Hydraulic Project Approval

(HPA)
What is the purpose of this approval?
Any form of work that uses, diverts, obstructs, or changes the natural flow or bed of any fresh water or saltwater of the state, requires a Hydraulic Project Approval (HPA) from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). Permit processing can take up to 45 days following receipt of a complete application package. WDFW offers an efficient online permit application system, called the Aquatic Protection Permitting System (APPS) that can be accessed at: http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/hpa/. A complete application package for an HPA must include a completed application, general plans for the overall project, complete plans and specifications of the proposed work within the mean higher high water line in salt waters or within the ordinary high water line in fresh waters of the state, complete plans and specifications for the proper protection of fish life. You must also provide notice of compliance with any applicable requirements of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).
Who issues this approval?
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
What activities require this approval?
Work that uses, diverts, obstructs, or changes the natural flow or bed of any of the salt or fresh waters of state.

Includes bed reconfiguration, all construction or other work waterward, under and over the ordinary high water line, including dry channels, and may include projects landward of the ordinary high water line (e.g., activities outside the ordinary high water line that will directly impact fish life and habitat, falling trees into streams or lakes, bridge maintenance, dike construction, etc.)
How much will this approval cost?
The cost is $0.
Where can I get the application for this approval?
The application is called 'Hydraulic Project Approval' is online and can be accessed at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/hpa.
Do I need to include anything with my application?
Yes. Your application must include general plans for project, complete plans and specifications for the proposed construction or work within the mean higher high water line in salt water or within the ordinary high water line in fresh water, and complete plans and specs for the proper protection of fish life. You must also provide notice of compliance with any applicable requirements of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). Applications for streamlined processing of fish habitat enhancement projects must additionally include a copy of the JARPA, the fish habitat enhancement project application form, and proof of sponsorship of the project.
Is the decision on my approval dependent on anything besides the information in my application?
State Environmental Policy Act(SEPA) compliance must be completed prior to review of your application and issuance of the HPA by WDFW. SEPA compliance is not required for an expedited, emergency, or a fish habitat enhancement streamlined HPA.
How long will it take to review my application?
It is dependent on the type of HPA
Where do I submit my application?
  • If you are NOT requesting emergency processing, submit your application to WDFW through the APPS online permitting system available at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/hpa. Paper, emailed, or FAXed copies may be sent to WDFW at:


  • If you are requesting emergency processing, contact the appropriate Regional Office during office hours; if it's after hours, call (360) 902-2537.
  • If you are applying for a fish habitat enhancement project permit you also must send your application package to the local government at the same time you send it to WDFW.
Schematic:
View the schematic
How long is my approval valid?
Up to five years for a standard HPA; up to 60 days for an expedited HPA; the length of the emergency for emergency HPAs.
What is the appeal process for the approval?
Informal and formal appeal processes are available to the applicant or other aggrieved parties, but must be filed within 30 days of notice of receipt of issuance or denial of HPA.
Related Entries:
Notes / Comments:
Note Alternatives to the APPS system are identified at https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/hpa

Current pamphlet HPA's include Aquatic Plants and Fish pamphlet for aquatic plant control projects, and the Gold and Fish pamphlet for mineral prospecting permits.

Pamphlet HPAs are free, do not require submittal of a written application, are for the protection of fish life and contain specific project requirements and duration. They are issued under specific statutory authority.
Legal Authority:
Links:
Permit Timeliness Results

Permit Timeliness data collection is in response to a State Auditor’s Performance Audit and RCW 43.42A. Each regulatory agency developed a plan to improve permit clarity, predictability, and timeliness. Each agency considers the customers experience to ensure permit assistance is simple to use, easy to access, and designed in a customer-friendly manner. Agencies report progress to the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA). ORIA prepares and distributes reports, with participation from the State Auditor’s Office and Results Washington. See latest report here: https://www.oria.wa.gov/ORIA-2020-PermitTimelinessProgressReport.pdf.

All permits submitted for reporting were entered into this Regulatory Handbook. Here are the results of the performance data:

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Process a Permit Application (Definition)
Average number of days from Receipt to Complete: 14.9
Maximum number of days from Receipt to Complete: 1817

Estimated Time Required By the Agency to Issue a Permit Decision (Definition)
Average number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 21.9
Maximum number of days from Complete Application to Decision: 548

(Summary results based on 2158 submittals in 2022)

Where can I get permitting assistance?
Web page URL: http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/hpa/
Helpdesk phone: (360) 902-2422 or APPS.Help@dfw.wa.gov
Subject matter expert phone: (360) 819-6527
Subject matter expert email: Hannah.Faulkner@dfw.wa.gov
Statewide Contact:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)
Headquarters
Habitat Program
1111 Washington State Street SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Telephone: (360) 902-2200
Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Contact:
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Region No. 1 - Eastern
8702 North Division Street
Spokane WA 99218-1199
Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Telephone: (509) 456-4082
Fax: (509) 456-4071
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Region No. 2 - Columbia
1550 Alder Street NW
Ephrata WA 98823-9699
Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Telephone: (509) 754-4624
Fax: (509) 754-5257
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Region No. 3 - Central
1701 South 24th Avenue
Yakima WA 98902-5720
Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Telephone: (509) 575-2740
Fax: (509) 575-2474
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Region No. 4 - Northwest
16018 Mill Creek Boulevard
Mill Creek WA 98012-1296
Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Telephone: (425) 775-1311
Fax: (425) 338-1066
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Region No. 5 - Southwest
2108 Grand Blvd
Vancouver WA 98661-4624
Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Telephone: (360) 696-6211
Fax: (360) 906-6776
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Region No. 6 - Peninsula
48 Devonshire Road
Montesano WA 98563-9618
Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Telephone: (360) 249-4628
Fax: (360) 664-0689
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Habitat Program
Headquarters
1111 Washington State Street SE
Olympia WA 98501
Website: http://wdfw.wa.gov/
Telephone: (360) 902-2200
Triggering Questions:
  • Does the project involve construction or other activity below the ordinary high water mark?
  • Will the activity use, divert, obstruct or change the natural flow or bed of any waters of the state?
  • Does the project or activity involve work within the mean higher high water line in saltwater?
  • Will the project involve the construction or modification of bridges over "Navigable Waters of the United States"?
  • Is the project or activity in a water body within city or county boundaries?
  • Does the proposal involve construction within non-navigable or navigable water
  • Does the project include the placement or redistribution of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands?
  • Does the proposal involve construction within navigable waters of the U.S.?
  • Does the project include dredging or placement of fill?
  • Will the dock be in, over, obstruct or change any waters of the state?
  • Will you be building a new permanent structure or adding on to an existing one?
  • Will the mooring buoy be in navigable waters of the U.S.?
  • Will the mooring buoy installation involve activity in, over, or near water?
  • Will you be moving a bulkhead above the ordinary high water mark? Tip
  • Will you be creating a new beach cove? Tip
  • Will you be creating a new, full beach? Tip
  • Will the lift be on or over DNR-managed aquatic lands?
  • Will the lift be in a water body within a city or county boundary?
  • Does the proposal involve construction within navigable waters of the U.S.?
  • Will the watercraft lift be in, over, obstruct or change any waters of the state?
  • Will you be doing any development within the 100 year floodplain?
  • Will you be building a new permanent structure or adding on to an existing one?
  • Will the dock be on or over DNR-managed aquatic lands?
  • Will the dock be in a water body within a city or county boundary?
  • Will you be doing any development within the 100 year floodplain?
  • Will the project generate more than 5 megawatts?
  • Will you be repairing or modifying a bulkhead? Note, Tip
  • Do you intend to recontour or grade the shoreline above the ordinary high water mark?
  • Do you intend to modify or perform maintenance on a dock? Note, Tip
  • Will you be doing any development within the 100-year floodplain?
  • Will the project generate 5 megawatts or less?
  • Will the activity involve any activty in, over, or near the water?
  • Will your project use ground water or surface water?
  • Does the project include construction, use or activities on or above DNR-managed aquatic land?
  • Will you be doing any development within the 100 year floodplain?
  • Will the project or activity be in a water body within a city or county boundary?
  • Does the proposal involve construction within navigable waters of the U.S.?
  • Does the project include dredging or placement of fill?
  • Will the project impact isolated wetlands?
  • Will the mooring buoy be on or above DNR-managed aquatic land?
  • Will the mooring buoy be in a water body within a city or county boundary?
  • Will you be using bioengineering techniques to stabilize your shoreline? Tip
  • Will you be removing a bulkhead? Note, Tip
  • Will you be adding any shoreline plantings? Tip
  • Will the project include beach nourishment? Tip
  • Will construction materials come to the project site via barge?
* Permit information last updated 2/21/2023
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