The chief of the Washington state patrol, the director of the traffic safety commission, the executive director of the county road administration board, and the director of licensing are designated as official consultants to the transportation commission so that the goals and activities of their respective agencies which relate to transportation are fully coordinated with other related responsibilities of the department of transportation. In this capacity, the chief of the Washington state patrol, the director of the traffic safety commission, the executive director of the county road administration board, and the director of licensing shall consult with the transportation commission and the secretary of transportation on the implications and impacts on the transportation related functions and duties of their respective agencies of any proposed comprehensive transportation plan, program, or policy.
In order to develop fully integrated, balanced, and coordinated transportation plans, programs, and budgets the chief of the Washington state patrol, the director of the traffic safety commission, the executive director of the county road administration board, and the director of licensing shall consult with the secretary of transportation on the matter of relative priorities during the development of their respective agencies' plans, programs, and budgets as they pertain to transportation activities.
Identification of environmental costs of transportation projects—Pilot project—1993 c 59: "Recognizing the importance of maintaining the quality of life in Washington state, the citizens of this state demand protection and preservation of our scarce natural resources. Citizens also demand an efficient and effective transportation system. The departments of transportation, ecology, fisheries, and wildlife and the Puget Sound water quality authority have worked jointly to develop cooperative approaches for mitigating environmental impacts resulting from transportation projects. Nevertheless, many transportation projects are costing more than was budgeted due to unanticipated and extensive environmental considerations. It is the intent of the legislature to find a process for accessing, budgeting, and accounting for environmental costs related to significant transportation projects in order to determine whether the environmental costs exceed the transportation benefits of a project.
Therefore, the department of transportation shall undertake a pilot program in at least one transportation district that will serve as a case study for the entire department. The department shall identify and cost out the discrete environmental elements of a representative sampling of transportation projects. The environmental elements should include, but not necessarily be limited to, wetlands, stormwater, hazardous waste, noise, fish, and wildlife. The department shall also consider an assessment of the cost impacts resulting from delays associated with permitting requirements.
It is the intent of the legislature that the environmental cost estimates be developed during a detailed scoping process that will include preliminary engineering and design. After the detailed scoping process and design report is complete, the department shall submit project-specific recommendations and cost estimates to the transportation commission before approval is granted for the construction phase of the projects.
Based upon the findings of the pilot program the transportation commission shall recommend policies to the legislative transportation committee regarding: (1) The current practice of appropriating design and construction dollars simultaneously; (2) identification of reasonable thresholds for environmental costs; (3) budget and accounting modifications that may be warranted in order to accurately capture environmental costs associated with transportation projects; and (4) modification to the priority array statutes, chapter 47.05
RCW." [ 1993 c 59 § 1