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Local Environmental Permits and Approvals


Clearing, Grading, and Building Permit

Trigger: Clearing or grading land outside WSDOT right of way may require a local permit. Project activities that require this permit include modifications or improvements to: connecting streets, frontage roads, etc. If WSDOT constructs buildings for human habitat, such as maintenance facilities, a building permit will be required.

Statutory Authority: RCW 36.21.080; RCW 36.70; RCW 36.70A; RCW 19.27; WAC 51-50; city and county ordinances

Regulatory Agency: Counties and Cities


Critical Areas Ordinance Permit

Trigger: Work within a critical area defined by a county or city's Critical Areas Ordinance. Here are some examples of critical areas: locally delineated wetlands and buffers, aquifer recharge areas, wellhead protection areas, frequently flooded areas, geographically hazardous areas, fish and wildlife habitat, and conservation areas.

Statutory Authority: RCW 90.58; RCW 36.70A, city and county ordinances

Regulatory Agency: Counties and Cities 


Floodplain Development Permit

Trigger: Any structure or activity that may adversely affect the flood regime of streams within the flood zone, or land areas located below the designated 100-year floodplain elevation may require a Floodplain Development Permit.

Statutory Authority: RCW 86.16; WAC 173-158; city and county ordinances

Regulatory Agency: Counties and Cities

Noise Variance

Trigger: Construction and maintenance activities during nighttime hours may require a variance from local noise ordinances. Noise limits usually are in effect between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., but vary by jurisdiction or type of land use adjacent to the construction noise source. Daytime noise from construction is usually exempt.

Statutory Authority: RCW 70.107; WAC 173-60; WAC 173-62; city and county ordinances

Regulatory Agency: Counties and Cities


Shoreline Permits/Exemptions

Trigger: Projects with activities within 200 feet of a Shoreline of Statewide Significance (RCW 90.58.030f). Contact the local shoreline planner to discuss Shoreline permit/exemption requirements for your project.

Statutory Authority: RCW 90.58; WAC 173-15– 173-27; city and county ordinances

Regulatory Agency: Counties and Cities 

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Tribal Permits and Approvals

Trigger: Archaeological permits/approvals are listed above. Tribes issue permits for specific project activities on tribal land that involve in-water work, such as tribal versions of HPAs, Section 401 Water Quality Certifications, and others. Contract appropriate tribal offices or EPA to determine your project’s permit, approval, and notification requirements.

Regulatory Agency: Tribes or EPA (for Section 401 Certifications only)