RAPID/Hydropower/Washington/Water Quality

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Washington Hydropower Water Quality Assessment(14-WA)

In Washington, a hydropower developer may need a Section 401 Water Quality Certification from the Washington Department of Ecology for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensed projects or projects that require approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that may discharge dredged or fill material into a water of the United States, including wetlands. Washington may also require water quality compliance conditions for FERC exempted hydropower projects pursuant to the State’s 30(c) power under the Federal Power Act.

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Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.


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Permitting at a Glance

401 Water Quality Certification: A project subject to federal license or permit (e.g., Clean Water Act 404 permit, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license, etc.), may need a 401 Water Quality Certification or waiver if the project may result in any discharge into navigable waters of the United States. Washington Administrative Code Chapter 173-201A.
401 Certification Agency: Washington State Department of Ecology