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The federal Clean Water Act requires a 401 Water Quality Certification for certain activities in wetlands and waters. This law gives states the authority to review projects that must obtain federal licenses or permits and that result in a discharge to state waters. The purpose of state 401 review is to ensure that a project will comply with state water quality standards and other appropriate requirements of state law.
All persons who propose any activity that results in a discharge of dredged material, dredging, or dredged material disposal greater than 100 cubic yards to waters subject to regulation by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or other federal agency, must obtain a 401 Water Quality Certification for Dredging Activities.
Examples of activities requiring certification include dredging of land under water. If no federal permit is needed for an activity, then no 401 certification is required from MassDEP. For information on the applicability of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, or Section 9 or 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, the applicant is advised to consult the Corps of Engineers at 1-800-362-4367.
All persons who propose discharges or fill activities in wetlands or waters should complete the 401 Water Quality Certification for Fill and Excavation Projects in Waters and Wetlands application form, which is a separate form from this application.
There are three categories of water quality certification: major project (BRP WW 07) or minor project (BRP WW 08) certifications, and Amendment of Certification for Dredging (BRP WW 09).
See details in Step 5 below.
Guidance on how to prepare your application, including a completeness checklist.
You may fill out and save the Microsoft Word form on your computer. The PDF version has to be printed out and completed by hand.
A unique Transmittal Number is needed for each application you submit to MassDEP.
See page 8 of the fee schedule below.
Submit your application fee payment and a copy of your Transmittal Form to:
Department of Environmental Protection
PO Box 4062
Boston, MA 02211
Submit your completed application and a copy of your Transmittal Form to the appropriate MassDEP Regional Office (see list below).