BILL REQ. #:  S-3533.1 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2014 Regular Session

By Senator O'Ban

Read first time 01/14/14.   Referred to Committee on Natural Resources & Parks.

     AN ACT Relating to streamlining hydraulic project approval for sediment removal by citizen volunteers; adding a new section to chapter 77.55 RCW; and creating a new section.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   The legislature finds that sediment removal from streams, ponds, wetlands, and lakes is of paramount importance in order to restore salmon habitat in streams that have been degraded by urban development and surface water runoff. Due to the economic downturn, state agencies and local governments have limited resources to accomplish such restoration work. Citizen volunteers can be effectively utilized using portable gas-powered mini-suction dredges that are specifically designed to remove sediment with minimum water quality disturbance. Currently, there are regulatory impediments to volunteer organizations undertaking this restoration work. It is the legislature's intent to create a pamphlet hydraulic project approval permit that allows citizen volunteers to remove these nutrient rich sediments without having to undertake a burdensome regulatory permitting process.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 77.55 RCW to read as follows:
     (1) Any activity conducted solely for the removal of accumulated organic and nutrient laden sediment from fresh waters of the state, including through the use of small gas-powered portable dredges, does not require a permit under this chapter if the activity is conducted in accordance with rules established by the department.
     (2) By December 31, 2014, the department shall adopt rules applicable to sediment removal subject to this section.
     (3) Following the adoption of the rules required under subsection (2) of this section, the department shall produce and distribute a pamphlet describing the activities approved under the rules. The pamphlet serves as the permit for any project that is conducted solely for the purposes of removing accumulated organic and nutrient laden sediment from fresh waters of the state.

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