Types of Hydraulic Project Approvals (HPAs)

Most people apply for a standard Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) and receive their permit within 45 days of submitting a complete application. You may get your HPA faster, particularly if there is a threat to life, property, or the environment - certain criteria apply.

Our Aquatic Protection Permitting System (APPS) will walk you through the application process and guide you to the HPA that best meets your needs. 

There are different types of HPAs for certain conditions (RCW 77.55.021). The most commons HPAs are listed below. 


Standard HPAs are needed to conduct certain types of activities in or near water.

There are also two streamlined permit processes for qualifying habitat enhancement projects:


Expedited HPAs are used when the standard processing time would result in significant hardship for the applicant or unacceptable damage to the environment AND there is an “imminent danger” (RCW 77.55.011(12)).


Emergency HPAs are used when there is an immediate threat to life or property expected to occur AND declared an emergency by the governor, WDFW, or county legislative authority (RCW 77.55.021(12)). Please contact your local Habitat Biologist or call the Emergency Hotline 360-902-2537 for immediate help.


Some activities in and around water may occur without a written HPA. Our pamphlet HPAs contain rules to protect fish and their habitats and serve as your HPA for specific activities: