant adverse environmental impacts that are identified in a final EIS or final supplemental EIS prepared pursuant to this ordinance; and
    2. A finding is made that there are no reasonable mitigation measures capable of being accomplished that are sufficient to mitigate the identi­fied impact; and
    3. The denial is based on one or more policies identified in Part I, Section 3 above and identified in writing in the decision document.

 

Section 3   Notice/Statute of Limitations.

  1. The District may publish a notice of action pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080 for any action.
  2. The form of the notice shall be substantially in the form provided in WAC 197-11-990.  The notice shall be published by the District Superintendent or his/her designee pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080.

 

PART EIGHT

AGENCY COMPLIANCE

Section 1   Purpose and Adoption by Reference.  This part contains rules for agency compliance with SEPA, including rules for charging fees under the SEPA process and listing agencies with environmental expertise.  The District adopts the following sec­tions of the WAC by reference as supplemented by this part:

197-11-900 Purpose of this Part.
197-11-902 Agency SEPA policies.
197-11-916 Application to ongoing actions.
197-11-920 Agencies with environmental expertise.

 

The District also adopts the following forms and sections of the WAC by reference:

197-11-960 Environmental checklist.
197-11-965 Adoption notice.
197-11-970 Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).
197-11-980 Determination of significance and scoping notice (DS).
197-11-985 Notice of assumption of lead agency status.
197-11-990 Notice of action.

 

Section 2   Fees.  The District shall require the following fees for its activities in accor­dance with the provisions of this ordinance:

  1. The District shall not collect a fee for performing its duties as a consulted agency.
  2. The District may charge any person for copies of any document prepared under this ordinance, and for mailing the document, in a manner provided by Chapter 42.17 RCW.

 

PART NINE

VALIDITY

Section 1   Severability.  If any provision of this ordinance or its application to any per­son or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected.

Legal References:

RCW   43.21C State environmental policy
WAC   197-11 State environmental policy act rules

 

 

Adopted: April 12, 2010