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Wetlands Permitting (Section 401)

Public Comment Period for Section 401 Water Quality Certification of the Corps of Engineers New Regional Permits 40 & 41

DNR CONTACT: Christine Schwake, DNR, at Christine.Schwake@dnr.iowa.gov or 515-725-8399

DES MOINES - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is soliciting comments for the certification of the new U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Regional Permits 40  and 41. In accordance with the state and federal statutes and regulations, applicants seeking authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act from the Corps must also have a Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification (401 WQC) for authorization to discharge to waters of the United States. Regional permit 40 (RP 40) authorizes fill material  placed in waters of the United States for bank stabilization activities. Regional permit 41 (RP 41) authorizes the placement of fill materials into waters of the United States for commercial and institutional developments. The Corps’ RP 40, RP 41 and DNR’s 401 WQC’s can be viewed at https://www.iowadnr.gov/Environmental-Protection/Water-Quality/Wetlands-Permitting. 
DATES: Submit your comments regarding the 401 WQC’s no later than 4:30 p.m. on October 23, 2020.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to the DNR by any of the following methods:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

 Attn: Christine Schwake

502 E. 9th Street

Des Moines, IA 50319-0034

  • Fax: 515-725-8202 (Attention: Christine Schwake)
Please Note: Comments on the 401 WQC’s should be confined to the issues relating to the proposed 401 WQC and the effect on water quality.

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

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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