Water Quality Certifications – CWA §401
The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is the lead state agency that administers the Clean Water Act Section 401 water quality certification program in Oklahoma. The purpose of these certification reviews is to determine whether a proposed discharge will comply with Oklahoma water quality standards. DEQ conducts Clean Water Act Section 401 certification reviews of projects requiring a federal discharge permit. The most common federal permits in Oklahoma requiring 401 certifications are Clean Water Act Section 404 permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.
Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. Activities in waters of the United States regulated under this program include fill for development, water resource projects (such as dams and levees), infrastructure development (such as highways and airports) and mining projects. CWA Section 404 requires a permit before dredged or fill material may be discharged into waters of the United States, unless the activity is exempt from Section 404 regulation.
Oklahoma DEQ does not issue CWA Section 404 permits. Section 404 permits for the State are the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District Regulatory Office. Questions regarding Section 404 permits should be directed to: