Hydraulic Project Permits Expedited To Assist Homeowners Near Landslide And Flooding Areas

Wildfires can leave land vulnerable to flooding and landslides. With the flooding recently, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife expedited the permitting process for projects to protect safety and health for homeowners.

Hydraulic Project Approval permits, or HPAs, are required to “work in or near bodies of water such as lakes, streams, and rivers.” The purpose of these permits is to protect fish life, says Carmen Andonaegui with the department’s Habitat Program; “If a homeowner lives along a creek, they see portions of their bank, for example, falling into the creek because they’re eroding out, or they have a culvert that is overflowing maybe a driveway culvert or through a road that’s overflowing and eroding out — I mean those are immediate dangers to property and health because you have to maintain access to your home.”

Emergency or expedited HPAs can be issued verbally for homeowners when there is an immediate threat.

Homeowners who are concerned that their property may be at risk of flooding or landslides should call one of the habitat biologists listed on the department’s website. The department can give verbal approval for projects and offer technical advice to lessen environmental impact and cost to the homeowner.