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401 Application Process

Process overview

DEQ's review of a proposed project begins once the project is put on public notice by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). This public notice also includes DEQ's public notice. The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) has a separate permitting and review process from USACE but DEQ coordinates with both agencies as the project is reviewed. DEQ has up to one year to issue a decision. 

Steps involved include:

An Applicant submits a completed Joint Permit Application (JPA) to USACE and, DSL, and DEQ. Applicants may submit a copy of the JPA to DEQ through Your DEQ Online to ensure a timely review. Applicants may also request a pre-application consultation with the USACE, DSL, DEQ and other agencies as necessary. For projects that may be large, complex, or controversial in nature, please consider presenting at a monthly “Kaizen" meeting. Additional information on this early coordination meeting can be found here.

USACE will determine a permit type (Individual, Nationwide, or RGP) as applicable. If a project is reviewed under an Individual Permit, the USACE will put the project out for on a 30-day public notice, which includes DEQ's public notice. The public notice will include information on how the public may submit comments and questions to the USACE and DEQ. If the project does not require a public notice by the USACE, DEQ may still be required to put the project out on a 35- day public notice. DEQ public notices are posted through the Your DEQ Online public portal. 

DEQ staff will review project applications, and evaluate impacts. Staff will provide comments and request additional information in addition to notifying the applicant of the review fee that will be assessed.

DEQ staff will continue to evaluate the information provided by the applicant. Using information gathered during the review process and received via public comment, DEQ staff will determine whether a project is consistent with state water quality standards. DEQ will work with an applicant to modify the project if necessary to ensure compliance with these standards.

If approved, the applicant and USACE receive a 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) with that affirms the project will meet water quality standards.

Please note: Projects receiving a 401 WQC must meet all other agency requirements and other applicable permits from DEQ (e.g. 1200-C Stormwater Discharge Permits). 

Program contacts

Jeff Brittain 
Program Coordinator

Haley Teach 
Individual Certifications: Northwest and Eastern Regions 

Chance Plunk 

Individual Certifications: Western Region

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