PREPROPOSAL STATEMENT OF INQUIRY
FISH AND WILDLIFE
Subject of Possible Rule Making: Merge former Departments of Fisheries' (chapter 220-100 WAC) and Wildlife's (chapter 232-19 WAC) SEPA procedures into those for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Statutes Authorizing the Agency to Adopt Rules on this Subject: RCW 77.12.047.
Reasons Why Rules on this Subject may be Needed and What They Might Accomplish: Prior to merging former Department of Wildlife and Department of Fisheries into the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in 1993, each agency had their own SEPA WACs as required by chapter 43.21C RCW. We have not merged the WACs into one set of rules. There are some discrepancies between the two sets of WACs, and some information needs to be clarified.
Other Federal and State Agencies that Regulate this Subject and the Process Coordinating the Rule with These Agencies: Ecology is the agency that administers the SEPA rules which require agencies to establish WACs to implement chapter 43.21C RCW. All state agencies whose actions may impact or affect the environment are required to establish rules and to do environmental review on those actions. In addition, SEPA review (unless an action is exempted) is required of all applicants seeking any environmental permits (e.g., HPA, shorelines, building, water quality, wetland permits) from state or local agencies. Coordination is provided through ecology's SEPA rules which identify the process to coordinate with other agencies for environmental review. This coordination may include prereview requests for an agency's expertise on a subject. All agencies of jurisdiction are sent copies of SEPA documents on activities or actions, with the understanding they will respond in the time period requested for comments.
Process for Developing New Rule: These are not new rules, but rather rules that have been merged into one set of WACs. Changes are primarily housekeeping changes.
Interested parties can participate in the decision to adopt the new rule and formulation of the proposed rule before publication by contacting Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Cynthia R. Pratt, Agency Responsible Official, Habitat Program, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091. These merged rules will be sent out for review and comment prior to adoption. Contact by February 14, 2003, expected proposal filing February 15, 2003.
December 30, 2002