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CWA Section 401 Certification

Guidance on Section 401 Certification

Under Executive Order 13868, Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth, the EPA was directed to issue guidance for federal permitting agencies and state and authorized tribal authorities to modernize previous guidance and clarify existing CWA Section 401 requirements.

EPA’s “Clean Water Act Section 401 Certification Guidance for Federal Agencies, States, and Authorized Tribes” provides clarification and recommendations on CWA Section 401 certifications in following specific areas:

  • Statutory and regulatory timelines for review and action on a CWA Section 401 certification;
  • The appropriate scope of CWA Section 401 certification conditions; and
  • Information within the scope of a state or authorized tribe’s CWA Section 401 review.

EPA’s new guidance, which replaces the EPA’s prior interim guidance from 2010, also provides additional recommendations to federal agencies, states and authorized tribes to promote early collaboration and coordination through the 401 certification process.  The EPA's 2010 document is located in the EPA's Web Archives.