The Department of Ecology (Ecology) released a Summary of SEPA Scoping and Response to Comments for developing a Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) on Washington’s Pacific Coast. The scoping comment period lasted for 69 days and collected feedback from 45 individuals. Scoping helps define the scope of the project and issues to be analyzed under environmental review. Ecology released this summary document to highlight changes to the scope of the MSP and summarize comments received and responses.
The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) is a process that informs agencies, applicants, and the public. Under SEPA, public agencies are required to evaluate the potential significant negative environmental impacts of a proposal prior to decision-making. In this case, SEPA is being used for a non-project evaluation of the development of a Marine Spatial Plan (MSP) for Washington’s Pacific Coast. Under SEPA, ‘non-project’ proposals are plans that are not actual on-the-ground construction or modifications to the environment. The SEPA process was formally initiated by Ecology with the issuance of a Scoping Notice on July 16, 2013 with a comment period through September 23, 2013.