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Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Water Quality Standards
A 401 certification is an acknowledgement that water quality standards will be met. The standards set the protective levels for pollutants throughout the state.
Water Quality Assessments (303[d] list) and Total Maximum Daily
The Clean Water Act requires that waters that do not meet water quality standards are identified and steps taken to clean them up. These steps have to be taken in order to receive a 401 certification.
Water Resources Instream Flows
River flow levels to protect fish are found in 401 water quality certifications. Flows are often established using instream flow-setting methods.
Ecology’s Environment Assessment Program (EAP)
This group performs monitoring, total maximum daily load analysis, engineering review and other technical work for many projects including review of data submitted for 401 certifications.
Managing Washington's Coastline - Washington State's Coastal Zone
Management Program (CZM)
Under the federal Coastal Zone Management Program, Washington State has adopted its own management programs in order to meet the goals of protection, restoration, and appropriate development of its 15 coastal counties. A 401 water quality certification is not issued until CZM consistency has been determined.
Spill response plans for on-site oil discharges are found as conditions in 401 water quality certifications.
7Q-10 Guidance for High Flows
An exemption to the dissolved gas water quality standard is made when the natural flood flows are expected to occur for seven consecutive days once every ten years (7Q-10). Ecology has developed guidance for how to calculate these flows for the Columbia and Snake Rivers as well as how to calculate design flows.
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