CWA §401 Certification - New
On June 1, 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Certification Rule (40 CFR Part 121) to update and clarify the procedural requirements for water quality certification under CWA §401. Additional information, including the full text of the Final Rule is available on EPA's website. The Final Rule became effective on September 11, 2020.
If you are required or have been notified that your project requires that you request a water quality certification under CWA §401 from DEC for any activity that may result in a discharge to waters of the United States, then in accordance with 40 CFR §121.4 you must request a Pre-Filing Meeting with DEC at least 30 days prior to submitting a certification request. The pre-filing meeting request provides advance notification to the certifying authority that a certification request may be forthcoming and therefore promotes early coordination, even when the certifying authority does not hold a pre-filing meeting.
To request a Pre-Filing Meeting Request, complete the Pre-Filing Meeting Request form (PDF) and email to DEC-401Cert@alaska.gov. Include in the subject line the following "Pre-filing Meeting Request - CWA §401 Certification - [project title]". Include as much information about your project as possible, and identify if you have any particular issues you wish to bring to DEC’s attention. While DEC is not obligated to grant the request, you may not file a request for certification from DEC until you have filed a Pre-Filing Meeting request with DEC and 30 (thirty) days have passed.
To request a CWA §401 certification, complete the CWA §401 Request for Certification form (PDF) and email to DEC-401Cert@alaska.gov along with the federal permit application and support materials. Include in the email subject line the following: “CWA §401 Certification Request - [Federal Agency and permit number or license number] - [project title]". It is important that you have allowed 30-days to have passed from requesting a prefiling meeting request. DEC does charge a fee for processing CWA §401 certifications, see Permit Fees website.
Several federal and state agencies are involved in Section 404 permitting.
Roles of Various Federal and State Agencies and Local Governments
Permitting Construction in Wetlands
- Discharging dredged or fill material in waters of the U.S., including wetlands;
- Site improvement fill for residential, commercial, or recreational development;
- Construction of revetments, groins, breakwaters, levees, dams, dikes, and weirs; and
- Placement of riprap and fill material for roads, airports, or buildings.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers - Alaska District Regulatory Division
- Corps Regulatory Division Main webpage
- Corps FAQ on "Do I need a permit?"
- Corps listing of permit Public Notices
- Sketch of Corps Regulatory Jurisdiction (PDF)
- USACE Nationwide Permits available in Alaska
- USACE Nationwide Permit - 401 Certificate of Reasonable Assurance (PDF)
Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation - Division of Water - Wastewater Discharge Authorization Program
- DEC Process for Issuing a Waiver of a Corps Permit (PDF)
- DEC On-line Permit Search
- DEC Permit Fees
- Reassignment of 401 Certificate (PDF)
- Handbook on 401 Water Quality Certifications (PDF)
- Dredge Material Guidance for Upland Disposal (PDF)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - Region 10 - Alaska Operations Office
- Anchorage Watershed Management
- Juneau wetlands
- Kenai Peninsula Borough - River Center
- Kenai Peninsula Wetlands - A Guide (PDF, 17.5 MB)
- Homer Wetlands Map
- Mat-Su Wetlands
- Mat-Su Wetlands Management Plan
The State of Alaska includes approximately 63% of the nation's wetland ecosystems (Hall et al. 1994). Estimates place the total acreage at approximately 130 million acres or about one-third of the State. Wetlands help maintain water quality by slowly filtering excess nutrients, sediments, and pollutants before water seeps into rivers, streams, and underground aquifers. They also offer a breeding ground and/or habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants. Wetlands are areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions. Wetlands generally include tundra, permafrost areas, marshes, bogs, and similar areas.
- 1994 Alaska Wetlands Initiative Summary Report (PDF)
- Status of Alaska Wetlands (Hall et. al., 1994) (PDF)
Functional Assessment Guidebooks
Interior Wetlands Functional Assessment Guidebook (HGM)
- Appendix B: Part 1 - Hydro Data Array (XLS)
- Appendix B: Part 2 - Soils Data Array (XLS)
- Appendix B: Part 3 - Vegetation Data Array (XLS)
- Appendix C: Part 1 - Hydro Data Summary (XLS)
- Appendix C: Part 2 - Vegetative by Community Characteristic (XLS)
- Appendix C: Part 3 - Hydro Data Summary (XLS)
Cook Inlet Basin Ecoregion Wetland Functional Assessment Guidebook for Slope/Flat Wetland Complexes
Southeast / Southcentral Alaska Wetlands Functional Assessment Guidebook
For More Information, Contact:
|Staff (click to email)||Position||Phone|
|Jim Rypkema||Program Manager, Storm Water and Wetlands||907-334-2288|
|Angela Hunt||Environmental Program Specialist IV||907-269-7599|
|Teri Buck||Environmental Program Specialist III||907-334-2281|