Understand the laws & regulations that affect your waterway
Environmental permits and regulations are designed to ensure that residents are managing waterways in a way that does not impact our shared water resources. Water is regulated at many levels, starting with the federal government and tribal governments, then at the state level, and finally at the level of our local counties and cities. Different permits and regulations that apply depend on your project and location. It is important to be informed on existing regulations and what steps you need to take before beginning a project on your waterway.
Thurston County Water Laws and Regulations
Critical Areas Ordinance
Use this online resource to learn about developing land within critical areas, like wetlands or streams.
Critical Area Ordinances regulate how development can safely occur on lands that contain critical areas. Visit here to learn more.
Habitat Conservation Plan
Use this online resource to learn about regulations in areas with federally listed endangered species.
Thurston County is home to species listed under the federal Endangered Species Act. This affects County building permits. A property owner can build where these species live but first needs a mitigation plan, also called a Habitat Conservation Plan, in order to comply with federal law. The County is voluntarily developing a 30-year mitigation plan to cover its permit applicants in response to this federal listing. Visit here to learn more.
Thurston County Code of Ordinance
Use this online resource to explore Thurston County’s local law.
The Thurston County Code of Ordinance is Thurston County’s local law. This code is organized to make the laws of the county as accessible as possible to county officials, county employees, and private citizens. Visit here to view local ordinances surrounding the environment.
Use this online mapping tool to look up information about your property.
Thurston Geodata is an online mapping system that allows you to look up information about your property, download data maps, and create unique maps. Visit here to learn more.
Use this online resource to learn about regulations within flood areas.
The purpose of these regulations is to promote public health, safety, and general welfare. They establish minimum standards for sites within flood areas and affected flood hazard areas in order to minimize losses. Read the regulations here or learn more about the Thurston County Flood Program here.
Shoreline Master Program
Use this online resource to learn about regulations on shorelines in Thurston County.
The Shoreline Master Program governs uses and activities on marine shorelines, lakes, and rivers throughout the county. Visit here to learn more.
Thurston County Permit Contact Information
Get in touch with the Thurston County permitting department.
Visit here to view a list of contact information for Thurston County’s permitting department.
State Water Laws and Regulations
Shorelines and Environmental Assistance
Learn about Thurston County’s Shoreline Master Program, created to protect shorelines.
Washington Department of Ecology
We work in partnership with more than 260 cities and counties to develop and implement shoreline master programs (SMPs). Local SMPs protect and restore valuable aquatic resources for future generations, provide for water-dependent uses, and ensure access to public shorelines.
Contact: Zach Meyer / / firstname.lastname@example.org 360-407-6167
Washington State Permits
Use this online handbook to learn more about local, state, and federal environmental permits.
Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance
This regulatory handbook contains information about local, state, and federal permits, approvals, and licenses for Washington State. Although not a complete list, this list does provide in-depth information on most environmental permits. Visit here to learn more.
Small Forest Landowner Regulation Assistance
Get assistance answering questions about regulations regarding your forestland.
Washington Department of Natural Resources
Our Regulation Assistance program assists small forest landowners with questions related to the state’s Forest Practices rules and the Forest Practices Application/Notification (FPA/N).
Contact: Todd Olson / / email@example.com 360-742-6825
Wetland Permitting and Regulation Resources
Use this online resource to learn about wetland permitting and regulations.
Washington Department of Ecology
Washington Department of Ecology protects and manages wetlands through multiple state laws. This resource provides information about permitting and regulations. Visit here to learn more.
Federal Water Laws and Regulations
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act
Use this online resource to learn more about the permitting process.
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Learn more about Section 404 of the Clean Water Act: Permitting discharges of dredge or fill material. Understand laws and regulations, the permitting process, and how mitigation works. Visit here to learn more.
US Army Corps of Engineers Permits
Use this online resource to learn more about construction and dredging near water on your property.
US Army Corps of Engineers
Corps permits are also necessary for any work, including construction and dredging, in the Nation’s navigable waters. The Corps balances the reasonably foreseeable benefits and detriments of proposed projects, and makes permit decisions that recognize the essential values of the Nation’s aquatic ecosystems to the general public, as well as the property rights of private citizens who want to use their land. Visit here to learn more.