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SECTION 401 PROGRAM

While the USACE regulates only those activities resulting in a discharge of dredge or fill material into a wetland, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has the authority to regulate activities resulting in a discharge of any pollutant into a wetland. This authority is limited, however, to only those activities requiring a federal permit or license. Section 401 of the CWA requires all permits or licenses issued by the federal government for activities affecting waters of the United States be certified by the state in which the discharge is to occur that the activity will comply with the water quality standards of that state. These water quality standards must be equal to or more stringent than those established in Section 303 of the CWA. The IEPA is the state agency that sets water quality standards in Illinois and therefore has the authority to certify such federal permits and licenses (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1989).

Assertion of Section 401 authority for the protection of wetlands usually occurs during the review of individual 404 applications. This occurs for several reasons. Section 404 permits are the most commonly pursued wetland related permits. Section 401 certification must be done in conjunction with the attainment of a federal permit or licence. A 404 application may be denied for not meeting the standards of the 401 program even if the activity complies with all other provisions. In order to be valid in a state, all Section 404 NWPs and any other general permits must have already been pre-certified that the activities they permit will meet the criteria of the Section 401 program in that state (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 1997 and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 1989).
Joint application form

[ Introduction   | Section 404 Program  |  Nationwide Permits & General Conditions | Section 401 Program |Critical Resource Waters |  Swampbuster Prog.  | Interagency Wetlands Policy Act of 1989  |  Rivers, Lakes & Streams Act  | Wetland Detmermination & Delineations |Conclusion ]

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Wetlands

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