SEPA Checklist

Environmental Checklist
Your first step in the SEPA process is filling out the environmental checklist. The purpose of the environmental checklist is to provide information to identify likely environmental impacts from proposals and to reduce or avoid these impacts, if possible. The agency will also use this information to decide whether the likely environmental impacts of the project need further study, have been adequately addressed by existing regulations, or can be mitigated.

The checklist has questions about your project and both the built environment (land use, transportation, utilities and services, etc.) and the natural environment (water, air, plants, animals, etc.). As you complete the checklist, you should think of ways to reduce the impacts of your project. Modifications made by you or Yakima County are most easily integrated early in the development of your proposal.

In most cases, you should be able to adequately answer most, if not all, of the questions yourself based on a familiarity with the project and the site. A consultant may be needed if your proposal is complex or requires additional studies, such as a wetland report or transportation study, are requested. Some applicants prefer to hire a consultant to complete all of the necessary paperwork.

Scanning the Checklist
Before you begin, scan through the checklist, so you are familiar with the range of questions. Often, one question will bring to mind information that will help you answer another more completely. Your complete and accurate answers on the checklist help us determine what other agencies will have decisions related to your project, who will be lead agency, and how your proposal is likely to affect the environment. The checklist also provides information to other permitting agencies and those interested in your proposal.

Complete each question to the best of your ability. An answer of not applicable should only be used after careful consideration of the question. Failing to provide adequate information is likely to delay the process.

Related Studies

You are encouraged to use any existing environmental analysis related to your proposal. Local planning documents, such as the comprehensive plan and subarea plans, or projects of a similar type located near to your proposal, may have related studies. Information on past actions, related off-site activities, future expansions and planned actions in connected to your proposal allows the lead agency to decide what activities should be evaluated together.

SEPA Checklist Application Forms