Wyoming's 401 Certification Process

For dredge/fill activities, the WDEQ/WQD recommends the applicant contact the USACE Wyoming Regulatory Office to determine whether the proposed activity will impact waters of the United States and a 404 Dredge and Fill Permit is required. If a 404 Dredge and Fill Permit is required, the USACE will notify the applicant as to whether the activity could be authorized under a USACE Nationwide, Regional General or Individual Permit. The USACE will then request 401 Certification from the WDEQ/WQD. For FERC projects, the applicant should contact the WDEQ/WQD directly for the 401 Certification. The process by which an applicant obtains a 401 Certification in Wyoming for dredge/fill or FERC projects is described below.
  1. The applicant submits a pre-construction notification (PCN) to the USACE for activities where a 404 permit is required and proceeds to step 2.  For FERC projects, the PCN is sent directly to the WDEQ/WQD and the process skips to step 3.

  2. Based on WDEQ/WQD's 401 Certification letter for 2017 USACE Nationwide Permits, the USACE determines if an individual or categorical 401 Certification is required.  If the activity falls under a categorical 401 Certification, the USACE 404 permit includes standard general conditions imposed by the WDEQ/WQD on all 401 Certifications that ensure compliance with surface water quality standards and are enforceable. If the activity requires an individual 401 Certification, the USACE submits a formal request to the WDEQ/WQD for individual 401 Certification along with the PCN. The applicant must ensure that appropriate information is contained in the PCN for individual 401 Certification (see General Requirements for 401 Certifications).

  3. WDEQ/WQD reviews the PCN to determine if the activity is likely to cause non-attainment of applicable Wyoming surface water quality standards. If necessary, the WDEQ/WQD can request additional information from the federal agency and/or the applicant. WDEQ/WQD may add special conditions to the individual 401 Certification to ensure compliance with surface water quality standards or other water quality requirements (e.g. TMDLs). These conditions become part of the federal permit or license and are enforceable.

  4. A public notice is issued (if required) followed by review and response to public comments.

  5. If certification is granted, a final individual 401 Certification with conditions is issued directly to the applicant and also provided to the appropriate federal agency.