401 Certification

What we do
Section 401 Water Quality Certification is required for each permit or license issued by a federal agency to ensure that projects will not violate the state's water quality standards or stream designated uses. States are authorized to issue Certification under Section 401 of the Federal Clean Water Act.

The majority of certification requests are for dredge and fill operations regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The U.S. Coast Guard issues permits for bridge constuction on navigable waterways. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is responsible for licenses related to hydropower facilities. Applicants must receive State 401 Water Quality Certification before they can receive a permit from the federal agency.

The Division of Water and Waste Management may grant, grant with conditions, waive, or deny 401 Water Quality Certification. The decision to issue certification is based on project compliance with West Virginia Water Quality Standards. Field support for the 401 program is provided by the Division of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Section. For federally non-jurisdictional (or isolated) waters, the Division of Water and Waste Management may require a WV State Waters Permit.

NOTE: 401 Certification for mining-related projects is issued by the DEP's Division of Mining and Reclamation.

Public Notices
April 24, 2019: West Virginia Modified Section 401 Certification of 404 Nationwide Permits
April 24, 2019: Response to Public Comments on WV 401 Modified Certification of NWPs
Comments received on 2019 modification of 401 certification of NWPs

Notice of January 2019 NWP 401 Certification Proposed Modification
January 2019 NWP 401 Certification Proposed Modification

Comments received on September 2018 NWP 401 Certification Proposed Modification
September 2018 NWP 401 Certification Proposed Modification

Application for 401 Certification for Non-Coal Projects
Instructions for 401 Certification for Non-Coal Projects
Application for WV State Waters Permit
Instructions for WV State Waters Permit

Natural Streams Preservation Act Permit
for Mountain Valley Pipeline Greenbrier River Crossing issued 7/21/17

Contact Information

Brian Bridgewater

Nancy Dickson



Program Manager

Environmental Specialist

(304) 414-3891 

(304) 414-3834


U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Contact Information

Huntington District 
502 8th Steet, Room 6422
Huntington, WV 25701-2070
Phone: (304) 399-5710
Pittsburgh District
1000 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 395-7155