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Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Regulation

Wetlands, Lakes & Streams > Section 401 Water Quality Certification > Terms and Conditions of the IDEM Regional General Permit Notification Form Terms and Conditions of the IDEM Regional General Permit Notification Form

Applicant Responsibilities:

  1. An applicant seeking coverage under this Section 401 WQC must:
    1. Demonstrate, via letter from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), Division of Nature Preserves, that no state endangered, threatened, or rare species are documented on a permanent or seasonal basis within ½-mile radius of the proposed project site by the Indiana Natural Heritage Data Center, or provide documentation from the IDNR that states that the activities proposed will not constitute a violation of state laws protecting these species.
    2. Submit a complete Section 401 WQC Regional General Permit Notification Form (most current State Form 51937) at least 30 days prior to the activity. The notification must at a minimum provide applicant information, project location, existing project site conditions, project impacts, and a proposed plan. Failure to submit all required information will result in the project being considered out-of-scope and not authorized.
    3. Provide any additional information required by the IDEM to verify that a given project will qualify under the terms and conditions of this Section 401 WQC. If the applicant fails to provide any requested information, the project is not authorized.
    4. Allow the commissioner or an authorized representative of the commissioner (including an authorized contractor), upon the presentation of credentials, to enter upon the applicant’s property to inspect the project site during the review of a proposed project.
    5. Notify IDEM of any project for which the USACE District Engineer has issued a waiver for the linear feet of stream impact in order to authorize the project under the RGP. IDEM will review the notification within 30 days to determine whether or not IDEM will also waive the linear feet of stream impact limit.

Permittee Responsibilities:

  1. Permitees qualifying for impacts under this Section 401 WQC must:
    1. Allow the commissioner or an authorized representative of the commissioner (including an authorized contractor), upon the presentation of credentials to:
      1. Enter upon the permittee’s property.
      2. Access and copy at reasonable times any records that must be kept under the conditions of this certification.
      3. Inspect, at reasonable times, any monitoring or operational equipment or method; collection, treatment, pollution management or discharge facility or device; practices required by this certification; and any mitigation wetland site.
      4. Sample or monitor any discharge of pollutants or any mitigation site.
  2. Obtain any other permits or authorizations required for this project or related activities from IDEM or any other local, state, or federal agency or person. Land disturbing activities of one (1) acre or more or disturbances of less than an acre that are part of a larger common plan will require permit coverage for discharges associated with construction site run-off. Additional information should be obtained through the IDEM Storm Water Program at 317-233-1864. In addition, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (317-232-4160 or toll free at 877-928-3755) should be contacted concerning the possible requirement of natural freshwater lake or floodway permits.
  3. Deposit any dredged material in a contained upland disposal area and implement appropriate measures to prevent sediment run-off to any waterbody.
  4. Install run-off and sediment control measures prior to any land disturbance to manage storm water and to minimize sediment from leaving the project site or entering a waterbody. All operations must phase project activities to minimize the impact of sediment to the receiving waterbody(ies). Erosion and sediment control measures shall be implemented using an appropriate order of construction (sequencing) relative to the land disturbing activities. Wetlands and/or water bodies that are adjacent to land disturbing activities must be protected with appropriate sediment control measures. As work progresses, all areas void of protective cover shall be re-vegetated or stabilized as described in the plan. Areas that are to be re-vegetated must utilize mulch that is anchored or, under more severe conditions, the erosion control blankets. Erosion control blankets or other armament shall be used for all areas associated with concentrated flow.
    • Standards and specifications for storm water management, including erosion and sediment control can be obtained in the Indiana Storm Water Quality Manual or similar guidance documents.

Terms of this Section 401 Water Quality Certification:

  1. IDEM, for any project that qualifies under the terms and conditions of this certification, may choose to require an individual Section 401 WQC if the agency determines that the project would have more than minimal impacts to water quality, either viewed individually or collectively with other projects that may impact the same waterbody affected by the proposed project.
  2. IDEM retains the right to review, modify, terminate, replace or amend this certification as needed to ensure that the federal permits or licenses certified do not result in violations of Indiana’s Water Quality Standards or other applicable state laws. In the absence of another action by IDEM that would alter the termination date of this certification, this certification shall expire with the expiration of the federal permit it certifies.

Specific Conditions of this Section 401 Water Quality Certification:

  1. This Section 401 WQC does not:
    1. Convey any property rights of any sort, or any exclusive privileges.
    2. Preempt any duty to obtain federal, state or local permits or authorizations required by law for the execution of the project or related activities.
  2. This Section 401 WQC does not authorize:
    1. Impacts or activities that do not meet the terms and conditions of this Section 401 WQC. Such activities require an individual Section 401 WQC from the IDEM.
    2. Any injury to permittees or private property or invasion of other private rights, or any infringement of federal, state or local laws or regulations.
    3. Changes to the original plan design detailed in the notification.
    4. The discharge of pollutants, principally sediment, associated with storm water run-off.
    5. Point source discharges of pollutants other than clean fill 1 and uncontaminated dredged material.
    6. Activities on or in any of the State’s waters that have been designated as salmonid waters (cold water streams), tributaries of salmonid waters within a two river mile reach upstream from the confluence with the salmonid water, or Outstanding State and/or National Resource waters (see Attachment #1).
    7. Activities on or in any critical wetland or critical special aquatic sites (see Attachment #2).
    8. Activities associated with the establishment of a mitigation bank.
  3. This Section 401 WQC authorizes:
    1. Activities that will permanently impact one-tenth (0.10) of an acre or less of waters of the U.S.
    2. Activities that will have a cumulative permanent impact of 300 linear feet or less of waters of the U.S.
    3. Activities that will not permanently change the sinuosity, flow path, velocity, cross-sectional area under the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM), or the slope of a stream 2 except as specified in Conditions (3)(d), (3)(g), and (3)(i).
    4. Minimal changes to stream morphology, including minor relocations, which result in a net benefit to the aquatic ecosystem. Stream relocations may be authorized, provided the activity:
      1. Is associated with the installation of a stream crossing or replacement of an existing crossing, and results in a net benefit to the stream morphology.
      2. Does not reduce the cross-sectional area under the OHWM.
      3. Is accompanied by an acceptable restoration/stabilization plan.
      4. Does not accelerate stream instability. Examples of instability include, but are not limited to, stream bank erosion, channel enlargement, channel incision, degradation, aggradation, meander migration (down-valley and lateral accretion), avulsion and base-level shifts.
    5. Stream bank stabilization activities or new lake and reservoir shoreline stabilization that will permanently affect 300 linear feet or less and the applicant demonstrates that the bank or shoreline in question is unstable. Natural shoreline stabilization methods are required where there is no pre-existing seawall or other shoreline hard armament on a lake or reservoir. Natural shoreline stabilization methods include bank stabilization practices that benefit the aquatic environment by incorporating organic materials to produce functional structures, provide wildlife habitat, and provide areas for revegetation.
    6. Placement of riprap or other bank stabilization materials provided the design and installation is flush with the upstream and downstream bank and stream channel/lake bed elevations and grades.
    7. New bridge piers, piles, shafts or other support structures and their associated scour protection measures that do not significantly reduce the cross-sectional area of the stream and are located below the OHWM and outside the low flow channel of the stream.
    8. Activities that do not result in a permanent secondary effect to waters of the U.S. Potential secondary effects include, but are not limited to damming, loss of hydrology, and creation of in-channel ponds.
    9. New permanent stream encapsulations that are for the purpose of constructing a crossing must:
      1. Allow the passage of aquatic organisms in the waterbody.
      2. Not exceed 150 cumulative linear feet of encapsulation.
      3. Have a cross-sectional area at least twenty percent (20%) larger than the area under the OHWM of the stream immediately upstream and downstream of the encapsulation in the form of a single opening.
      4. Have a streambed slope within the encapsulation that matches the slope of the bed both immediately upstream and downstream.
      5. Not create or accelerate stream instability. Examples of stream instability include, but are not limited to head cutting, stream bank erosion, channel enlargement, channel incision, degradation, aggradation, meander migration, (down-valley and lateral accretion), avulsion and base-level shifts.
      6. Either have no bottom (e.g., three sided culvert) or are embedded (sumped) 3 into the stream channel based on the following structure sizes and substrate types:
        1. Stream bed of sand
          • Structure < four (4) feet wide: Six (6) inch sump
          • Structure four (4) feet wide to 12 feet wide: 12 inch sump
          • Structure 12 feet to 20 feet wide: 18 inch sump
        2. Stream bed of other soil or unconsolidated till 4
          • Structure < four (4) feet wide: Three (3) inch sump
          • Structure four (4) feet wide to 12 feet wide: Six (6) inch sump
          • Structure 12 feet to 20 feet wide: 12 inch sump
        3. Stream bed of bedrock or consolidated till 5
          • Inside elevation of the structure bottom shall be a minimum of three (3) inches below the surface of the bedrock or consolidated till
      7. Meet the following requirements when installed in perennial streams with OHWM width of 12 feet or greater. These encapsulations must:
        1. Be sumped to a greater depth if needed for the design of the streambed inside the encapsulation.
        2. Have a width equal to or wider than the existing OHWM.
        3. Have a natural stream bottom. If the stream bottom will be disturbed during construction (e.g. four sided box culverts or pipe culverts or because of footer work for three sided culverts), natural stream substrate must be placed in the encapsulation in accordance with the Federal Highway Administration Hydraulic Engineering Circular No. 26: Culvert Design for Aquatic Organism Passage.
        4. Have a low flow channel constructed or restored through the encapsulation. The low flow channel shall have the same width, depth, and side slope as the natural upstream and downstream low flow channel. If the upstream and downstream channels are highly degraded a V-shaped channel with 5:1 slopes within the structure may be substituted.
    10. Stream pump-around activities, provided:
      1. The discharge from the activity does not cause erosion at the outlet.
      2. Cofferdam dewatering activities are directed to a filter bag(s), upland sediment basins/traps, or a combination of other appropriate sediment control measures to minimize the discharge of sediment-laden water into waters of the U.S.
      3. All sediment control measures are installed and maintained in good working order.
      4. Any materials used for an in-stream dam are constructed using non erodible materials. Examples include sand bags and sheet pile walls.
    11. The installation of temporary work causeways when the activity is conducted in a manner that maintains near normal downstream flows and is constructed of material that can be expected to withstand high flow events.
    12. The use of temporary structures provided the structures are removed in their entirety and the stream channel restored to preconstruction grades, contours, and vegetative conditions.
    13. Multiple impacts on a project as long as the cumulative amount of those impacts are less than the most restrictive thresholds of this Section 401 WQC.
  1. Clean fill, for purposes of this WQC, means uncontaminated rocks, bricks, concrete without rebar, road demolition waste materials other than asphalt, or earthen material.
  2. Stream, for the purposes of this WQC, means waters of the U.S. that have a defined bed and bank and convey water ephemerally, intermittently or perennially. This term includes natural streams, relocated streams, channelized streams, artificial channels, encapsulated channels and ditches.
  3. Sump, for the purpose of this Water Quality Certification, means the inside elevation of the bottom of the structure is placed at a specified depth below the grade of the stream.
  4. Other soil and unconsolidated till includes substrates that are more cohesive and less mobile (e.g. clay, silt, gravel, and cobble substrates).
  5. Consolidated till includes dense hard materials such as hardpan.

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