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Steptoe & Johnson PLLC: West Virginia Issues Section 401 Water Quality Certification Conditions for Nationwide Permits

The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has issued its Section 401 Water Quality Certification General and Special Conditions for the Army Corps of Engineers' (Corps) Nationwide Permits (NWPs) issued earlier this year pursuant to section 404 of the Clean Water Act for dredge and fill activities in waters of the United States.

Issuance of these state water quality certifications for the NWPs is the final step to allowing permittees to be able to use the NWPs approved earlier this year by the Corps. Use of the NWPs and issuance of the state certifications avoids the need for individual permitting for projects which meet the requirements of the NWPs, which negates many of the time-consuming procedural hurdles to obtaining approval for projects, including the need for public notice and comment.

Of particular note, NWP 39 will now be available for use for oil and gas projects in West Virginia. Past projects to construct well pads which impacted waters of the United States or wetlands would have required an individual permit. NWPs 12 and 14 for linear transportation and utility projects were also again approved for use in West Virginia.

Click here to see the state 401 water quality certifications.

Armando D. Benincasa concentrates his practice in the areas of energy law, environmental law, environmental litigation and administrative law.

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