Hydraulic Code Rule Making 220-660 WAC

2018 Round 2 Hydraulic Code Rule Making

Why new rules?

On April 14, 2018, the Fish and Wildlife Commission directed WDFW to begin rulemaking to require individual Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) permits for all suction dredge mineral prospecting.  

What are the proposed changes?

WDFW's goal is to modify rules to authorize suction dredging activities through standard HPAs rather than under the Gold and Fish Pamphlet.

WDFW's objectives in this rulemaking include:

  • Develop an individual HPA application method for suction dredging that is streamlined;
  • Develop application and reporting methods to enable WDFW to determine:
    • the number of prospectors engaged in suction dredging and
    • where and how much suction dredging occurs; and
  • Identify methods to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species through the movement of suction dredging equipment into and around the state.

Steps in the suction dredge rule making process:

  1. File a pre-proposal statement of inquiry (CR-101) with the Washington State Code Reviser (5/8/2018)
  2. Host 4 public meetings to explain the scope of rule making and discuss with the public: (Summer 2018)
    • Meetings were held in July 2018: July 16 - Wenatchee; July 17 - Spokane Valley; July 19 - Olympia; July 25 - Everett
    • Slide presentation
    • Rule change flyer
    • Background science documents are available:
      • California Department of Fish and Game Suction Dredge Permitting Program Literature Review (September 2009) - Appendix D to Suction Dredge Permitting Program Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report, February 2011, available at a link found on this page:  https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Licensing/Suction-Dredge-Permits
  3. Develop the language for specific rule change proposals (Fall 2018)
  4. Make a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) threshold determination
  5. File a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (CR-102) with the Washington State Code Reviser
  6. Provide a Draft regulatory analysis document, including:
    • A preliminary cost-benefit analysis
    • Least Burdensome Alternative analysis; and
    • Determinations for Significant Legislative Rules
  7. Provide a Draft Small Business Economic Impact Statement
  8. Accept public comments from February 25, 2019 through 5pm Monday April 8, 2019.
Graph showing the HPA suction dredging rule making timeline from May 2018-July 2019
  1. Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing Friday or Saturday April 5 or 6 at the Natural Resources Building in Olympia, WA., to listen to oral public testimony - check the agenda for specific day and time
  2. Prepare recommendations for the Fish and Wildlife Commission
  3. Adopt rules April 19 or May 10
  4. Adopted rules become effective by July 1, 2019.

Updates will be posted here as they become available.

For Further Information

Randi Thurston,
Protection Division Manager