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Nevada 401 Water Quality Certification (14-NV-d)

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) requires activities in Nevada that require a federal license or permit and discharge a pollutant into waters of the United States obtain a 401 Water Quality Certification. The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP) has authority to issue 401 Water Quality Certifications under NRS 445A.620. NRS 445A.620(2) also requires a public notice or opportunity for a public hearing, a requirement met through the public notice process established by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for 404 permits (which trigger the 401 certification process).

401 Water Quality Certification Process

14-NV-d.1 – Section 401 Water Quality Certification Application and Associated Documents

The developer must submit a NDEP 401 Water Quality Certification Application to the NDEP. The application must include:

  • Name and Scope of the project
  • Project Location
  • Site Plan
  • Best Management Practices
  • Other permits or required approvals

14-NV-d.2 to 14-NV-d.3 – Review Application Materials for Completeness

The NDEP reviews the application for completeness and accepts the application if complete.

14-NV-d.4 – Review Application Materials

The NDEP reviews the application to determine whether the activity will violate Federal or Nevada water quality standards. Waster quality standards include:

  • Beneficial use of the water
  • Water quality criteria (water characteristics and activities that impact water quality)
  • Antidegradation (for waters with a higher than required water quality standard)

14-NV-d.5 – Section 401 Water Quality Certification

If NDEP finds that the proposed section 404 discharge will comply with all pertinent water quality standards, NDEP issues the developer a 401 Water Quality Certification.

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