Environmental planning pilot projects.
(1) The legislature intends to determine whether the environmental review process mandated under chapter 43.21C RCW may be enhanced and simplified, and coordination improved, when applied to comprehensive plans mandated by this chapter. The department shall undertake pilot projects on environmental review to determine if the review process can be improved by fostering more coordination and eliminating duplicative environmental analysis which is made to assist decision makers approving comprehensive plans pursuant to this chapter. Such pilot projects should be designed and scoped to consider cumulative impacts resulting from plan decisions, plan impacts on environmental quality, impacts on adjacent jurisdictions, and similar factors in sufficient depth to simplify the analysis of subsequent specific projects being carried out pursuant to the approved plan.
(2) The legislature hereby authorizes the department to establish, in cooperation with business, industry, cities, counties, and other interested parties, at least two but not more than four pilot projects, one of which shall be with a county, on enhanced draft and final nonproject environmental analysis of comprehensive plans prepared pursuant to this chapter, for the purposes outlined in subsection (1) of this section. The department may select appropriate geographic subareas within a comprehensive plan if that will best serve the purposes of this section and meet the requirements of chapter 43.21C RCW.
(3) An enhanced draft and final nonproject environmental analysis prepared pursuant to this section shall follow the rules adopted pursuant to chapter 43.21C RCW.
(4) Not later than December 31, 1993, the department shall evaluate the overall effectiveness of the pilot projects under this section regarding preparing enhanced nonproject environmental analysis for the approval process of comprehensive plans and shall:
(a) Provide an interim report of its findings to the legislature with such recommendations as may be appropriate, including the need, if any, for further legislation;
(b) Consider adoption of any further rules or guidelines as may be appropriate to assist counties and cities in meeting requirements of chapter 43.21C RCW when considering comprehensive plans; and
(c) Prepare and circulate to counties and cities such instructional manuals or other information derived from the pilot projects as will assist all counties and cities in meeting the requirements and objectives of chapter 43.21C RCW in the most expeditious and efficient manner in the process of considering comprehensive plans pursuant to this chapter.
[1998 c 245 § 30; 1995 c 399 § 43; 1991 sp.s. c 32 § 20.]