SENATE BILL 5567
State of Washington
2019 Regular Session
BySenators Honeyford, Takko, Short, Rolfes, and Warnick
AN ACT Relating to revising hydraulic project eligibility standards under RCW 77.55.181
for conservation district-sponsored fish habitat enhancement projects; and amending RCW 77.55.181
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
and 2017 c 241 s 1 are each amended to read as follows:
(1)(a) In order to receive the permit review and approval process created in this section, a fish habitat enhancement project must meet the criteria under this section and must be a project to accomplish one or more of the following tasks:
(i) Elimination of human-made or caused fish passage barriers, including:
(A) Culvert repair and replacement; and
(B) Fish passage barrier removal projects that comply with the forest practices rules, as the term "forest practices rules" is defined in RCW 76.09.020
(ii) Restoration of an eroded or unstable stream bank employing the principle of bioengineering, including limited use of rock as a stabilization only at the toe of the bank, and with primary emphasis on using native vegetation to control the erosive forces of flowing water; or
(iii) Placement of woody debris or other instream structures that benefit naturally reproducing fish stocks.
(b) The department shall develop size or scale threshold tests to determine if projects accomplishing any of these tasks should be evaluated under the process created in this section or under other project review and approval processes. A project proposal shall not be reviewed under the process created in this section if the department determines that the scale of the project raises concerns regarding public health and safety.
(c) A fish habitat enhancement project must be approved in one of the following ways in order to receive the permit review and approval process created in this section:
(i) By the department pursuant to chapter 77.95
(ii) By the sponsor of a watershed restoration plan as provided in chapter 89.08
(iii) By the department as a department-sponsored fish habitat enhancement or restoration project;
(iv) Through the review and approval process for the jobs for the environment program;
(v) ((Through the review and approval process for conservation district-sponsored projects, where the project complies with design standards established by the conservation commission through interagency agreement with the United States fish and wildlife service and the natural resource conservation service))By conservation districts as conservation district-sponsored fish habitat enhancement or restoration projects;
(vi) Through a formal grant program established by the legislature or the department for fish habitat enhancement or restoration;
(vii) Through the department of transportation's environmental retrofit program as a stand-alone fish passage barrier correction project;
(viii) Through a local, state, or federally approved fish barrier removal grant program designed to assist local governments in implementing stand-alone fish passage barrier corrections;
(ix) By a city or county for a stand-alone fish passage barrier correction project funded by the city or county;
(x) Through the approval process established for forest practices hydraulic projects in chapter 76.09
(xi) Through other formal review and approval processes established by the legislature.
(2) Fish habitat enhancement projects meeting the criteria of subsection (1) of this section are expected to result in beneficial impacts to the environment. Decisions pertaining to fish habitat enhancement projects meeting the criteria of subsection (1) of this section and being reviewed and approved according to the provisions of this section are not subject to the requirements of RCW 43.21C.030
(3)(a) A permit is required for projects that meet the criteria of subsection (1) of this section and are being reviewed and approved under this section. An applicant shall use a joint aquatic resource permit application form developed by the office of regulatory assistance to apply for approval under this chapter. On the same day, the applicant shall provide copies of the completed application form to the department and to each appropriate local government. Conservation district-sponsored projects must provide copies of the completed application form to the department and the Washington state conservation commission. Applicants for a forest practices hydraulic project that are not otherwise required to submit a joint aquatic resource permit application must submit a copy of their forest practices application to the appropriate local government on the same day that they submit the forest practices application to the department of natural resources.
(b) Local governments shall accept the application identified in this section as notice of the proposed project. A local government shall be provided with a fifteen-day comment period during which it may transmit comments regarding environmental impacts to the department or, for forest practices hydraulic projects, to the department of natural resources.
(c) Except for forest practices hydraulic projects, the department shall either issue a permit, with or without conditions, deny approval, or make a determination that the review and approval process created by this section is not appropriate for the proposed project within forty-five days. The department shall base this determination on identification during the comment period of adverse impacts that cannot be mitigated by the conditioning of a permit. Permitting decisions over forest practices hydraulic approvals must be made consistent with chapter 76.09
(d) If the department determines that the review and approval process created by this section is not appropriate for the proposed project, the department shall notify the applicant and the appropriate local governments of its determination. The applicant may reapply for approval of the project under other review and approval processes.
(e) Any person aggrieved by the approval, denial, conditioning, or modification of a permit other than a forest practices hydraulic project under this section may appeal the decision as provided in RCW 77.55.021
(8). Appeals of a forest practices hydraulic project may be made as provided in chapter 76.09
(4) No local government may require permits or charge fees for fish habitat enhancement projects that meet the criteria of subsection (1) of this section and that are reviewed and approved according to the provisions of this section.
(5) No civil liability may be imposed by any court on the state or its officers and employees for any adverse impacts resulting from a fish enhancement project permitted by the department or the department of natural resources under the criteria of this section except upon proof of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct.
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