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CWA 401 Water Quality Certification

Dredge/Fill (401) and Wetlands Program

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Welcome to the Certification and Wetlands Program

This program regulates discharges of fill and dredged material under Clean Water Act Section 401 and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act.

This program protects all waters in its regulatory scope, but has special responsibility for wetlands, riparian areas, and headwaters because these waterbodies have high resource value, are vulnerable to filling, and are not systematically protected by other programs. We are involved with protection of special-status species and regulation of hydromodification impacts. The Program encourages basin-level analysis and protection, because some functions of wetlands, riparian areas, and headwater streams - including pollutant removal, flood water retention, and habitat connectivity - are expressed at the basin or landscape level.

Most projects are regulated by the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Boards). The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) directly regulates multi-regional projects and supports and coordinates the Program statewide.

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What's New?

Program Description

Program Rules

  • Program Regulations
    Navigate using the hyperlinks in the Table of Contents, or press Ctrl+F and type in a keyword.
  • Program Business Rules
    This Table can be used to research a number of “Business Rules” applicable to the 401 Certification Program.

Resources for Applicants

  • Staff Directory of the 401 & Wetlands Unit
    If you have questions about our program, we invite you to use this directory to call or email our staff at the office in your region.
  • Application Form
    Use this 401 application form and submit it to the State Water Resources Control Board, Certification and Wetlands Unit, only if proposed project involves two or more Regional Water Quality Control Boards (RWQCB). Otherwise, use the application form of the appropriate RWQCB and submit the completed form to that agency.
  • Statewide Wetland and Riparian Area Protection Policy Initiative
  • *NEW* Dredge and Fill Fee Calculator (Effective 10/30/2014)
    Application fees shall be based on the current fee schedule. After the certification has become effective annual fees will be based on the fee schedule at time of billing.

Public Notices

General Orders for Statewide Multi-Regional Projects

Individual Certification Orders for Statewide Multi-Regional Projects


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Questions or Comments?

  • For more information please call us at (916) 341-5506