What is the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)?
The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA), enacted in 1984, requires local jurisdictions to evaluate potential environmental impacts of actions they approve or undertake. The most common evaluation looks at potential environmental impacts of a proposed project, such as a big box store, or a large non-project action, such as adoption of a new urban growth boundary. A SEPA checklist prescribes elements to be evaluated, and the completed checklist is shared with federal, state and local agencies, tribes, neighborhood organizations and interested residents. People can comment on the alternatives, mitigation measures, probable significant adverse impacts or other relevant topics.