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Real Property & Development Review

Department of Ecology Releases Guidance on Climate Change and SEPA

Posted in Environmental

Authored by:  Craig Gannett, Lauren Giles, and Clayton P. Graham

On May 27, the Washington Department of Ecology (“Ecology”) released draft Guidance regarding the analysis of climate change impacts under Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (“SEPA”). The Guidance, which will be open for comment until June 25, proposes extensive analysis of both direct and indirect greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions potentially resulting from government actions covered under SEPA. Among the government actions that are subject to SEPA’s requirements are local governments’ issuance of land use and construction permits for many types of projects, especially commercial, industrial, or larger residential developments. The Guidance also describes potential mitigation measures that project proponents may be required to undertake. Given the broad scope of the Guidance, it is essential that owners and developers of real estate, as well as any business or institution with expansion plans, become familiar with these proposed requirements.

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