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Draft Region 6 Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) Administrative Review Audit

Category: Licensing and Permits - Hydraulic Project Approval

Date Published: December 27, 2006

Number of Pages: 16

Author(s): Stephan A. Kalinowski

DESCRIPTION:

Background

In September 2005, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) began an effort to develop a protocol for conducting administrative audits of Hydraulic Project Approvals (HPA) issued in each of WDFW’s six regions. This effort was initiated based on the need to evaluate the consistency in application of the HPA rules and to assess the benefits to fish, shellfish, and their habitats achieved through implementation of the HPA program.

In February 2006, this effort was initiated in Region 6 as a pilot audit and region staff developed a three-tiered protocol for permit evaluation. The audit looked at administrative procedures (HPA, Hydraulic Permit Management System (HPMS), agency policies), applicant compliance with HPA provisions, and biological effectiveness of HPA permits in protecting fish and fish habitat.

Due to the large scope of this evaluation, the WDFW Habitat Program Science Division assisted in planning the audit, and was responsible for developing data collection protocols and analyzing data associated with compliance and biological effectiveness. Region 6 produced an audit form to use in evaluating administrative procedures (Appendix A) and the Science Division produced an audit form to use in conducting site evaluations of compliance and biological effectiveness. Throughout July and August 2006, WDFW staff conducted the administrative section of this audit. On July 26, 2006, the compliance and biological effectiveness forms were field-tested and minor revisions were incorporated. Field reviews of HPA projects were completed by the end of October 2006. The following paper addresses only the administrative portion of the audit. The compliance and effectiveness components of the audit are addressed in a separate report.