This State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) guidance includes updated information that was included in previous SEPA handbooks, as well as supplemental information. This guidance is intended to be used in conjunction with the SEPA statute and SEPA rules.
These resources do not have the same legal standing as SEPA or state SEPA rules. Should conflicts arise between our guidance and the State Environmental Policy Act and state SEPA rules, please follow applicable state laws and regulations.
The following links provide information about important SEPA subjects. This information is presented to help agencies, applicants, and the public fully understand and participate in procedural requirements in the state law. Before a particular course of action can be followed, SEPA requires that agencies:
- Consider environmental information - including impacts, alternatives, and mitigation.
- Identify and evaluate - probable environmental impacts, alternatives and mitigation measures by emphasizing important impacts including those that are cumulative, short-term, long-term, direct and indirect.
- Encourage public involvement - in decisions.
- Prepare environmental documents - that are concise, clear, and to the point.
- Integrate SEPA with existing planning and licensing procedures - so these processes run concurrently rather than consecutively.
- Integrate SEPA with agency activities early - to ensure planning and decisions reflect environmental values, avoid delays later in the process, and seek to resolve potential problems.