March 9, 2011

WFSE/AFSCME supports new hydraulic permit bill

The Federation this morning testified in favor of SB 5862 to preserve the hydraulic project approval (HPA) process and charge fees to users.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jim Hargrove of the 24th District, would generate needed funds for the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The HPA process requires approval for any project that will use, divert, obstruct or change the natural flow or bed of any salt or fresh waters in the state.

There “no longer is adequate revenue to fund the agency,” Federation Lobbyist Alia Griffing told the Senate Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee.

The agency is facing a $30 million shortfall.
    “DFW will no longer be able to perform important agency functions and adequately protect the state’s natural resources,” Griffing said. “The HPA is a special service not utilized by the general public and should be paid for by the users….

“No one wants to lose their valuable natural resources found in this state. Our members in DFW work in this field not for the money, but because they believe in what they do and want Washington to be the rich, diverse, beautiful state it has always been.”

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