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.
- New! Sackett v. EPA Frequently Asked Questions (presented at the State Water Board’s Water Quality Coordinating Committee October 23, 2023 meeting)
- New! Update on applicability of Governor’s Executive Order EO N-10-23 to expedite critical flood repair work and prepare for the next wet season.
- On August 16, 2022, the Board adopted the Proposed Clean Water Act Section 401 and Waste Discharge Requirements General Order for Restoration Projects Statewide.
Visit the General Order webpage to view the final adopted Statewide Restoration General Order and documents.
- New! December 5, 2023 NOTICE OF BOARD MEETING: 4. Consideration of a proposed Resolution authorizing the Executive Director or Designee to execute a Memorandum of Understanding with the California High-Speed Rail Authority to provide expedited review of rail projects, environmental technical assistance, project consultations, and coordination services.
View the Revised Notice and Draft Memorandum of Understanding.
Subscribe to the 401 Water Quality Certification and Wetlands Program Email List
Subscribe to our 401 Water Quality Certification and Wetlands Program email list to receive notifications and the latest updates. After subscribing, you will need to check your email host for a confirmation email to complete the subscription.
Subscribe to our other email lists. See the "Water Quality" section.
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