Water Quality Certifications

Section 401 of the Clean Water Act requires the certification of all federal licenses and permits in which there is a “discharge of fill material into navigable waters”. The certification is used to determine whether an activity, as described in the federal license or permit, will impact established site specific water quality standards. A water quality certification (WQC) is not a permit to perform the activity and all federal licenses or permits cannot be issued without it; the most common federal license or permit requiring certification is the Corps of Engineers 404 permit.

Federal licenses and permit applications for certification generally do not need to be sent directly to us. If a certification is required, the permitting agency will send a copy of the application to us.

Regulations for issuing Water Quality Certifications can be found at LAC 33:IX.Chapter 15.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Water Quality Certifications

The following links are for the permitting agencies:

For any questions or comments about the Water Quality Certification process please call Elizabeth Hill at (225)219-3225, or send e-mail to elizabeth.hill@la.gov.