401 Certification

CWA Section 401 Water Quality Certification (hereafter referred to as 401 Certification) is required for any federal license or permit which may result in a discharge into waters of the United States. The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality-Water Quality Division (WDEQ/WQD) reviews and issues Water Quality Certifications under Section 401 of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). Conditions of the 401 Certification become conditions of the federal permit or license.  The purpose of the 401 Certification is to ensure that the discharge will be in compliance with applicable surface water quality standards found in Chapter 1 Wyoming Water Quality Rules and Regulations. 

WDEQ/WQD is responsible for issuing 401 Certifications in Wyoming for the following types of federal permits or licenses that authorize discharges to waters of the United States:

  • 404 Dredge and Fill Permits: CWA Section 404 establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill materials into waters of the United States.  The premise behind the 404 program is that no discharge of dredged or fill material may be permitted if a practical alternative exists that is less damaging to the aquatic environment or if the nation’s waters would be significantly degraded. The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wyoming Regulatory Office is responsible for issuing 404 Dredge and Fill Permits in Wyoming. Dredge/fill activities can be authorized under USACE Nationwide, Wyoming Regional General or Individual Permits. Common activities that typically require a 404 Dredge and Fill permit include but are not limited to:

  • Placement of fill in a wetland or other water

  • Dredging or excavating bodies of water

  • Stream bank stabilization or alteration

  • Stream channel or bank restoration

  • Construction of a bridge, road, utility or pipeline crossing over a waterbody

  • Dredging or excavating potentially contaminated sediments

  • Construction of any type of permanent or temporary dam, causeway, levee or other related structure

  • Construction of a pond, wetland, detention basin or related feature

  • Dock/ramp construction

For more information about 401 Certification in Wyoming, please click on the appropriate item under Resources:  Wyoming’s 401 Certification Process, 401 Certifications of USACE Dredge and Fill Permits, 401 Certification of FERC Projects, or General Requirements for 401 Certifications.


Eric Hargett
401 Certification Coordinator