Why do I need a State Water Quality Certification, CWA Section 401?

This certification is for state issuance of a State Water Quality Certification (401 Certification) for an activity or project requiring a federal permit or license, that may result in a discharge to waters of the U.S. States are given the authority to issue this certification through Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Under §401, a federal agency cannot issue a permit or license until/unless the state has certified, conditionally certified or waived the 401 Certification. Issuing this certification ensures that the project will not violate surface water quality standards, adversely impact impaired waters (waters that do not meet water quality standards) and that the project complies with applicable water quality improvement plans (total maximum daily loads). This certification becomes a part of the federal permit or license. The certification is valid for the same time period as the permit or license, often issued for five-year terms.

State Water Quality Certification, CWA Section 401 | Download Application >