Section 401 Water Quality Certification


Clean Water Act Section 404 & Kansas Environmental Coordination Act: address activities that in someway modify stream channel cross section. Section 404 authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to administer a program of permitting the discharge of dredge and fill material to the nation's waterways. Permits may not be issued until the State has issued, pursuant to Clean Water Act Section 401, a statement certifying the activity is not likely to violate State Water Quality Standards.

The Kansas Environmental Coordination Act requires the Kansas Department of Agriculture - Division of Water Resources seek comments from Kansas' environmental agencies before issuing permits to modify stream channel cross sections. The Watershed Management Section reviews Section 404 permits and prepare Section 401 water quality certifications intended to assure that the permitted activity will not result in a violation of Kansas water quality standards. A similar water quality certification is prepared under authority of Kansas water quality standards for KDA-DWR permitted stream channel modification and floodplain fill activities.

Activities:

Section 404 permits cannot be issued until the State has issued, pursuant to Clean Water Act Section 401, a statement certifying the activity is not likely to violate State Water Quality Standards. The Watershed Management Section reviews Section 404 permits and prepares conditional Section 401 water quality certifications intended to assure that the permitted activity will not result in a violation of Kansas surface water quality standards. A similar water quality certification is prepared pursuant the Kansas water quality standards to K.A.R. 28-16-28 et. seq., for KDA-DWR permitted stream channel modification and floodplain fill activities. [Pursuant to KSA 82a-326(a)(4) and (b) of the Kansas Environmental Coordination Act requires the Kansas Department of Agriculture - Division of Water Resources seek comments from Kansas' environmental agencies before issuing permits to modify stream channel cross sections, place an amount of fill in a floodplain, or levee construction /repair.]

See: http://www.nwk.usace.army.mil/regulatory/regulatory.htm for more information on Section 404 Nationwide Permits.

DRAFT CONDITIONAL SECTION 401 WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION ISSUED FOR PROSPOSED CLEAN WATER ACT SECTION 404 NATIONWIDE PERMIT REISSUANCE

“On June 1, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published in the Federal Register its proposal to reissue the 50 existing nationwide permits (NWPs) and issue two new NWPs. NWPs are general permits issued on a nationwide basis to streamline the authorization of activities that result in no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects. Many of the proposed NWPs require notification to the district engineer before commencing those activities, to ensure that the activities authorized by those NWPs cause no more than minimal individual and cumulative adverse environmental effects.“

More information on the draft nationwide permits can be found at: http://www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Regulatory-Program-and-Permits/Nationwide-Permits/; a summary table of the proposed nationwide permits can be found at: http://www.usace.army.mil/Portals/2/docs/civilworks/nwp/2017/nwp2017_sumtable_draft_May2016.pdf.

Additionally, Kansas Regional Conditions for NWPs have been drafted by the USACE in coordination with state and federal agencies. Once issued, these conditions provide a general statewide framework for requirements for permitted activities considered by the USACE to have minimal impacts on the aquatic ecosystem. This water quality certification provides conditions and guidance to address local water quality needs of the permitted activities.

The KDHE-Bureau of Water-Watershed Management Section has drafted a conditional Section 401 Water Quality Certification for review and comment. The attached document certifies that activities authorized under the above referenced permits will not likely violate Kansas water quality standards by minimizing potential for the impairment of designated uses on the subject water body through adherence of project applicable conditions. Below is the referenced draft.

Draft Conditional Section 401 Water Quality Certification

Your comments are appreciated and should be directed to:
Kansas Department of Health and Environment ,Bureau of Water - Watershed Management Section, 1000 SW Jackson Street, Suite 420, Topeka, Kansas 66612-1367 or email: nps@kdheks.gov or FAX 785/296-5509.

For more information please call 785-296-4195 or email nps@kdheks.gov.