San Diego Region - Wetlands and Riparian Protection

Public Notices

Projects currently under review can be accessed by clicking the link below. Applications for 401 Water Quality Certification are publicly noticed for a minimum of twenty-one (21) days prior to the San Diego Water Board taking an action.

Certified Actions

Certifications issued since January 2008 can be accessed by clicking the link below. To review a certification issued prior to January 2008, please request a file review.

Denied Actions

Applications denied since January 2019 can be accessed by clicking the link below. To review denied applications issued prior to January 2019, please request a file review.

Types of 401 Certifications

The type of Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification (or, 401 certification) depends on the project activity, location, and federal permit being sought. Please consult with San Diego Water Board staff for additional guidance.
  • Individual 401 Certification (instructions below)
  • Emergency repair projects where there is a sudden, unexpected occurrence that demands immediate action to prevent loss of life, health, property, or essential public services.
    • Review additional information and requirements for the certification for the Certification for RGP 63
    • Submit a Notice of Intent (NOI) and application fee to the San Diego Water Board
  • Small habitat restoration projects, where the primary purpose is to restore habitat and where impacts will be less than 5 acres or 500 linear feet of jurisdictional waters. Not applicable to mitigation projects.
  • Removal of invasive plants, where the project involves only the removal of invasive plants in areas that contain at least 50% coverage.
    • Review additional requirements and instructions for the Certification for RGP 41
    • Submit notification and application fee to the San Diego Water Board
  • Projects that qualify for Army Corps Nationwide Permits
    • For Nationwide Permit Nos. 1, 3(a), 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 11, 14, 20, 22, 28, 32, 36, or 54
    • For Nationwide Permit Nos. 12, 57 and 58
    • For all Nationwide Permits that do not qualify for coverage under a Water Board General Order, apply for an individual 401 certification from the San Diego Water Board.

Individual 401 Application Information

Step 1: Request a pre-filing meeting a minimum of 30 days before submitting an application for an individual 401 water quality certification. This meeting provides an opportunity for the applicant and Water Board staff to discuss potential water quality impacts, possible steps to avoid and minimize impacts, and review possible compensatory mitigation. If the project involves other regulatory agencies, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Coastal Commission, or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we recommend scheduling a single meeting with all involved agencies.

  • Requests should be made in writing, preferably on letterhead, and sent to with the subject line “Pre-filing meeting request for [Project Name], ATTN: Eric Becker”
  • Include as much of the following information as possible:
    • Name of project and project proponent [required]
    • Brief project description, including location, nature of proposed activity, and potential impacts to water quality [required]
    • Approximate timeline for project construction and operation
    • A preliminary list of other state and federal authorizations needed for the project
    • A draft figure or map of the project, illustrating proposed impacts to jurisdictional waters [required]
    • A draft application form [recommended]
  • Keep a copy of your written request, as documentation of a pre-filing meeting request must be submitted with an application for water quality certification.
  • The San Diego Water Board may not respond to all requests for pre-filing meetings. If it has been 30 days since the receipt of your request, you may submit your application for 401 water quality certification.

Step 2: Submit an Application for Individual Water Quality Certification and/or Waste Discharge Requirements.

  • Fill out an application.
  • How to submit applications:
    • Electronic applications may be sent to with “401 Application for [Project Name]” in the subject line.
    • Documents larger than 50 MB must be saved to a flash drive and delivered to the San Diego Water Quality Control Board, 2375 Northside Dr. Ste 100, San Diego, CA 92108.
    • Paper applications may be delivered to the San Diego Water Board office at the above address.
  • Notify the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers when you submit your 401 application. Project applicants must concurrently notify the Corps and the San Diego Water Board when applying for water quality certification.

Step 3: Submit Application Fee.

  • Dredge and Fill Fee Calculator to calculate application fee
  • Pay fees via check made payable to State Water Resources Control Board and delivered to the San Diego Water Board office.
  • Pay fees online here with a credit card (please submit proof of payment with the application when using this method).

Application Guidance

    1. Project proponent and point of contact
    2. Proposed project;
    3. Applicable federal license or permit;
    4. The location and nature of any potential discharge that may result from the proposed project and the location of the receiving waters;
    5. Description of any methods to monitor, treat, control, or manage the discharge;
    6. A list of all other authorizations required for the project;
    7. Documentation that a pre-filing meeting was requested (see guidance above);
    8. This signed statement: “The project proponent hereby certifies that all information contained herein is true, accurate, and complete, to the best of my knowledge and belief.”; and
    9. This signed statement: “The project proponent hereby requests that the certifying authority review and take action on this CWA 401 certification request within the applicable reasonable period of time.

Additional Resources

The following resources may be useful in preparing an application for water quality certification.


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