Hydraulic Code Rule Making 220-660 WAC

New HPA rule making implementing 2SHB 1579 Civil Compliance Enhancements

WDFW started the rule making process to revise Hydraulic Code Rules in chapter 220-660 WAC to implement elements of Second Substitute House Bill (2SHB) 1579. This bill became effective July 28, 2019 and amended the law governing Construction Projects in State Waters - chapter 77.55 Revised Code of Washington (RCW), better known as the Hydraulic Code.

The bill implements recommendations of the Southern Resident Killer Whale Task Force related to increasing chinook abundance. The new laws:

  • Repeal a statute that limited WDFW’s authority to regulate bank protection in saltwater areas for single-family residences,
  • Add sections (RCW 77.55 400-470) that provide enhanced authorities for WDFW’s civil compliance program; and
  • Establish procedures for potential applicants to request a preapplication determination about whether a project requires a hydraulic project approval (HPA).


Randi Thurston, Habitat Program Protection Division Manager

Rule Making - Materials and Timeline

Dates Actions
October 2019

Announce rulemaking and invite comments about scoping rules on this topic

November 2019

Propose rule (file the CR-102 form)

Make supporting documents available

Invite comments on proposed rule and supporting documents
January 2020 Public hearing tentatively scheduled
February 2020 Adoption anticipated

Rule Making - Invitation to Comment

Comments about the scope of 2SHB1579 enhanced civil compliance rule making can be sent to HPARules@dfw.wa.gov through 5:00 pm October 15, 2019. The formal public comment period is anticipated to open in November 2019.

HPA Suction Dredge Rules - Effective November 1, 2019

The Fish and Wildlife Commission adopted new rules requiring standard written Hydraulic Project Approvals (HPAs) for suction dredging in Washington effective November 1, 2019. Beginning on that date, suction dredgers will no longer be able to conduct suction dredging activities under the Gold and Fish pamphlet. The new rules also require suction dredgers to begin recording their suction dredging activities on January 1, 2020, and submit annual reports each year. The first annual report is due February 1, 2021.

The rules also require that all suction dredge equipment used in any Washington water must be decontaminated according to department specification prior to use in a different water of the state. Information about decontamination methods can be found on the WDFW Aquatic Invasive Species web page.

Suction dredge equipment that has been used in waters outside of Washington State must be inspected for the presence of aquatic invasive species by an authorized department employee or agent before being used in waters of the state. Anyone bringing suction dredge equipment from outside Washington is urged to call the department's AIS hotline (1-888-WDFW-AIS) to determine how to receive an inspection before entering the state. Aquatic Invasive Species prevention measures for suction dredges become effective November 1, 2019.