Environmental review process for Water Quality Program grants & loans

Projects funded by a Water Quality Program grant or loan require a review for potential impacts to environmental or cultural resources. Federal, state, and local regulatory standards vary by project type, type of funding, and location.

Cultural and Environmental Review

For information about cultural and environmental review, please read the current Funding Guidelines. For both environmental and cultural resource requirements, the first step is to determine if Ecology is the lead agency. (Contact the person listed below if you have questions about how to determine the lead agency.)

If you need assistance, reach out to your team:

  • Environmental Review Coordinator for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund: Liz Ellis, 360-628-4410 
  • Cultural Review for state funded stormwater program projects (Western Washington): Michelle Myers, 360-628-4067
  • Culteral Review for state funded stormwater program projects (Eastern Washington): Melissa Conger, 360 706-4202,
  • Cultural Review for onsite sewage systems projects, state funded nonpoint projects : Seth Elsen, 564-999-1177 

Cultural Resources Review and Discovery Protocol

Cultural Resources Review and Consultation

If Ecology is funding all or a portion of a project, please complete the Cultural Resources Review Form and submit to your Ecology Project Manager or Cultural Resources contact. If you do not know who that is, submit it to the Environmental Review Coordinator.

Inadvertent Discovery Plan (IDP)

For all projects involving ground disturbing activities, an IDP is required in the event of an unanticipated discovery of human remains, and/or historic or prehistoric resources. Your IDP is required on-site, at all times. Also, the IDP must be uploaded to our Ecology Administration of Grants and Loans (EAGL) system and a copy provided to your Ecology Project Manager.

Please do not upload any Cultural Resources forms, reports, or surveys to EAGL. You must upload the IDP to EAGL. 

Environmental Review (for Clean Water State Revolving Fund recipients)

If you are using SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) to help fulfill the requirements for the State Environmental Review Process (SERP), consider using the same planning principles for Environmental Review found on our overview of SEPA webpage. You may also provide a NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) or TEPA (Tribal Environmental Policy Act) document to fulfill the SERP requirements.

Identify what the phase or step of your action is (Planning, Design, Design and Construct, or Construction). Ensure that your Environmental Review documentation (SEPA, NEPA, or TEPA) is consistent with this stage of your project planning. Please do not submit non-project phase documentation to fulfill your SERP construction phase requirements.

Download Environmental Review forms

Communicate with us early and often

During SEPA/NEPA/TEPA comment opportunities, coordinate with the Environmental Review Coordinator and your project/facility manager on any potential mitigation necessary to ensure project success. This gives us the ability to provide input about how the mitigation may impact the design. We also must include approved mitigation as a condition of the funding agreement, provided it supports moving the project forward.

If the lead agency issues a Determination of Significance (DS) or Notice of Intent (NOI) indicating the action has the potential for significant impacts, contact the Environmental Review Coordinator to ensure an Ecology staff member is present at the public hearings. The intent is to ensure the community has the support it needs to move forward with your clean water project. Please communicate early and often with us.

Update your documentation if you have changes

Be sure to update your documentation if you move from a non-project environmental review (planning, design) to a project level environmental review (design-construct, construction). As you get your permits, use the permits to inform your SEPA/NEPA/TEPA review.

By following these steps, you will help your facility grant manager or stormwater project manager. If you have any questions, please contact Liz Ellis or the SEPA Center

List of SERP determinations

We review all State Environmental Review Process (SERP) packages before financing a project. Our SERP Determinations for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) will be posted on this webpage. Please direct any comments or questions, about the projects listed, to Liz Ellis, Environmental Review Coordinator.