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WAC 365-195-915

Criteria for including the best available science in developing policies and development regulations.

(1) To demonstrate that the best available science has been included in the development of critical areas policies and regulations, counties and cities should address each of the following on the record:
(a) The specific policies and development regulations adopted to protect the functions and values of the critical areas at issue.
(b) The relevant sources of best available scientific information included in the decision-making.
(c) Any nonscientific information—including legal, social, cultural, economic, and political information—used as a basis for critical area policies and regulations that depart from recommendations derived from the best available science. A county or city departing from science-based recommendations should:
(i) Identify the information in the record that supports its decision to depart from science-based recommendations;
(ii) Explain its rationale for departing from science-based recommendations; and
(iii) Identify potential risks to the functions and values of the critical area or areas at issue and any additional measures chosen to limit such risks. State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) review often provides an opportunity to establish and publish the record of this assessment.
(2) Counties and cities should include the best available science in determining whether to grant applications for administrative variances and exemptions from generally applicable provisions in policies and development regulations adopted to protect the functions and values of critical areas. Counties and cities should adopt procedures and criteria to ensure that the best available science is included in every review of an application for an administrative variance or exemption.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 36.70A.190 (4)(b). WSR 00-16-064, § 365-195-915, filed 7/27/00, effective 8/27/00.]
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