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: 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 ยง 121 (2020). Please contact Brian Bridgewater 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 Reclamation.

Public Notices

Documents

  • Application for 401 Certification for Non-Coal Projects
    • Description: This application must be completed whenever a proposed activity requires a Clean Water Act Section 401 Individual State Water Quality Certification from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP).
  • Application for WV State Waters Permit
    • Description: This application must be completed for any activity involving a discharge into federally non-jurisdictional waters of the State which require a West Virginia State Waters Permit from the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP).

Contact Information

Brian Bridgewater, Environmental Resources Analyst
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Water and Waste Management
601 57th St. SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Phone: (304) 926-0499 x43891
Email: Brian.L.Bridgewater@wv.gov

Nancy Dickson, Environmental Resources Specialist 3
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection
Division of Water and Waste Management
601 57th St. SE
Charleston, WV 25304
Phone: (304) 926-0499 x43834
Email: Nancy.J.Dickson@wv.gov

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
Phone: (412) 395-7155