What is SEPA?

SEPA is the abbreviation or acronym for the State Environmental Policy Act, Chapter 43.21C RCW. Enacted in 1971, it provides the framework for agencies to consider the environmental consequences of a proposal before taking action. It also gives agencies the ability to condition or deny a proposal due to identified likely significant adverse impacts. The Act is implemented through the SEPA Rules, Chapter 197-11 WAC.

When is SEPA Environmental Review Required?

Environmental review is required for any proposal which involves a government "action," as defined in the SEPA Rules (WAC 197-11-704), and is not categorically exempt (WAC 197-11-800 through 890). Project actions involve an agency decision on a specific project, such as a construction project or timber harvest. Nonproject actions involve decisions on policies, plans, or programs, such as the adoption of a comprehensive plan or development regulations, or a transportation plan.

Who is Responsible for doing SEPA Environmental Reviews?

One agency is identified as the "lead agency" under the SEPA Rules WAC 197-11-924 to 938, and is responsible for conducting the environmental review for a proposal and documenting that review in the appropriate SEPA documents (DNS, DS/EIS, adoption, addendum). Columbia County Planning and Building is the lead agency for Columbia County, Washington.

To view current and past SEPA determinations, visit the SEPA Register.

Additional Materials

Please bring application materials to:
Columbia County Planning and Building
114 S 2nd Street
Dayton, Washington 99328

Required Applications:

SEPA Submittal Checklist (PDF)
SEPA Environmental Review Checklist (PDF)