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.