Discharge of Dredged and Fill Material - 401 Water Quality Certification and Waste Discharge Requirements

Most projects requiring 401 Water Quality 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)

To fill out an application for a Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification, download the application from the following website: 401 Application.

Permitting of Projects that are Responding to California Wildfires - Steps for getting Central Coast Water Board permits or authorization for projects in response to wildfires.

Fire Response and Emergency Project Application Form - fill out this form to apply for authorization to conduct a fire response or related emergency project within a water of the state.

An application fee should accompany 401 applications. The 401 Fee Calculator* describes required fee deposits and additional fees and how they are calculated.
*Be aware that this file may take several minutes to download.

Some projects (such as emergency projects and small habitat restoration projects) requiring 401 Water Quality Certification qualify for coverage under general orders. For more information on these general orders see the following links:

When submitting reports and notifications required by a 401 Water Quality Certification, please use the following coversheet:

Projects that only discharge dredge or fill material to waters of the State, and not waters of the United States, must apply for Waste Discharge Requirements.

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.