Lesson 5: State Oversight of Federal Permits

In order to ensure that federal activities will not violate state water quality standards, the Clean Water Act gives states, some tribes, some interstate agencies and EPA (sometimes) the authority to veto or place conditions on activities requiring a federal license or permit that may result in a discharge (CWA, Section 401(a)(1)). If your state takes full advantage of this authority, known as “water quality certification,” citizens can get involved to protect and restore water quality and uses around and downstream from federally permitted activities. In this lesson, you'll learn more about how to use 401 certifications to protect your river.

Local Story

Using 401 to protect streamflow in the Dosewallips River

The Dosewallips River originates in the glacial peaks of the Olympic National Park, a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. While dams blanket the state of Washington, the Dosewallips runs free. The Dosewallips was caught in a power struggle between Washington state and the federal government.

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