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18. 401 Water Quality Certification for Dredging
Authorities: 33 U.S.C. 1341 et seq., § 401: Federal Water Pollution Control Act, M.G.L. c. 21, §§ 26-53: Massachusetts Clean Water Act; 314 CMR 4.00: Surface Water Quality Standards, 314 CMR 9.00: 401 Water Quality Certification.
Jurisdiction: Dredge and/or fill projects in waters and wetlands subject to state and federal jurisdiction if a federal permit is required for the project.
Applicability: Any activity that would result in a discharge of dredged material, dredging, or dredged material disposal greater than 100 cubic yards that is also subject to federal regulation must obtain a 401 Water Quality Certification.
Regulatory Summary: The Division of Wetlands and Waterways in the Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) administer the 401 Water Quality Certification Program. The 401 review ensures that a proposed dredge and/or fill project that can result in the discharge of pollutants complies with Massachusetts Surface Water Quality Standards, the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (16), and otherwise avoids or minimizes individual and cumulative impacts to Massachusetts waters and wetlands. As the authority to administer the 401 Water Quality Certification is derived from the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, only projects that require a federal permit are subject to 401 review.
Review Process: Reviews are divided into Major Projects (5,000 cubic yards of dredging or more) and Minor Projects (less than 5,000 cubic yards of dredging). The 401 application must include a description and plans of the proposed dredging area, method of dredging, a description of the material to be dredged, and the proposed disposal site. If the proposed dredging is in an Outstanding Resource Water (314 CMR 4.00) the applicant must publish a public notice in the Environmental Monitor. Copies of the public notice must be sent to the local Conservation Commission and to DEP. Written comments on the application are accepted by MassDEP for 21 days. MassDEP may condition the Certification to ensure that state surface waters are not harmed by the project.
Forms: BRP WW 07, 08, 09 Water Quality Certifications, Dredging Projects at www.mass.gov/dep/water/approvals/wwforms.htm#wqcert.
Fees: Major Project Certification: $250. Minor Project Certification: $50.
Contact: MassDEP Water Quality Certification Program (617) 292-5695.
Publication Date: Fall, 2003
A publication of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) pursuant to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Award No. NA170Z2338. This publication is funded (in part) by a grant/cooperative agreement from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA or any of its sub-agencies.