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WAC 463-60-333

Natural environment—Wetlands.

The application shall include a report for wetlands prepared by a qualified professional wetland scientist. For purposes of this section, the term "project site" refers to the site for which site certification is being requested, and the location of any associated facilities or their right of way corridors if applicable. The report shall include, but not be limited to, the following information:
(1) Assessment of existing wetlands present and their quality. The assessment of the presence and quality of existing wetlands shall include:
(a) A wetland delineation performed by a qualified professional according to the Washington State Wetlands Delineation and Identification Manual, 1997, and associated data sheets, site maps with data plots and delineated wetlands areas, photographs, and topographic and aerial site maps.
(b) A description of wetland categories found on the site according to the Washington state wetland rating system found in Western Washington, Ecology Publication #93-74 and Eastern Washington, Ecology Publication 391-58, or as revised by the department of ecology.
(c) A discussion of water sources supplying wetlands and documentation of hydrologic regime encountered.
(d) A function assessment report prepared according to the Washington State Wetland Function Assessment Method to assess wetlands functions for those wetland types covered by the method, and including a description of type and degree of wetland functions that are provided.
(2) Identification of energy facility impacts. The application shall include a detailed discussion of temporary, permanent, direct and indirect impacts on wetlands, their functions and values, and associated water quality and hydrologic regime during construction, operation and decommissioning of the energy facility. The discussion of impacts shall also include impacts to wetlands due to proposed mitigation measures.
(3) Wetlands mitigation plan. The application shall include a detailed discussion of mitigation measures, including avoidance, minimization of impacts, and mitigation through compensation or preservation and restoration of existing wetlands, proposed to compensate for the direct and indirect impacts that have been identified. The mitigation plan shall be prepared consistent with the Department of Ecology Guidelines for Developing Freshwater Wetlands Mitigation Plans and Proposals, 1994, as revised. The application shall also include, but not be limited to:
(a) A discussion of how standard buffer widths have been incorporated into the mitigation proposal. Variances from standard buffer widths must be supported with professional analyses demonstrating that smaller or averaged buffer widths protect the wetland functions and values based on site-specific characteristics;
(b) A demonstration of how enhancement, restoration or compensatory mitigation actions will achieve equivalent or greater hydrologic and biological functions at the impact site, and whether any existing wetland functions would be reduced by the mitigation measures;
(c) A discussion of how standard mitigation ratios have been incorporated into the mitigation proposal. Variances from standard mitigation ratios must be supported with professional analyses demonstrating that equivalent or greater hydrologic and biological functions will be achieved;
(d) A demonstration that the mitigation actions are being conducted in an appropriate location, and that consideration was given in order of preference to: On-site opportunities; opportunities within the same subbasin or watershed assessment unit; opportunities within the same Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA); opportunities in another WRIA;
(e) A discussion of the timing and schedule for implementation of the mitigation plan;
(f) A discussion of ongoing management practices that will protect wetlands, including proposed monitoring and maintenance programs;
(g) Mitigation plans should give priority to proven mitigation methods. Experimental mitigation techniques and mitigation banking may be considered by the council on a case-by-case basis. Proposals for experimental mitigation techniques and mitigation banking must be supported with analyses demonstrating that compensation will meet or exceed requirements giving consideration to the uncertainty of experimental techniques, and that banking credits meet all applicable state requirements.
(4) Federal approvals. The application shall list any federal approvals required for wetlands impacts and mitigation, status of such approvals, and federal agency contacts responsible for review.
[WSR 04-23-003, recodified as § 463-60-333, filed 11/4/04, effective 11/11/04. Statutory Authority: RCW 80.50.040 (1) and (12). WSR 04-21-013, § 463-42-333, filed 10/11/04, effective 11/11/04.]
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