Skip to main content

Washington State Environmental Policy Act

Introduction

Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) was enacted in 1971 to ensure that state and local agencies considered effects on the environment during their decision-making processes. As part of a general effort to create a comprehensive statutory review scheme, SEPA requires the identification and evaluation of possible impacts a government proposal may have on the environment.

SEPA's purposes are:

  • To declare a state policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between humankind and the environment;
  • To promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere; and [to]
  • Stimulate the health and welfare of human beings; and
  • To enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the state and nation.

RCW § 43.21C.010