RAPID/Hydropower/Colorado/Water Quality

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Colorado Hydropower Water Quality Assessment(14-CO)

In Colorado, a hydropower developer may need a 401 Water Quality Certification from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 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. Colorado 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. A developer may also participate in Colorado’s Nonpoint Source Pollution Program to implement best management practices and reduce nonpoint source pollution into a watershed.

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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 o 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. Colorado Code of Regulations 5 CCR 1002-82, 401 Water Quality Certification Regulation; Colorado – C.R.S. 25-8-302, Duties of Water Quality Control Division.
401 Certification Agency: Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment