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Which application form do I need to submit to IDEM for Section 401 Water Quality Certification?

Please read IDEM's Frequently Asked Questions for specific information to assist you in determining which application form you need to use for your project.

If your project proposes minimal impacts to Waters of the U.S., your project may be eligible to use IDEM's Regional General Permit (RGP) Notification Form (available on the IDEM Forms page).  If your project meets the Terms and Conditions of the Regional General Permit Notification form, you can apply for Section 401 Water Quality Certification by submitting this IDEM RGP Notification Form.

If your project does NOT meet all of the Terms and Conditions of the RGP Notification form, you must apply for a site-specific Individual Section 401 Water Quality Certification.  As a part of the 401 Water Quality Certification application, a Pre-filing Meeting Request must be submitted a minimum of 30 days before application submission. IDEM has made a form with electronic submission (available on the IDEM Forms page, Section 401 WQC Pre-Filing Meeting Request Form). To apply for a site-specific Individual Section 401 Water Quality Certification, you must use the Application for Authorization to Discharge Dredged or Fill Material to Isolated Wetlands and/or Waters of the State (available on the IDEM Forms page). It is likely that mitigation will be required for site-specific Individual Section 401 Water Quality Certifications.

What do I need to include with my application form?

You must include all of the required elements listed under 40 CFR Part 121.5 (b) or (c).

  • Identify the project proponent(s) and a point of contact
  • Identify the proposed project
  • Identify the applicable federal license or permit
  • Identify the location and nature of any potential discharge that may result from the proposed project and the location of the receiving waters
  • Include a description of any methods and means proposed to monitor the discharge and the equipment or measures planned to treat, control or manage the discharge
  • Include a list of all other federal, interstate, tribal, state, territorial or local agency authorizations required from the proposed project including all approvals or denials already received
  • Include documentation that a pre-filing meeting request was submitted to the certifying authority at least 30 days prior to submitting the certification request. See Project Planning Tips for additional information. If you have not completed this step, do not submit your Certification Request until at least 30 days following your submittal.
  • Contain the following statement: ‘The project proponent hereby certifies that all information contained herein is true, accurate, and complete to the best of my knowledge and belief’
  • Contain the following statement: ‘The project proponent hereby requests that the certifying authority review and take action on this CWA 401 Certification request within the applicable reasonable period of time’

How do I obtain IDEM application forms?

There are several ways to obtain copies of the two IDEM Section 401 Water Quality Certification application forms:

How do I download an IDEM application form for Section 401 Water Quality Certification?

The following state forms are now available on the IDEM Forms page:

  • Section 401 WQC-Wetlands, Lakes and Streams Pre-Filing Meeting Request Form
  • Application for Authorization to Discharge Dredged or Fill Material to Isolated Wetlands and/or Waters of the State
  • Regional General Permit Notification Form

Where do I get applications from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the IDNR?

There are three (3) districts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers located in Indiana. The Detroit District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers covers the northern portions of the state. The Chicago District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers covers a small portion of northwest Indiana primarily associated with the drainage area of Lake Michigan. The Louisville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers covers the majority of the state except for northern counties covered by Chicago and Detroit.

Information and jurisdictional maps related to each U.S. Army Corps of Engineers District is available on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers page.

Information related to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers application, instructions for completing the application, and additional information is available on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website.

Application forms from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) are available on the IDNR Division of Water Regulatory Permit Program page, or you may apply directly to the department using their on-line application form.

What Information Should Be in the Application?

Applications should contain as much detailed information to create the most efficient review. The following list should be used to when compiling an application in addition to ensuring the nine elements have been met:

  • The application must include a complete description of the proposed activity including necessary drawings, sketches, or plans sufficient for understanding the overall project, drawings should include both aerial and cross section views of each impact; project photos; the location information as well as location maps, purpose and need for the proposed activity; scheduling of the activity; the names and addresses of adjoining property owners.
  • All activities which the applicant plans to undertake which are reasonably related to the same project and for which a Regional General Permit, Nationwide Permit or Individual 401 Water Quality Certification would be required should be included in the same permit application. For example, linear projects which may cross multiple waters should be included in one application as should developments which may be phased.
  • If the activity would involve dredging, the application must include a description of the type, composition and quantity of the material to be dredged, the method of dredging, and the site and plans for disposal of the dredged material. A wetland delineation may be required for the disposal site as well as the dredging site.
  • For stream impacts, the linear feet of impact as well as overall acreage should be provided for each stream impact as well as a summary table. Relocation impacts should include stream length pre and post construction along with appropriate re-vegetation of a similar riparian type.
  • For wetland impacts, a wetland delineation along with USACE verification or jurisdictional determination should be included for all waters on the site. The amount and type of fill to be used for each wetland impact along with any avoidance measures to be used on partial impacts. Wetlands which will be impacted by nature of conversion should also be included in the final wetland impact table. Wetland delineations without verification but a preliminary jurisdictional determination will still need to be verified. Jurisdictional determinations with isolated waters call will need to be verified by IDEM.
  • If the activity will include the use of any temporary fill or construction access, a complete description of the temporary impacts and necessary restoration plan to restore areas to the same pre-construction contours and vegetation community type. Short term monitoring may be required.
  • For any projects providing notification under the Regional General Permit Notification form, correspondence from the Indiana DNR Division of Nature Preserves stating there are no listed species of concern within ½ mile radius or if so, additional correspondence stating the project is not likely to have an affect on nearby species.
  • The application must provide a description of all evaluations of reasonable and practicable alternatives; avoidance and minimization efforts and if necessary, a complete mitigation plan which at a minimum meets the 2008 Mitigation Rule and IDEM mitigation ratios and requirements.
  • IDEM may request additional information such as erosion and sediment control measures to be used, sediment analysis, species surveys, stream habitat assessments and any other information IDEM deems necessary to determine the project will not have an adverse effect on water quality.
  • The application must be signed by the person who is responsible for the proposed activity (i.e., the applicant) or by a duly authorized agent. When the applicant is represented by an agent, that information must be provided in a written statement by the applicant. The signature of the applicant or the agent will be an affirmation that the applicant possesses or will possess the requisite property interest to undertake the activity proposed in the application.

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