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Energy and Environment Cabinet

Division of Water

Division of Water
Kentucky Water Quality Certification Program



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§401 Water Quality Certification
Any person, firm, or agency (including federal, state, and local government agencies) planning to work in jurisdictional waters of the United States, or dump or place dredged or fill material in waters of the United States should contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) office in your area and the Kentucky Division of Water, Water Quality Certification Section to obtain a permit. The §401 Water Quality Certification Program of the Kentucky Division of Water is the Commonwealth’s review and authorization of selected federal license and permits   Examples of federal licenses and permits subject to §401 certification include Clean Water Act §404 permits for discharge of dredged or fill material issued by the USACE, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hydropower licenses, and Rivers and Harbors Act §9 and §10 permits for activities that have a potential discharge in navigable waters issued by the USACE.  A §401 certification from the Commonwealth of Kentucky also affirms that the discharge will not violate Kentucky's water quality standards. 

Examples of activities that may require a certification from the Kentucky Division of Water, Water Quality Certification Section include:
  •  Placement of dredged or fill materials into waters of the state and/or wetlands
  •  Structural fill such as culverts and bridge supports
  • Road and utility crossings
  •  Dredging, excavation, channel widening, or straightening
  • Flooding, excavating, draining and/or filling a wetland
  •  Bank sloping; stabilization
  • Stream channel relocation
  •  Water diversions
  • Divert, obstruct or change the natural flow or bed of any waters of the state (e.g. debris removal, bank stabilization or culverting)
  • Construct a barrier across a stream, channel, or watercourse that will create a reservoir: dams, weirs, dikes, levees or other similar structures

Obtaining 401 Water Quality Certification Flowchart

Click on a link below to find out more information about §401 Water Quality Certification:

Environmental Protection Water Quality and 401 Certification: