Hydraulic Code Implementation Citizen Advisory Group
Since 1943, anyone planning certain construction projects or activities in or near state waters has been required to obtain an environmental permit commonly known as an HPA. Thousands of HPAs are issued each year for activities ranging from work on bulkheads, piers, and docks to culvert replacement and mineral prospecting.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) administers the HPA program under the state Hydraulic Code, which is specifically for the protection of fish life. WDFW Habitat Biologists process HPA applications. But more importantly, biologists help people and groups apply for an HPA and provide technical assistance to ensure projects meet state conservation standards for finfish, shellfish and the habitat that supports them.
The role of the advisory group is to provide perspectives on how WDFW administers the Hydraulic Code Rules (Chapter 220-660 WAC). This includes providing advice about changes proposed to regulations and operations of the HPA program.
The purpose of the advisory group is to provide input to WDFW HPA Program staff on ways to improve implementation of the HPA Program in order to 1) Maintain and improve consistency of HPA permits; 2) Improve the soundness of permits; 3) Increase understanding of the public about the importance of the HPA in protecting fish life, and 4) Improve HPA implementation outcomes for fish and
The advisory group provides input on the effectiveness of the HPA program in such areas as
procedures, transparency, consistency, outcomes, compliance, and communications. Fish protections that
can be improved through operational measures without changes to rule or statute are also topics for discussion by the group.