Water Quality Certifications FAQs

I have received both the DNR and Corps authorizations on my project, is Water Quality Certification (WQC) needed before we move forward?

Yes, you will need a Water Quality Certification before proceeding with any work. Section 401 of the Clean Water Act states,

“Any applicant for a Federal license or permit to conduct any activity including, but not limited to, the construction or operation of facilities, which may result in any discharge into the navigable waters, shall provide the licensing or permitting agency a certification from the State in which the discharge originates or will originate...”

What can I do to help the project move along?

You can help move the project along by paying your processing fee promptly and providing the following documentation as relevant to your project:

  • a signed, legible copy of the 404 permit application (Form 4345), including a clear set of plans (LAC 33:IX.1507.A)
  • a list of landowners (LAC 33:IX.1507.A.1.m)
  • assurance to the best of your knowledge any excavated and fill material will be free of contaminants and will be disposed of in an approved landfill as necessary (LAC 33:IX.1507.A.5)
  • maps, drawings, or plats which indicate:
    • Latitude and longitude of property. Include the latitude and longitude of the boundaries, such as the corners, not just proposed front gate coordinates. Please do not use surveyor’s measurements.
    • Include pipelines and utilities right-of-ways adjacent to or on the project site.
    • Included type, diameter, or cross-section and length of pipes, ditches or any conduits conveying a discharge.
    • The stormwater flow to the first major water body (Provide the location and extent of receiving waters).
    • Placement, dimensions, and type of any and all buildings, temporary or permanent.
    • Stormwater flows on the property after the construction of the project.

If your project requires Sanitary/Sewage:

  • maps indicating where the wastewater treatment system will be located on the property
  • the name of the waterbody(ies) receiving treated effluent from any wastewater treatment system
  • assurance that any sanitary treatment systems will employ a degree of treatment as to not cause or contribute to any water quality impairment
  • assurance that a Request for Preliminary Determination (RPD) form will be submitted to LDEQ for the project if it will result in a future discharge
  • a copy of the approval letter from the parish/municipality/police jury/drainage district which you are tying into for your sanitary discharge(LAC 33:IX.1507.A.1.i)
Who receives the correspondence for the certification process?

All correspondence will be mailed to the party listed as “agent” on the joint application.

What are we actually asking for when we ask for “assurance” that some action will be taken?

We are looking for a written assurance that to the best of your knowledge and belief all information is true, accurate, and complete. Please be aware that you are certifying this information under penalty of law and any falsification will nullify the certification, thus nullifying the permit it is certifying. See LAC 33: IX.2503.D.

How do I respond to a Request for Additional Information? Must I respond in writing?

Please respond in writing and mail us a hardcopy to ensure the document is properly filed in our Electronic Document Management System (EDMS).

Can I request an extension for response to the Request for Additional Information?

Yes, you may request an extension for response to the request by simply emailing the environmental scientist handling your project.

What fees are involved in a WQC?

The Louisiana State Legislature has currently set the processing fees at:

$37.00 per application for all non-commercial activities

$385.00 per application for all commercial activities

Can I pay my processing fee online?

Yes, online payments can be processed using the DEQ Business Website. Please note that if paying online you must also make a copy of the receipt generated by the online payment system and mail the receipt in to the department.

You may also pay via check or money order. Mail the check, money order, or copy of receipt for online payment to:

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
Water Permits Division
P. O. Box 4313
Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4313
Attn: Water Quality Certification

If you require further assistance regarding payments please call Ashley Broom in Financial Services at (225) 219-3907.

I have a water quality certification. Why am I being charged a fee again?

If you are being charged a fee again it is likely that one of the following things has happened:

  • your original Water Quality Certification has expired
  • you have an expansion to the original project
  • you have significantly modified the original project

If you feel you have been charged a fee unnecessarily, contact the environmental scientist handling your file for review.

How do I know what files LDEQ has received from me for certification?

We store all official documents and correspondence from the certification process in our Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). EDMS can be accessed through the following link: http://edms.deq.louisiana.gov. The EDMS system is searchable by Agency Interest (AI) number, and the AI number is typically established by water quality certification project.

Where can I find information on Best Management Practices (BMPs) that control stormwater runoff and non-point source pollution from the site during and after construction of my proposed project?

Information on BMPs is found on the Department’s website listed under Helpful Documents on the Construction Stormwater page.

For any questions regarding the Water Quality Certification process, please direct your questions to: