SEPA checklist guidance, Section A: Background

Checklist guidance helps applicants complete Section A of the SEPA environmental checklist.

A. Background

The background section of the SEPA environmental checklist is important. It helps applicants, agencies and reviewers fully understand all aspects of a proposal, including related activities. Lead agencies check and update the accuracy on all checklists for threshold determination.

Answer each question as completely as possible. All checklists must address the components outlined in state SEPA rule, WAC 197-11-960. The Part A environmental checklist includes:

1. Name of the proposed project (if applicable): Identify the proposal. While most projects or proposals have names or titles, others do not. If no title exists, use a general reference.
2. Name of applicant: More than one person, company, or agency may be listed here. Include the project's sponsor(s) or landowner(s) as well as consultants, contractors, or architects hiring handling applications. Include the name of the agency and department title for public projects and non-project proposals.
3. Address and phone number of applicant(s) and contact(s): Include email addresses, phone numbers, and full mailing addresses.
4. Date checklist was prepared: Note the date when the project's environmental checklist was reviewed. Include:
  • Project design stage
  • Status of existing environment
  • Information about known or anticipated environmental impacts 
5. Agency requesting checklist: Under WAC 197-11-924, the lead SEPA agency should be listed. When unknown, list all the agencies reviewing applications. See state SEPA rules (WACs 197-11-926 through 197-11-944) to see if proposal is a public project. 
6. Proposed timing or schedule (including phasing, if applicable): Include proposed construction dates, operating periods, and timing of any closures, and demolition or reclamation activities. Closely related proposals or parts related must be evaluated using a single checklist. Agencies doing phased SEPA reviews must a detailed analysis (WAC 197-11-060(5)).
7. Do you have any plans for future additions, expansion, or further activity related to or connected with this proposal? If yes, explain: Define the total proposal by identifying
  • Known expansions.
  • Related proposals.
  • Connected project elements or objectives.

8. List any environmental information you know about that has been prepared, or will be prepared, directly related to this proposal: Applicants must provide all relevant environmental informational including: Applicants seeking to revise a reclamation permit or plan for a surface mining project must convey if and when their plan was reviewed under SEPA.

9. Do you know whether applications are pending for governmental approvals of other proposals directly affecting the property covered by your proposal? If yes, explain: During reviews, agencies also consider existing, additional and future environmental impacts posed by other projects or proposals. List permits, applications, funding decisions, or other pending decisions / approvals for other proposals that could affect a proposal. The lead agency should have this information.

10. List any government approvals or permits that will be needed for your proposal, if known: List all needed government permits, funding, leases, approvals, certificates, and letters of availability for public services or utilities. These permits could be needed from the lead agency or another local government, or state or federal agency. List the agency and type of needed permit, action or decision.

11. Give a brief, complete description of your proposal, including the proposed uses and the size of the project and site: Provide:
  • Project description type (e.g., land clearing, residential development or subdivision, retail or commercial development)
  • Actions (e.g., grade, fill, clear, construct, operate, close, demolish, mine).
  • Known sizes and / or quantities (e.g., parking spaces, square footage, lot size, excavation area, road and utility line length).
12. Location of the proposal. Give sufficient information for a person to understand the precise location of your proposed project, including a street address, if any, and section, township, range, if known
Provide a legal description, site plan, vicinity map, and topographical map for the proposal. Attach a reference map or written description. If a proposal would affect a wide area, provide the range or boundaries of the site(s). Provide details about the proposal's location by providing one or more of the following:
  • Street address
  • Parcel number
  • Cross streets
  • Highway mile
  • Section, township, and range
  • Latitude and longitude coordinates