OLYMPIA – Revisions to the process for appealing Hydraulic Project Approvals (HPAs) – including a change in the board that hears the appeals – take effect today (Oct. 14) under permanent rules.
HPAs are permits issued by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for projects in and around water, such as bridges, docks and culverts. Conditions of the permits are designed to ensure fish and fish habitat are protected during the projects.
Under the revised rules, all formal appeals of HPA decisions and orders imposing civil penalties formerly heard by the Hydraulic Appeals Board or an administrative law judge through the Office of Administrative Hearings will be heard by the Pollution Control Hearings Board.
In addition, appeals can now be requested by email or fax, as well as through traditional mail or hand delivery.
The changes are consistent with Substitute House Bill 2935, adopted earlier this year by the Legislature. Provisions of the bill took effect July 1, 2010.
To comply with the new law, WDFW made the changes to the appeals process in July under a temporary rule. In August, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission – a citizen panel that sets policy for WDFW – approved the revisions to permanent rules.
The revised permanent rules are expected to be available in the coming weeks on the state Legislature’s website at http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/default.aspx?cite=220-110. For more information on Hydraulic Project Approvals, visit WDFW’s website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/hpa/.
HPA appeals may be requested by email at HPAapplications@dfw.wa.gov, by fax at (360) 902-2946 or by mail: HPA appeals coordinator, WDFW Habitat Program, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA, 98501. Requests also can be hand delivered to WDFW’s Habitat Program in the Natural Resources Building in Olympia, 1111 Washington St. SE.