Blanket Section 401 WQC

Blanket Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) for Certain 2021 Department of the Army (DA) Nationwide Permits (NWPs) (WQC1092)

Under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, the Department of Health (DOH), Clean Water Branch (CWB) is responsible for issuing or denying Section 401 WQCs for any project/activity that requires a federal license or permit and may result in a water pollutant discharge to State surface waters. The DOH-CWB issued the Blanket Section 401 WQC, which became effective April 28, 2022 to the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for certain 2021 DA NWPs. A public notice of the proposed modification was made on March 9, 2022, followed by a 45-day public comment period. No public comments were received. A copy of the Blanket Section 401 WQC can be found below.

Blanket Section 401 WQC (WQC1092)

Under the Blanket WQC, eligible applicants do not need to submit any applications, documents, or reports to the CWB. The general conditions outlined in the Blanket Section 401 WQC shall be incorporated as conditions in the issued federal permit or license.

The following NWPs and activities are covered under the Blanket Section 401 WQC and include:

  • NWP 2 – Structures in Artificial Canals
  • NWP 3 – Maintenance
  • NWP 4 – Fish and Wildlife Harvesting, Enhancement, and Attraction Devices and Activities
  • NWP 5 – Scientific Measurement Devices
  • NWP 6 – Survey Activities
  • NWP 7 – Outfall Structures and Associated Intake Structures
  • NWP 9 – Structures in Fleeting and Anchorage Areas
  • NWP 10 – Mooring Buoys
  • NWP 11 – Temporary Recreational Structures
  • NWP 12 – Utility Line Activities
  • NWP 13 – Bank Stabilization
  • NWP 14 – Linear Transportation Projects
  • NWP 15 – U.S. Coast Guard Approved Bridges
  • NWP 16 – Return Water from Upland Contained Disposal Areas
  • NWP 17 – Hydropower Projects
  • NWP 18 – Minor Discharge
  • NWP 19 – Minor Dredging
  • NWP 20 – Response Operations for Oil or Hazardous Substances
  • NWP 22 – Removal of Vessels
  • NWP 23 – Approved Categorical Exclusions
  • NWP 25 – Structural Discharges
  • NWP 27 – Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities
  • NWP 28 – Modifications of Existing Marinas
  • NWP 29 – Residential Developments
  • NWP 31 – Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Facilities
  • NWP 32 – Completed Enforcement Actions
  • NWP 33 – Temporary Construction, Access and Dewatering
  • NWP 35 – Maintenance Dredging of Existing Basins
  • NWP 36 – Boat Ramps
  • NWP 37 – Emergency Watershed Protection and Rehabilitation
  • NWP 38 – Cleanup of Hazardous and Toxic Waste
  • NWP 39 – Commercial and Institutional Developments
  • NWP 40 – Agricultural Activities
  • NWP 41 – Reshaping Existing Drainage Ditches
  • NWP 42 – Recreational Facilities
  • NWP 43 – Stormwater Management Facilities
  • NWP 45 – Repair of Uplands Damaged By Discrete Events
  • NWP 46 – Discharges in Ditches
  • NWP 48 – Commercial Shellfish Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 51 – Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities
  • NWP 53 – Removal of Low-Head Dams
  • NWP 54 – Living Shorelines
  • NWP 55 – Seaweed Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 56 – Finfish Mariculture Activities
  • NWP 57 – Electric Utility Line and Telecommunications Activities
  • NWP 58 – Utility Line Activities to Water and Other Substances
  • NWP 59 – Water Reclamation and Reuse Facilities
  • Letters of Permission – Section 10 only activities with no discharge of fill material
  • Any activity conducted in compliance with DOH pre-approved Standard Operating Procedures

The following NWPs and activities do not require a Section 401 WQC:

  • NWP 1 – Aids to Navigation
  • NWP 8 – Oil and Gas Structures on the Outer Continental Shelf
  • Projects in response to a public emergency proclaimed by the President of the United States or Governor of Hawaii where Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) Chapter 342D has been suspended
  • Any emergency project as determined by the Director of Health
  • Projects granted an exemption under Act 048 of 2017 (temporary exemption of certain bridge rehabilitation projects)
  • Activities exempt under CWA, Section 404(f)(1)
  • Directional drilling under a waterbody where entry and exit pits are located on land and all slurry/spoils/runoff is contained on land
  • Structures over a waterbody where debris and other pollutants associated with the installation, construction, and operation do not enter the waterbody
  • Installation of temporary Best Management Practices (BMPs) with inert material in State waters, excluding material used to divert or dam stream flow
  • Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act actions with oversight from DOH Hazard Evaluation and Emergency Response (HEER) Office and/or EPA
  • DOH HEER response actions
  • Bridge inspections
  • Improvements or modifications to Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation permitted existing offshore moorings installed prior to October 4, 2017
  • Coral transplant with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oversight
  • Fireworks where visible debris is collected after event
  • Lanterns and rubber duckies collected after event
  • Ashes from funeral ceremonies 3 nautical miles away from shore
  • After-The-Fact applications for USACE POH enforcement actions (DOH has decided not to process After-The-Fact applications so the USACE POH can proceed with their enforcement action). This does not absolve applicants from possible enforcement actions from CWB in the event of unpermitted discharges to State waters.

All projects or activities that are not covered by the Blanket Section 401 WQC or cannot comply with the conditions of the Blanket Section 401 WQC and are required to have a Section 401 WQC, must apply for an Individual Section 401 WQC from the CWB.

To apply for an Individual Section 401 WQC, you must first complete a pre-filing meeting request. The pre-filing meeting request is available at: The pre-filing meeting request form contains all the instructions on how and when to submit an Individual Section 401 WQC application. Failure to follow the instructions in the pre-filing meeting request may result in delays in application processing or denial of application.

If you have any questions about a proposed project/activity’s eligibility for coverage under the Blanket WQC, please contact the USACE at (808) 835‑4303.