For more information on the Hydraulic Permit Application (HPA) Program, please contact:
WDFW Habitat Program
Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA)
Technical assistance for better projects
WDFW offers a wide range of technical assistance that not only helps people implement habitat restoration projects, but also provides advice for designing fish-friendly stream crossings and residential and commercial/industrial development projects.
You can submit a general concept of their project for review through APPS at no cost – and without the need for SEPA documentation, final design, or other specifics. A WDFW Habitat Biologist will contact you to discuss project design and answer questions about the application process. WDFW recommends this approach for people who are uncertain about what a successful application might entail.
Mitigation for better projects Each year the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) issues about 2,000 HPAs for projects in or near water. These HPAs include requirements designed to ensure hydraulic projects are done in a way that avoids and minimizes impacts to fish life. Sometimes, however, projects exceed allowable impacts even though project proponents follow the requirements. When this occurs, WDFW requires compensatory mitigation to fully offset the remaining impacts. In these cases, a person may need to do something else, not necessarily part of the project, to make up for the resulting effects on fish life. The purpose of mitigation is to ensure that public resources continue to exist for public use.
Native Plants – If your hydraulic project damages or destroys vegetation growing near the water, WDFW may require you to replace it as a condition of your HPA. The Washington Native Plant Society provides plants lists organized by counties and a list of specialty nurseries and seed suppliers that deal in native plants. This will help you find suitable plants for your project location.