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Water: Clean Water Act

Water Quality and 401 Certification

Water Quality Standards for Wetlands

Water quality standards are an effective tool available to States to protect the overall health of their wetlands resources and the valuable functions they provide, including shoreline stabilization, nonpoint source runoff filtration, wildlife habitat, and erosion control, which directly benefit adjacent and downstream waters. Water quality standards, including designated uses, criteria, and an antidegradation policy can provide a sound legal basis for protecting wetland resources through State water quality management programs.

National Guidance: Water Quality Standards for Wetlands Document to assist States in applying their water quality standards regulations to wetlands.

Water Quality Criteria and Standards Program Information related to water quality, biological, aquatic, and wildlife criteria and state water quality standards. Includes three Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment case studies.

Section 401 Water Quality Certification


Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification: A Water Quality Protection Tool For States and Tribes (PDF) (49 pp, 447K) This new handbook describes CWA §401 certification authorities, the way different state and tribal programs use certification, and how state and tribal certification programs leverage available resources to operate their certification programs. This interim version will be expanded with more examples, best practices and references over the next year. For more information or to provide examples contact Donna Downing (downing.donna@epa.gov) or Brian Topping (topping.brian@epa.gov).


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