401 Water Quality Certifications for hydropower licenses

When an applicant requests a license, either to re-license an existing dam or for new construction, we work with the utility to review studies, analyses, and plans.

If we determine that water quality standards are attainable, a 401 Water Quality Certification is issued, with conditions to ensure that the standards will be met. These conditions become part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license.

401 Guidance Manual

The Water Quality Certifications for Existing Hydropower Dams Guidance Manual spells out our expectations of applicants who want us to certify that a hydropower project meets Washington's water quality standards. This manual is useful for utility districts, local governments, tribes, and the public.

Current draft certifications

We accepted public online comments on the draft 401 Certification for Meyers Falls Hydroelectric Project which is required for the project’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) license (No. 2544). Please read the public notice and draft certification for more information. Our final 401 certification decision is due on May 1, 2024.

Existing 401 certifications for dams

We have a 401 Water Quality Certification decision for the following projects. If you would like to access a copy of these decisions, please access our list of existing 401 certifications for dams.