The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
applies to decisions by every state agency, county, city, port, and special districts (such as a school or water district) within Washington State. One agency is identified as the “Lead Agency” for a specific proposal. The Lead Agency is responsible for identifying and evaluating the potential adverse environmental impacts of a proposal and involving the public. The determination whether impacts are likely to be significant is called the “Threshold Determination.” This is documented in either a Determination of Nonsignificance (DNS), a Mitigated Determination of Nonsignificance (MDNS), or a Determination of Significance (DS). A DS requires the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In most cases the Threshold Determination is sent to other agencies, tribes, and the public for their review.
DNR’s SEPA Center assists DNR programs and regions conduct clear, concise and consistent evaluations; coordinate public review; and ensure proper SEPA records. DNR makes decisions on projects or other actions on DNR-managed state lands and for activities regulated by DNR on other lands, such as forest practices and mining reclamation.