A. The City of Snohomish shall implement the use of best available science (BAS) in the application of the Critical Areas Code
B. “Best available science” means information from research, inventory, monitoring, surveys, modeling and an assessment, which are used to designate, protect, or restore critical areas.
C. As defined by WAC 365-195-900 through 365-195-925, best available science is derived from a process that includes peer reviewed literature, standard methods, quantitative analysis and documented references to produce reliable information.
D. The use of best available science pursuant to the critical area code shall be consistent with the following:
1. Protection for functions and values and anadromous fish. Critical area reports and decisions to alter critical areas shall rely on the best available science to protect the functions and values of critical areas and must give special consideration to conservation or protection measures necessary to preserve or enhance anadromous fish and their habitat, such as salmon and bull trout.
2. Best available science to be used must be consistent with criteria. The best available science is that scientific information applicable to the critical area prepared by local, state or federal natural resource agencies, a qualified scientific professional or team of qualified scientific professionals, which is consistent with criteria established in WAC 365-195-900 through WAC 365-195-925
3. Characteristics of a valid scientific process. In the context of critical areas protection, a valid scientific process is one that produces reliable information useful in understanding the consequences of a local government’s regulatory decisions and in developing critical areas policies and development regulations that will be effective in protecting the functions and values of critical areas. The specific characteristics of a valid scientific process are as follows:
i. Peer review. The information has been critically reviewed by other persons who are qualified scientific experts in that scientific discipline.
ii. Methods. The methods used to obtain the information are clearly stated and reproducible. The methods are standardized in the pertinent scientific discipline or, if not, the methods have been appropriately peer-reviewed to assure their reliability and validity.
iii. Logical conclusions and reasonable inferences. The conclusions presented are based on reasonable assumptions supported by other studies and consistent with the general theory underlying the assumptions. The conclusions are logically and reasonably derived from the assumptions and supported by the data presented.
iv. Quantitative analysis. The data have been analyzed using appropriate statistical or quantitative methods.
v. Context. The information is placed in proper context. The assumptions, analytical techniques, data, and conclusions are appropriately framed with respect to the prevailing body of pertinent scientific knowledge.
vi. References. The assumptions, analytical techniques, and conclusions are well referenced with citations to relevant, credible literature and other pertinent existing information.
E. Nonscientific information. Nonscientific information may supplement scientific information, but it is not an adequate substitute for valid and available scientific information.