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Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Regulation

Wetlands, Lakes & Streams > Section 401 Water Quality Certification > Section 401: Working without IDEM Authorization Working without IDEM Authorization

Violations of the Federal Clean Water Act

In wetlands, streams, rivers, lakes, and other regulated Waters of the U.S., any discharge of dredged and/or fill material must be authorized by IDEM.  The authority of IDEM to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the state is granted by Indiana Code (IC) 13-13-5-1.  Filling and grading work and the sidecasting of excavated material into Waters of the U.S. constitute or otherwise involve discharges of dredged and/or fill material that fall under the regulatory authority of IDEM.

Any unauthorized discharge of dredged or fill material into Waters of the State may be treated as a knowing and willful violation of Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and the Indiana Water Quality Standards (33 USC Sec. 1341, IC 13-18-4-5, and 327 IAC 2).  Failure to comply with the terms and conditions of the aforementioned rules and regulations may result in IDEM enforcement action. 

If IDEM inspectors observe unauthorized activities on your property, you will be sent an Inspection Summary/Violation Letter within 45 days of the inspection date.  This letter will specify what the IDEM inspector observed on the property and when the violation was noted.  Within 30 days of the date of the Inspection Summary/Violation Letter, you will be responsible for submitting a written agreement to restore the wetland/stream/regulated water resource along with a restoration plan and proposed schedule of implementation. 

In limited instances, you may be offered the opportunity to apply for an After-the-Fact Section 401 Water Quality Certification.  Any formal review of an After-the-Fact application for Section 401 Water Quality Certification may result in denial of the application and a subsequent order for the wetland/stream/regulated water resource to be restored.

Failure to respond in a timely and sufficient manner to IDEM's Violation Letter may result in a referral to IDEM's Office of Enforcement and the imposition of monetary fines.

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