Guidelines for state agencies, local governments — Statements — Reports — Advice — Information.
The legislature authorizes and directs that, to the fullest extent possible: (1) The policies, regulations, and laws of the state of Washington shall be interpreted and administered in accordance with the policies set forth in this chapter, and (2) all branches of government of this state, including state agencies, municipal and public corporations, and counties shall:
(a) Utilize a systematic, interdisciplinary approach which will insure the integrated use of the natural and social sciences and the environmental design arts in planning and in decision making which may have an impact on the environment;
(b) Identify and develop methods and procedures, in consultation with the department of ecology and the ecological commission, which will insure that presently unquantified environmental amenities and values will be given appropriate consideration in decision making along with economic and technical considerations;
(c) Include in every recommendation or report on proposals for legislation and other major actions significantly affecting the quality of the environment, a detailed statement by the responsible official on:
(i) the environmental impact of the proposed action;
(ii) any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided should the proposal be implemented;
(iii) alternatives to the proposed action;
(iv) the relationship between local short-term uses of the environment and the maintenance and enhancement of long-term productivity; and
(v) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented;
(d) Prior to making any detailed statement, the responsible official shall consult with and obtain the comments of any public agency which has jurisdiction by law or special expertise with respect to any environmental impact involved. Copies of such statement and the comments and views of the appropriate federal, province, state, and local agencies, which are authorized to develop and enforce environmental standards, shall be made available to the governor, the department of ecology, the ecological commission, and the public, and shall accompany the proposal through the existing agency review processes;
(e) Study, develop, and describe appropriate alternatives to recommended courses of action in any proposal which involves unresolved conflicts concerning alternative uses of available resources;
(f) Recognize the worldwide and long-range character of environmental problems and, where consistent with state policy, lend appropriate support to initiatives, resolutions, and programs designed to maximize international cooperation in anticipating and preventing a decline in the quality of the world environment;
(g) Make available to the federal government, other states, provinces of Canada, municipalities, institutions, and individuals, advice and information useful in restoring, maintaining, and enhancing the quality of the environment;
(h) Initiate and utilize ecological information in the planning and development of natural resource-oriented projects.
[2010 c 8 § 7002; 1971 ex.s. c 109 § 3.]