For more information on the Hydraulic Permit Application (HPA) Program, please contact:
WDFW Habitat Program
(360) 902-2534

 
Photo of flow control work being conducted in the Chelan River. Two excavators are working on a bank and in the water.

Hydraulic Code Rulemaking 220-110 WAC

WDFW seeks public comment on update proposed for state Hydraulic Code rules

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is seeking public comments on proposed updates to state Hydraulic Code rules, which regulate construction and other work in or near state waters to protect fish life. Common projects requiring approval under the state's hydraulic rules include work on bulkheads, culverts, piers and docks.

WDFW will accept written comments through Aug.15, 2014 on the proposed rules and a related draft environmental impact statement.

The proposed changes in the Hydraulic Code rules reflect wide-ranging developments in environmental science, state law and technology since the last comprehensive update of the rules in 1994. Some would set new standards for fish protection, while others are designed to clarify existing policies and procedures. In developing the proposals, the department spent six years discussing possible options with environmental organizations, the forest industry, the agricultural community, local and tribal governments, and other state agencies.

Proposed HPA Rules

The Hydraulic Code rules set standards for issuing permits – Hydraulic Project Approvals (HPA) – to conduct specified types of work. WDFW is seeking to revise these rules to provide greater protection for fish and shellfish, streamline the permitting system and ensure consistency between the rules and other state laws. The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is expected to consider adoption of the updated rules in fall of 2014.

Submit Comments on the Proposed Rules
 

Public comments on the proposed HPA rules will be accepted through August 15th. Comments may be submitted in one of the following ways:

Email: HPArules@dfw.wa.gov
Fax: 360-902-2946
Mail: Randi Thurston
600 Capitol Way N
Olympia, WA 98501

Oral or written comments will also be accepted at the August 8th Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Olympia.


Supplemental Draft Programmatic Environmental
Impact Statement (SDPEIS)

WDFW's proposal to update the state's Hydraulic Code rules is subject to review under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). A SDPEIS was completed for this proposal that examines its potential benefits and environmental impacts in comparison with three other alternatives. That SDPEIS is also available for public review and comment.

Submit Comments on the SDPEIS
 

Public comments on the SDPEIS will be accepted through August 15th. Comments may be submitted in one of the following ways:

Email: SEPAdesk2@dfw.wa.gov
Fax: (360) 902-2946
Mail: Lisa Wood,
SEPA Responsible Official,
600 Capitol Way N,
Olympia, WA 98501-1091

Oral or written comments will also be accepted at the August 8th Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Olympia.

Key dates in the rulemaking process:

  • July 28, 2011 – WDFW files a Preproposal Statement of Inquiry (CR-101), announcing its to seek changes in the Hydraulic Code rule. This is the first step in the rulemaking process under the Administrative Procedure Act.
  • October 2013 – WDFW prepares a Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS), outlining of potential impacts of the proposed changes.
  • July 2, 2014 – WDFW files a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (CR-102) providing public notice of the proposed rule changes and the opportunity to comment on those changes.
  • July 16, 2014 – The proposed rules changes, CR-102 and Small Business Economic Impact Statement are published in the Washington State Register. WDFW staff will continue to meet with stakeholders and tribes through July to clarify and revise the proposed rules as necessary.
  • August 8, 2014 – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, which sets policy for WDFW, is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the proposed rule changes. (For information, see the commission's website.) Written comments received by Aug. 1 on those proposals will be forwarded to the commission for consideration at that meeting.
  • Fall 2014 – The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, a nine-member citizen panel that sets WDFW policy, is expected to consider adoption of the proposed changes to the state's Hydraulic Code rules in fall 2014.


For Further Information: