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401 Water Quality Certification

Most projects requiring 401 Certification fall into two categories:

  1. Projects involving discharges of dredged or fill material to waters of the United States including wetlands and other water bodies. Such discharges may result from navigational dredging, flood control channelization, levee construction, channel clearing, fill of wetlands for development, or other activities.

    These projects involve the removal or placement of soil, sediment, and other materials in or near water bodies and require Corps permits under CWA Section 404. This information sheet concerns this category of activities.

  2. Projects involving construction of hydroelectric dams, power plants, and other facilities requiring Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licenses and projects which must secure a State water rights permit. The State Board reviews these projects for certification. For more information on certification of projects seeking FERC licenses and water rights permits, contact:
    Division of Water Rights
    State Water Resources Control Board
    P.O. Box 2000
    Sacramento, CA 95812-2000
    (916) 341-5300 (information)
    (916) 341-5308 (certification team leader)

Please download Instructions for Filling Out the CWA Section 401 Water Quality Certification Application. This will explain how to fill out the 401 application and list additional materials to send in with the application. Most certification application processes are delayed by not having a complete application and necessary information.

401 Application (Adobe PDF)
401 Application (MS Word)

A $720 deposit should accompany dredge and fill applications except for projects qualifying for a flat fee category.  Projects that qualify for a flat fee should be remitted with a portion of the flat fee. The 401 Fee Calculator* describes if additional fees are needed and how they are calculated.
*Be aware that this file may take several minutes to download.

21 Day Public Notices for Pending 401 Certifications

Other Public Notices


Please call the Central Coast Regional Board Control Board at (805) 549-3147 for questions on the 401 Program.

Visit the State Board 401 Water Certification Program for further information

Updated: October 2016