Wetlands Permitting (Section 401)

Laws of the United States and the State of Iowa have assigned the US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) with specific and different regulatory roles designed to protect the waters within and on the State's boundaries.

A Section 401 Water Quality Certificate is Iowa Department of Natural Resource's certification that a project will not violate state water quality standards and is required before the Corps of Engineers can issue a Section 404 permit.

Construction, excavation or filling in streams, lakes, wetlands, or on the flood plains may require permits from both the Corps and Iowa DNR. A Joint Application Form (Protecting Iowa Waters) shall be submitted to both agencies to begin the permit process for any of the following activities:

  • cutting the bank of a river, stream, or lake;
  • any excavation or dredging in a wetland, lake, stream or river;
  • channel changes or relocations (including stream straightening);
  • construction of any permanent dock, pier, wharf, seawall, boat ramp, beach, intake or outfall structure on a stream, river or lake;
  • placement of any fill, riprap, or similar material in a stream, river, lake, or wetland;
  • construction of a dam across any waterway;
  • placement of fill, construction of levees, roadways and bridges; and similar activities on a floodplain; or
  • construction of buildings on a flood plain.
  • Any construction on, above, or under all fee title lands and waters, dedicated lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the Natural Resource Commission (Commission) and managed by the Commission for public access to a meandered sovereign lake or meandered sovereign river; meandered sovereign lakes; meandered sovereign rivers; and sovereign islands (except those portions of the Iowa River and Mississippi River where title has been conveyed to Charter Cities). Sovereign Lands Construction Permit

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources also requires permits for the construction and operation of water and wastewater treatment facilities, water withdrawal, water storage, and solid waste disposal and should be contacted for information about these permits.

US Army Corps of Engineers:
Joint Application Form
Joint Application Form

Chapter 61: Water Quality Standards

US Army Corps of Engineers: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Rock Island District - Public Notices
Omaha District/DNR - Public Notices


Stakeholder Meeting to Discuss Proposed revisions to Chapter 61
The DNR will hold a stakeholder meeting in August to answer questions and collect comments on the proposed revisions to the portion of Chapter 61 that pertains to Section 401 Water Quality Certification.

The stakeholder meeting is scheduled for 1:00 PM on Tuesday, August 14, 2018. The meeting will be held in Conference Room A at the Urbandale Public Library, 3520 86th Street, in Urbandale. 

Chapter 61 will be revised to better describe the Section 401 Water Quality Certification (Certification) procedure for the regulated public. As currently written, this section of rule only discusses Certification of Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 Nationwide and Regional Permits and doesn’t mention Certification of Section 404 Individual/Standard Permits, and other Federal permits requiring Certification.

A draft showing the proposed changes is available below:
Changes to Chapter 61

People may ask questions on the proposed permits and make oral comments at the public meeting, or may submit written comments through August 24, 2018 to Christine Schwake, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, 502 E. Ninth Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034; fax at 515-725-8202; or by email, including the commenter’s name, to Christine.Schwake@dnr.iowa.gov .

Contact Information
Christine Schwake
Iowa Dept. of Natural Resources
Wallace State Office Building
502 E. 9th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0034
Phone: 515-725-8399
Fax: 515-725-8202
US Department of the Army, Rock Island
Rock Island District Corps of Engineers
Clock Tower Building - PO Box 2004
Rock Island, IL 61204-2004
Phone: 309-794-5376
Fax: 309-794-5191
 

US Department of the Army, Omaha
Omaha District Corps of Engineers
8901 South 154th Street
Omaha, NE 68138-3611
Phone: 402-896-0896

 



Outstanding Iowa Waters
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