Programmatic EIS

We are developing three statewide Programmatic Environmental Impact Statements (PEISs) for: 

  • Utility scale solar energy projects
  • Utility scale onshore wind energy projects
  • Green electrolytic and renewable hydrogen projects
  • These will also include battery storage systems co-located at a facility.

Scoping is the first step in developing a PEIS. The purpose is to seek public comment about environmental issues which should be studied. 

  • Scoping for the solar energy and onshore wind energy PEISs was held Sept. 27 - Oct. 27, 2023
  • Scoping for the green hydrogen PEIS is planned for early 2024

Scoping Phase

Ecology has developed two scoping documents - one for utility-scale solar energy and one for onshore wind energy  facilities. They provide information about what is planned to be analyzed in each PEIS. This includes information on possible types of facilities, potential environmental impacts, and mitigation actions such as siting and design considerations, permit conditions, and additional measures.

Scoping for the solar energy and onshore wind energy PEISs was held Sept. 27 – Oct. 27, 2023. The public comment period is now closed. We are considering the comments on these documents.

Scoping for the green hydrogen PEIS is planned for early 2024. We will hold a public comment period and public meetings. 

What is a PEIS

Focus sheet – What is a PEIS

A programmatic EIS is a broad environmental assessment that provides information for future project decisions. The review is done under the State Environmental Policy Act and evaluates impacts at a broad level. Each EIS will look at: 

  • Existing conditions 
  • Project alternatives 
  • Potential significant environmental impacts 
  • Proposed mitigation to offset any potential impacts 
  • These environmental reviews are not intended to make any decisions whether a specific project should be built. Rather they will provide early information to be considered during planning. 

The deadline for completing the 3 environmental reviews is June 30, 2025.   

Each programmatic EIS will look statewide at the types of projects that could be built and evaluate potential significant environmental impacts. Since each programmatic EIS is not specific to any particular site, the evaluations will be done at a broad level and will assess which areas in the state are suitable for the three types of green energy projects.  

The three non-project environmental assessments will evaluate likely impacts on: 

  • Natural and built environments  
  • Historic and cultural resources 
  • Protected and endangered species 
  • Habitat connectivity and migration corridors 
  • Overburdened communities including environmental justice concerns 
  • Tribal rights, interests, and resources 
  • Land uses 
  • Military installations and operations  

Foundation for specific green energy proposals

Although proponents for specific projects will still need to complete a project EIS for their individual clean energy project, the programmatic environmental reviews will help developers avoid and minimize potential impacts as they work to site and develop their proposals. 

Each programmatic EIS will also help local governments and state agencies conduct their environmental reviews and make permit decisions. In addition, the public and Tribes can use the information to help assess green energy proposals. 


Early 2024: Scoping starts for green electrolytic and renewable hydrogen programmatic EIS

Summer 2024: Draft PEISs for utility-scale solar energy and utility scale wind energy released for public review and comment 

June 30, 2025: All three programmatic environmental reviews finalized and released 

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