Due to public health concerns related to the spread of the novel corona virus (COVID-19), the Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council office (EFSEC) is closed to the public as of March 16, 2020. All EFSEC staff are telecommuting until further notice and EFSEC operations will continue remotely. You may reach EFSEC by phone (360) 664-1345 or by email efsec@efsec.wa.gov during regular business hours, 8 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday. EFSEC Council meetings will be held by teleconference until further notice. Please check this site regularly for updates.

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Horse Heaven SEPA

SEPA

The State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) is a Washington State law known as the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 43.21C.  RCW 43.21C was enacted in 1971 which requires state and local agencies to identify and analyze the adverse environmental impacts of a proposal before making a decision on that proposal (RCW 43.21C.030). As part of analyzing the proposal for impacts, EFSEC sends data requests to the applicant requesting additional information or clarification regarding their proposal and/or the site. When a decision is made to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for SEPA review, the EIS process is initiated with a Determination of Significance (DS). EFSEC announces the DS in a Scoping Notice which begins a public comment period. EFSEC is required to consider all comments received during Scoping in determining the Scope of the EIS but is not required to respond to those comments in writing. A Scoping Report or Memo can be prepared and informs the public about the comments received during Scoping and how that information will set the Scope of the EIS. Once the Scope of the EIS is determined, a draft EIS is prepared.

For more information on the SEPA process visit the Certification Process page.

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS)

A Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) provides information about the adverse environmental impacts of a project proposal. It examines a no action alternative which discusses impacts to the same environment but without the project proposal. It also presents reasonable alternatives, if identified, that could feasibly attain or approximate a proposal’s objectives, but at a lower environmental cost or decreased level of environmental degradation (WAC 197-11-440 (5)). SEPA considers both the natural environment (earth, air, water, plants, animals) and the built environment (e.g. land use, environmental health, cultural and historic resources, utilities) (WAC 197-11-660). The EIS focuses on the environmental resources that would have significant adverse environmental impacts. However, the EIS usually includes analysis of nonsignificant impacts because:

1) the determination of significance occurs after the analysis has occurred and all feasible mitigation has been identified;

2) the information reflects the thought process for determining an impact is nonsignificant;

3) nonsignificant impacts of the proposal considered together can increase an impact;

4) nonsignificant impacts of the proposal can contribute to a cumulative impact to a resource from multiple actions over time; and

5) identification of mitigation for nonsignificant impacts also incrementally benefits the environment.

The Draft EIS is reviewed by the public (including the applicant), other agencies, and tribal governments during a minimum 30-day comment period; the resulting input is used to improve the environmental analysis for the document and produce a Final EIS. The Draft EIS represents EFSEC’s best effort to provide complete and accurate information about the environmental impacts of the proposal, alternatives, and recommended mitigation to reduce those impacts. Public review of the Draft EIS provides an opportunity to identify missing, incomplete, or incorrect information to be addressed in support of the completeness and accuracy of the Final EIS.

The Final EIS is the official final document that analyzes the adverse environmental impacts of a proposal and must be used by agency decision makers, along with other relevant considerations or documents in making final decisions on a proposal. The lead agency considers comments on the proposal received during the Draft EIS comment period, responds to them, and includes those responses in the Final EIS. The Final EIS provides a basis upon which the responsible agency and officials can make the balancing judgment (e.g. environmental, welfare, social, economic) mandated by SEPA because it provides information on the environmental costs and impacts (WAC 197-11-448).

The Draft EIS was issued on December 19, 2022 and is open for public review and comment until the close of the Public Comment Period on February 1, 2023.

Where to get the Draft EIS

You may download or view the Draft EIS below or physical copies of the Draft EIS may be requested by contacting EFSEC at (360) 664-1345, P.O. Box 43172, Olympia, WA 98504-3172, or by e-mail at efsec@efsec.wa.gov. Printed copies will be provided for the cost of printing and electronic versions will be provided for the cost of the USB flash drive or CD. 

Copies of the Draft EIS along with the Horse Heaven Wind Farm Project Application for Site Certification, (EFSEC Application/Docket No. EF-210011) are also available for public review at the following locations:

Mid-Columbia Libraries

Kennewick Branch

1620 S Union Street

Kennewick, WA 99338

(509) 783-7878

 

Mid-Columbia Libraries

Prosser Branch

902 7th Street

Prosser, WA 99350

(509) 786-2533

 

Richland Public Library

955 Northgate Drive

Richland, WA 99352

(509) 942-7454

Mid-Columbia Libraries

Keewaydin Park Branch

405 S Dayton Street

Kennewick, WA 99336

(509) 586-3156

 

Mid-Columbia Libraries

West Pasco Branch

7525 Wrigley Drive

Pasco, WA 99301

(509) 546-8055

 

Washington State Library

Point Plaza East

6880 Capitol Boulevard SE

Tumwater, WA 98501

(360) 704-5200

Mid-Columbia Libraries

Pasco Branch

1320 W Hopkins Street

Pasco, WA 99301

(509) 545-1019

 

Mid-Columbia Libraries

West Richland Branch

3803 W Van Giesen Street

West Richland, WA 99353

(509) 967-3191 *(Sent 01/05/23)

Draft EIS Public Comment meeting February 1, 2023 5pm

A public comment meeting has been scheduled for the Horse Heaven Draft EIS

DEIS Public Comment Meeting Documents

How to Comment

Important Note: Public comments submitted to the Council via the internet or in writing become public records under the Washington State Public Records Act (RCW 42.17). Information included in the comment such as the commenter's e-mail and mailing address becomes a public record once it is provided to EFSEC and may be subject to public inspection and copying if not protected by federal or state law. For additional information please see our Privacy Notice.

Comment period: December 19, 2022 - February 1, 2023. Comments related to the Draft EIS must be received by February 1, 2023 11:59pm. You may submit your comment via the EFEC comment database:

Or by USmail:

Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council
621 Woodland Square Loop SE
Lacey, WA 98504-3172

Comments outside of a comment period can be sent to the EFSEC general mailbox at any time: EFSEC@utc.wa.gov

Video Recording of the Horse Heaven Draft EIS Overview Presentation

DEIS overview presentation


Data Requests

SEPA Scoping

SEPA Comments Received

The SEPA Scoping comment period closed as of June 10, 2021.