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: The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Water and Waste
Management, 401 Water Quality Certification program is requiring a pre-filing meeting for all individual certification
requests in accordance with EPA's revision of State Certification of Activities Requiring a Federal Permit,
40 CFR § 121 (2020). Please contact us with questions or to submit a pre-filing meeting
request. 401 Certification for mining-related projects is issued by the DEP's Division of Mining and