Sustainable Approach in PSIC - Bremerton
The City of Bremerton has committed to an approach that encourages both economic development and environmental stewardship. There are several reasons for this approach:
The city received a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2010 to begin work on the PSIC - Bremerton Subarea Plan
The grant, a "Climate Showcase Communities" grant, emphasized sustainable approaches, including a focus on reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and implementation of low-impact development (LID) measures
The rise in eco-industrial awareness has brought attention to the importance of fostering growth of mutually dependent industries that integrate economic development and environmental stewardship
PSIC - Bremerton is largely undeveloped, providing ample opportunity to guide new development in a specific manner
There are several components comprising environmental analysis for PSIC - Bremerton:
The SEPA process was completed for the PSIC - Bremerton Subarea Plan; A Determination of Significance was issued on September 29, 2010
A Planned Action Environmental Impact Statement (PA EIS) was then prepared. The PA EIS for the PSIC - Bremerton Subarea Plan evaluates the probable significant environmental impacts that could occur as a result of development activities within the SKIA subarea under a range of EIS Alternatives. Impacts associated with the alternatives were analyzed, and appropriate mitigation measures to address significant adverse impacts were identified. The EIS provides decision-makers with relevant information to evaluate the Proposed Action. The EIS addresses the probable significant adverse environmental impacts of 2 action alternatives and 1 no-action alternative identified in the subarea planning process
Alternative 1 - assumes future growth consistent with existing trends and continuation of the standards project-by-project environmental review process.
Alternative 2 (The Preferred Alternative) - assumes increased industrial development within the MIC and a change to the southern MIC boundary to allow for a mixed use destination center.
Alternative 3 - assumes the highest level of industrial development and employment in the MIC, with no change to the boundary.
The EIS is made up of 2 documents - the Draft EIS and the Final EIS. In order to understand the environmental analysis, both the draft and final documents should be consulted. In general, the Draft EIS contains a complete description of the proposal and alternatives, together with the environmental analysis of each alternative, impacts of the alternatives, measures to mitigate impacts and unavoidable impacts. The Final EIS describes the preferred alternative, provides any needed clarifications or corrections to the Draft EIS environmental analysis and provides all comments received on the Draft EIS, along with responses to the comments. These documents work together to provide the complete environmental documentation for this project.
The EIS that the city prepared is distinct in that it is a Planned Action EIS, pursuant to RCW 43.21C.031 and WAC 197-11-164 through WAC 197-11-172.
The Planned Action designation is a distinction that the city adopted to indicate that early environmental review of potential development has been conducted, provided that the proposed project meets strict criteria of the Planned Action Ordinance.
The city adopted this designation in conjunction with the Subarea Plan. The adopting ordinance includes the types of projects and required mitigation necessary to qualify as a "Planned Action." Since the EIS is already completed, no additional environmental review is required of qualified projects (i.e. planned action projects are exempt from further SEPA review), allowing such projects to move through the development review process much quicker.
The "Planned Action" designation for a project or elements of a project shifts environmental review from the time a permit application is made to an earlier phase in the process. The Planned Action analysis applies to the entire study area and address potential impacts and mitigating measures for each of the identified alternatives.
The major benefits of adopting a Planned Action Ordinance include:
Streamlined SEPA review
No SEPA public notice or SEPA Appeal
Greater procedural and substantive certainty
Comprehensive approach to environmental analysis
Proven economic development strategy
Projects not qualifying as a planned action may rely on the EIS and additional analysis need only address those impacts not already addressed in the EIS