Critical Areas Regulation
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The MRSC provides the following overview: The Growth Management Act (GMA) requires all cities and counties in Washington to adopt regulations protecting “critical areas” in order to preserve the natural environment, wildlife habitats, and sources of fresh drinking water. Critical areas regulation also encourage public safety by limiting development in areas prone to natural hazards like floods and landslides.
RCW 36.70A.030(5) defines five types of critical areas:
- Areas with a critical recharging effect on aquifers used for potable water
- Fish and wildlife habitat conservation areas
- Frequently flooded areas
- Geologically hazardous areas