WSR 13-15-073
[Filed July 16, 2013, 12:19 p.m.]
SEPA Lead Agency, Determination of Significance and Request for Comments on Scope of Environmental Impact Statement for the Pacific Coast Marine Spatial Plan
Pursuant to WAC 197-11-900 (922-948), the department of ecology (ecology) has determined that it is lead agency for the development of the Pacific Coast marine spatial plan (MSP).
Washington's Pacific Coast is potentially adversely affected by increasing pressures on the resources in this area, conflicts among uses, and proposed new uses. In addition, multiple, overlapping jurisdictions and authorities creates challenges for coordinated decision-making and proactive planning. Under chapter 43.372 RCW, the development of an MSP is intended to address these issues by providing a nonregulatory framework for coordinating information and decisions. This state law requires an interagency team of state natural resource agencies to coordinate the development of the MSP.
Washington is using an existing interagency team, the State Ocean Caucus, for this planning process. The team is chaired by the governor's office and coordinated by ecology. Ecology is the designated lead for coordinating the development of the MSP. Other State Ocean Caucus agencies involved in developing the MSP include: Washington department of natural resources, department of fish and wildlife, Washington Sea Grant and state parks and recreation commission. The planning process will also involve and engage coastal stakeholders, the public and local, tribal, and federal governments. Once the MSP is complete, ecology will submit it to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for its review and approval for incorporation into Washington's federally approved coastal zone management program under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act.
Under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), a nonproject EIS will provide a general evaluation of the alternatives and potential significant adverse impacts associated with developing the MSP for Washington's Pacific Coast (WAC 197-11-704(2)(b)). Additional project-level environmental review under NEPA and SEPA would occur when individual projects or activities are proposed.
More information [on] this public comment opportunity may be found at
Scoping: As part of SEPA, scoping is conducted to receive public and agency comments on the scope of an upcoming environmental impact statement (EIS). A scoping document provides important background, context, and draft proposed language to assist those wishing to provide comments. A copy of this document is available at
Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m., September 23, 2013. Send written scoping comments to or the Department of Ecology, SEA Program, P.O. Box 47600, Olympia, WA 98504-7600.
Location of Proposal: The proposed Marine Spatial Plan addresses marine waters along Washington's Pacific Ocean Coast, including Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor and Pacific counties, Washington.
SEPA Responsible Official: Gordon White.
Date: July 16, 2013.