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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Policy 9280 - STATE ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT COMPLIANCE

I. POLICIES AND AUTHORITY.  The district adopts by reference the policies of the State Environmental Policy Act as expressed in RCW 43.21C.120, and the SEPA rules, WAC 197-11-904.

The SEPA rules, as currently set forth in chapter 197-11 WAC and as hereafter amended, must be used in conjunction with this policy.

II. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

 2.1 Purpose and adoption by reference. This section contains the basic requirements that apply to the SEPA process. The district adopts the following sections of chapter 197-11 of the Washington Administrative Code, as supplemented and as hereafter amended, by reference:

                        WAC

                                197-11-040 Definitions.

                                197-11-050 Lead agency.

                                197-11-055 Timing of the SEPA process.

                                197-11-060 Content of environmental review.

                                197-11-070 Limitations on actions during SEPA process.

                                197-11-080 Incomplete or unavailable information.

                                197-11-090 Supporting documents.

                                197-11-100 Information required of applicants.

 2.2 Designation of Responsible Official.

             (1) For those proposals for which the district is the lead agency, the responsible official shall be the district superintendent or his/her designee.

             (2) For all proposals for which the district is the lead agency, the responsible official shall make the threshold determination, supervise scoping and preparation of any required environmental impact statement (EIS), and perform any other functions assigned to the "lead agency" or "responsible official" by these policies and procedures.

             (3) The district shall retain all documents required by the SEPA rules (chapter 197-11 WAC) and make them available in accordance with chapter 42.17 RCW.

 2.3 Lead agency determination and responsibilities.

              (1) When the district initiates a proposal that involves a nonexempt action, it shall determine the lead agency for that proposal under WAC 197-11-050 and 197-11-922 through 197-11-940; unless the lead agency has been previously determined or the department is aware that another department or agency is in the process of determining the lead agency.

             (2) When the district is the lead agency for a proposal, the department receiving the application shall notify the responsible official who shall supervise compliance with the threshold determination requirements, and if an EIS is necessary, shall supervise preparation of the EIS.

             (3) When the district is not a lead agency for a proposal, all departments of the district shall use and consider, as appropriate, either the DNS or the final EIS of the lead agency in making decisions on the proposal.  In some cases, the district may conduct supplemental environmental review under RCW 197-11-600.

              (4) If the district or any of its departments receives a lead agency determination made by another agency that appears inconsistent with the criteria of WAC 197-11-922 through 197-11-940, it may object to the determination.  Any objection must be made to the agency originally making the determination and resolved within fifteen days of receipt of the determination, or the district must petition the department of ecology for a lead agency determination under WAC 197-11-946 within the fifteen-day time period.  Any such petition on behalf of the district may be initiated by the responsible official.

              (5) The district is authorized to make agreements as to lead agency status or shared lead agency duties for a proposal under WAC 197-11-942 and 197-11-944.

 2.4 Additional considerations in time limits applicable to the SEPA process.  Except as may otherwise be required by applicable law, the time frame within which the district shall conduct environmental review shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, consistent with these policies and procedures and the best interests of the district.

 2.5 Additional timing considerations.

        (1) For nonexempt proposals, the DNS or FEIS for the proposal shall accompany the district's staff recommendation to any appropriate advisory body, such as the planning commission.

        (2) If the district's only action on a proposal is a decision on a license that requires detailed project plans and specifications, the applicant may request in writing that the district conduct environmental review prior to submission of the detailed plans and specifications.

III. Categorical Exemptions and Threshold Determinations

 3.1 Purpose and adoption by reference.  This section contains the rules for deciding whether a proposal has a "probable significant adverse environmental impact" requiring an environmental impact statement (EIS) to be prepared.  This section also contains rules for evaluating the impacts of proposals not requiring an EIS.  The district adopts the following sections, as supplemented and as hereafter amended, by reference:

                                WAC

                                197-11-300 Purpose of this part.

                                197-11-305 Categorical exemptions.

                                197-11-310 Threshold determination required.

                                197-11-315 Environmental checklist.

                                197-11-330 Threshold determination process.

                                197-11-335 Additional information.

                                197-11-340 Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

                                197-11-350 Mitigated DNS.

                                197-11-360 Determination of significance (DS)/initiation of scoping.

                                197-11-390 Effect of threshold determination.

IV. Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

 4.1 Purpose and adoption by reference.  This section contains the rules for preparing environmental impact statements.  The district adopts the following sections, as supplemented and as hereafter amended, by reference:

                                WAC

                                197-11-400 Purpose of EIS.

                                197-11-402 General requirements.

                                197-11-405 EIS types.

                                197-11-406 EIS timing.

                                197-11-408 Scoping.

                                197-11-410 Expanded scoping.  (Optional)

                                197-11-420 EIS preparation.

                                197-11-425 Style and size.

                                197-11-430 Format.

                                197-11-435 Cover letter or memo.

                                197-11-440 EIS contents.

                                197-11-442 Contents of EIS on nonproject proposals.

                                197-11-443 EIS contents when prior nonproject EIS.

                                197-11-444 Elements of the environment.

                                197-11-448 Relationship of EIS to other considerations.

                                197-11-450 Cost-benefit analysis.

                                197-11-455 Issuance of DEIS.

                                197-11-460 Issuance of FEIS.

 4.2 Preparation of EIS -- Additional considerations.

       (1) The DEIS and FEIS or draft and final SEIS shall be prepared by district staff or by a consultant selected by the district.  If the responsible official requires an EIS for a proposal and determines that someone other than the district will prepare the EIS, the responsible official shall notify the applicant immediately after completion of the threshold determination.  The responsible official shall also notify the applicant of the district's procedures for EIS preparation, including approval of the DEIS and FEIS prior to distribution.

        (2) The district may require an applicant to provide information the district does not possess, including specific investigations.  However, the applicant is not required to supply information that is not required by these policies and procedures or that is being requested from another agency.  (This does not apply to information the district may request under another ordinance or statute.)

V. Commenting

 5.1 Adoption by reference.  This section contains rules for consulting and commenting on, and responding to, all environmental documents under SEPA, including rules for public notice and hearings.  The district adopts the following sections, as supplemented and as hereafter amended, by reference.

                        WAC

                                197-11-500 Purpose of this part.

                                197-11-502 Inviting comment.

                                197-11-504 Availability and cost of environmental documents.

                                197-11-508 SEPA register.

                                197-11-535 Public hearings and meetings.

                                197-11-545 Effect of no comment.

                                197-11-550 Specificity of comments.

                                197-11-560 FEIS response to comments.

                                197-11-570 Consulted agency costs to assist lead agency.

 5.2 Public notice.

        (1) Whenever the district issues a DNS pursuant to WAC 197-11-340(2), a DS pursuant to WAC 197-11-360(3), a DEIS pursuant to WAC 197-11-455(5), or a SEIS pursuant to WAC 197-11-620, the district shall give public notice as follows:

              (a) Posting the property for site-specific proposals; and

              (b) Publishing notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county, city or general area where the proposal is located.

          (2)       In addition to the methods for giving public notice identified in paragraph 5.2(1) above, whenever notice is required to be given by these policies and procedures the responsible official may designate any one or more of the following methods of providing such notice if the responsible official determines that such methods are required or otherwise appropriate in a particular case:

                (a) Notifying public or private groups which have expressed interest in a certain proposal or in the type of proposal being considered;

                 (b) Notifying the news media;

                 (c) Placing notices in appropriate regional, neighborhood, ethnic or trade journals; and/or

                 (d) Publishing notice in agency newsletters and/or sending letters to agency mailing lists.

           (3) Whenever possible, the district shall integrate the notice procedures required by these policies and procedures with existing notice procedures otherwise required by applicable law.

           (4) Whenever possible, the district shall integrate the public notice required under this section with existing notice procedures for the district's nonexempt permit(s) or approval(s) required for the proposal.

           (5) The district may require an applicant to complete the public notice requirements for the applicant's proposal at his or her expense.

 5.3 Designation of official to perform consulted agency responsibilities for the district.

           (1) The responsible official shall be responsible for preparation of written comments for the district in response to a consultation request.

VI. Using Existing Environmental Documents

 6.1 Purpose and adoption by reference.  This section contains rules for using and supplementing existing environmental documents prepared under SEPA or National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the district's own environmental compliance.  The district adopts the following sections, as supplemented and as hereafter amended, by reference:

                        WAC

                                197-11-600 When to use existing environmental documents.

                                197-11-610 Use of NEPA documents.

                                197-11-620 Supplemental environmental impact statement - Procedures.

                                197-11-625 Addenda - Procedures.

                                197-11-630 Adoption - Procedures.

                                197-11-635 Incorporation by reference - Procedures.

                                197-11-640 Combining documents.

VII.      SEPA and Agency Decisions

 7.1 Purpose and adoption by reference.  This section contains rules (and policies) for SEPA's substantive authority, such as decisions to mitigate or reject proposals as a result of SEPA.  This part also contains procedures for appealing SEPA determinations to agencies or the courts.  The district adopts the following sections, as supplemented and as hereafter amended, by reference:

                        WAC

                                197-11-650 Purpose of the part.

                                197-11-655 Implementation.

                                197-11-660 Substantive authority and mitigation.

                                197-11-680 Appeals.

 7.2 Substantive authority.

        (1) The policies and procedures set forth in this section are supplementary to those in the existing authorization of the district.

        (2) Any district action on a proposal that is not exempt may be conditioned or denied under SEPA to mitigate the environmental impacts, subject to the limitations of WAC 197-11-660 and such other applicable laws.

        (3) The district formally designates and adopts the following policy to be considered by the district in connection with the district's exercise of substantive SEPA authority.  It is the policy of the district that, when undertaking an action involving the exercise of substantive SEPA authority, the district shall consider, as appropriate under the circumstances, the ramifications of such action as to one or more of the following factors:

                 (a) The potential to provide the best educational opportunities possible;

                 (b) The potential to maximize educational benefits from available resources;

                 (c) The potential to fulfill the responsibilities of each generation as to the environment for succeeding generations;

                 (d) The potential to foster a safe, healthful, productive, and aesthetically and culturally pleasing environment;

                  (e) The potential to attain a range of beneficial uses of the environment while avoiding degradation, risk to health or safety, or other undesirable and unintended consequences;

                  (f) The potential to preserve important historic, cultural, and natural aspects of our heritage;

                  (g) The potential to maintain, wherever practical, an environment which supports diversity and variety of choice;

                  (h) The potential to achieve a prudent use of resources which promotes the quality of life and an equitable allocation of amenities;

                  (i) The potential to enhance the quality of renewable resources by reasonable and practical means and promote the recycling of depletable resources; and

                 (j) The potential to recognize that each person has a fundamental and inalienable right to a healthful environment and that each person has a responsibility to contribute to the preservation and enhancement of the environment.

       (4) The district hereby:

              (a) Eliminates, pursuant to WAC 197-11-680(2), appeals to its legislative body of any decision by a nonelected official conditioning or denying a proposal under authority of SEPA; and

             (b) Elects, pursuant to WAC 197-11-680(3), not to provide for administrative appeals of determinations relating to SEPA.

 7.3 Notice/statute of limitations.

         (1) The district may publish a notice of action pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080 for any action.

         (2) The form of the notice shall be substantially in the form provided in WAC 197-11-990.  The notice shall be published by the city clerk or county auditor, applicant or proponent pursuant to RCW 43.21C.080.

VIII. Definitions

 8.1 Purpose and adoption by reference.  This section contained uniform usage and definitions of terms under SEPA.  The district adopts the following sections, as supplemented and as hereafter amended, by reference:

                        WAC

                                197-11-700 Definitions.

                                197-11-702 Act.

                                197-11-704 Action.

                                197-11-706 Addendum.

                                197-11-708 Adoption.

                                197-11-710 Affected tribe.

                                197-11-712 Affecting.

                                197-11-714 Agency.

                                197-11-716 Applicant.

                                197-11-718 Built environment.

                                197-11-720 Categorical exemption.

                                197-11-722 Consolidated appeal.

                                197-11-724 Consulted agency.

                                197-11-726 Cost-benefit analysis.

                                197-11-728 County/city.

                                197-11-730 Decision maker.

                                197-11-732 Department.

                                197-11-734 Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

                                197-11-736 Determination of significance (DS).

                                197-11-738 EIS.

                                197-11-740 Environment.

                                197-11-742 Environmental checklist.

                                197-11-744 Environmental document.

                                197-11-746 Environmental review.

                                197-11-748 Environmentally sensitive area.

                                197-11-750 Expanded scoping.

                                197-11-752 Impacts.

                                197-11-754 Incorporation by reference.

                                197-11-756 Lands covered by water.

                                197-11-758 Lead agency.

                                197-11-760 License.

                                197-11-762 Local agency.

                                197-11-764 Major action.

                                197-11-766 Mitigated DNS.

                                197-11-768 Mitigation.

                                197-11-770 Natural environment.

                                197-11-772 NEPA.

                                197-11-774 Nonproject.

                                197-11-776 Phased review.

                                197-11-778 Preparation.

                                197-11-780 Private project.

                                197-11-782 Probable.

                                197-11-784 Proposal.

                                197-11-786 Reasonable alternative.

                                197-11-788 Responsible official.

                                197-11-790 SEPA.

                                197-11-792 Scope.

                                197-11-793 Scoping.

                                197-11-794 Significant.

                                197-11-796 State agency.

                                197-11-797 Threshold determination.

                                197-11-799 Underlying governmental action.

IX. Categorical Exemptions

 9.1 Adoption by reference.  The district adopts by reference the following rules for categorical exemptions, as supplemented and as hereafter amended:

                        WAC

                                197-11-800 Categorical exemptions.

                                197-11-880 Emergencies.

                                197-11-890 Petitioning DOE to change exemptions.

X. Agency Compliance

 10.1 Purpose and adoption by reference.  This section contains rules for agency compliance with SEPA.  The district adopts the following sections, as supplemented and as hereafter amended, by reference:

                      

                        WAC

                                197-11-900 Purpose of this part.

                                197-11-902 Agency SEPA policies.

                                197-11-916 Application to ongoing actions.

                                197-11-920 Agencies with environmental expertise.

                                197-11-922 Lead agency rules.

                                197-11-924 Determining the lead agency.

                                197-11-926 Lead agency for governmental proposals.

                                197-11-928 Lead agency for public and private proposals.

                                197-11-930 Lead agency for private projects with one agency with jurisdiction.

                                197-11-932 Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one agency, when one of the agencies is a district.

                                197-11-934 Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from a local agency, not a district, and one or more state agencies.

                                197-11-936 Lead agency for private projects requiring licenses from more than one state agency.

                                197-11-938 Lead agencies for specific proposals.

                                197-11-940 Transfer of lead agency status to a state agency.

                                197-11-942 Agreements on lead agency status.

                                197-11-944 Agreements on division of lead agency duties.

                                197-11-946 DOE resolution of lead agency disputes.

                                197-11-948 Assumption of lead agency status.

 10.2 Severability.  If any provision of this resolution or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this resolution, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances, shall not be affected.

XI. Forms

 11.1 Adoption by reference.  The district adopts the following forms and sections by reference:                      

                        WAC

                                197-11-960 Environmental checklist.

                                197-11-965 Adoption notice.

                                197-11-970 Determination of nonsignificance (DNS).

                                197-11-980 Determination of significance and scoping notice (DS).

                                197-11-985 Notice of assumption of lead agency status.

                                197-11-990 Notice of action.

Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Board: August 1984
Revised by the Board: 05.92
Classification: Essential