RAPID/Hydropower/Vermont/Water Quality

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Vermont Hydropower Water Quality Assessment(14-VT)

In Vermont, a hydropower developer may need a 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) from the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation 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 navigable waters of the U.S., including wetlands. Vermont also requires 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. In addition, a developer may need an operational stormwater permit, in the form of either an Individual Stormwater Discharge Permit or a General Stormwater Discharge Permit, for a new development, expansion, redevelopment, and/or existing impervious surfaces equal to or greater than one acre that discharge stormwater.

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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. 10 V.S.A. §1004. ANR also requires a 401 WQC for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission exemptions. See, Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Process 401 Water Quality Certification Practice.
401 Certification Agency: Agency of Natural Resources