401 Water Quality Certification and Wetlands Program
401 Water Quality Certification and Waste Discharge Requirements
This Program is responsible for regulating discharges of dredged or fill material to waters of the state. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards (Regional Water Boards) (collectively Water Boards) have the authority to regulate these discharges under section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act (Porter-Cologne).
CWA section 401 water quality certifications are issued to applicants for a federal license or permit for activities that may result in a discharge into waters of the United States (U.S.), including but not limited to the discharge or dredged or fill material. Waste discharge requirements under Porter-Cologne are issued for discharges of dredged or fill material to waters of the state.
On April 2, 2019, the State Water Board adopted the State Wetland Definition and Procedures for the Discharge of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State (Procedures). The Procedures became effective May 28, 2020. Applicants proposing to discharge dredged or fill material are required to comply with the Procedures unless an exclusion applies, or the discharge qualifies for coverage under a General Order.
This website provides resources and guidance for filling out and submitting applications, and other relevant program information.
- NOTICE: June 30, 2021: The State Water Board is accepting comments on the Proposed Order for Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification and Waste Discharge Requirements for Restoration Projects Statewide and the draft Environmental Impact Report. View the Notice and documents for public review.
- NOTICE: April 6, 2021: the State Water Resources Control Board adopted a resolution to confirm that the “State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State” is in effect as state policy for water quality control. Click here to view the final resolution and related documents.
- POSTPONED NOTICE OF OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC COMMENT AND NOTICE OF ADOPTION MEETING: Consideration of a Memorandum of Understanding with the California High-Speed Rail Authority to provide expedited review of project applications in accordance with the State Wetland Definition and Procedures for Discharges of Dredged or Fill Material to Waters of the State. Click here to view the Revised Notice and Draft Memorandum of Understanding.
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For questions about the Procedures or general orders, contact us by email or phone at:
- (916) 341-5900
State Board Program Leads
- Dredge or Fill Procedures, Federal Coordination, General Administration:
Beth Payne, Senior Environmental Scientist
Wetlands Permitting and Planning Unit
Phone: (916) 341-5579
- Transportation, Restoration, Enforcement:
Jessica Nadolski, Senior Environmental Scientist
Wetlands Permitting and Enforcement Unit
Phone: (916) 341-5290
- Utilities, Nationwide Permits, Fees, Enforcement:
Jean Bandura, Senior Environmental Scientist
Wetlands Permitting and Enforcement II Unit
Phone: (916) 322-7781