RAPID/Hydropower/California/Water Quality

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California Hydropower Water Quality Assessment(14-CA)

In California, a hydropower developer may need a Section 401 Water Quality Certification or wavier from the California State Water Resources Control Board(SWRCB) for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensed projects or projects that require a Clean Water Act 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to discharge dredge or fill material into a water of the United States, including wetlands. California may also require a 401 Water Quality Certification or waiver for FERC exempted hydropower projects pursuant to the State’s 30(c) power under the Federal Power Act.

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

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. 23 CCR 3855.
401 Certification Agency: California State Water Resources Control Board