(a) Water Quality Certification Issuance
Water quality certifications may be issued by the EQC for any proposed activity that is found not to violate applicable water quality standards and Sections 301, 302, 303, 306, and 307 of the Federal Clean Water Act, as amended. A water quality certification is required by Section 401 of the Clean Water Act of any applicant for a federal license or permit to conduct any activity, including, but not limited to, the construction or operation of facilities which may result in a discharge into navigable waters of the United States.
(b) Procedures to Apply for Water Quality Certification – Contents of application
An applicant for certification shall submit a complete description of the discharge involved in the activity for which certification is sought, with a request for certification signed by the applicant. Such description shall include the following:
(1) The name and address of the applicant;
(2) A description of the facility or activity, and of any discharge into territorial waters which may result from the conduct of any activity including, but not limited to, the construction or operation of the facility, including characteristics of the discharge, and the location or locations at which such discharge may enter territorial waters;
(3) If applicable, a description of the function and operation of equipment or facilities to control discharges, including specification of the methods of control to be used;
(4) The estimated date or dates on which the activity will begin and end, and the date or dates on which the discharge(s) will take place;
(5) If applicable, a description of the methods and means being used or proposed to monitor the quality and characteristics of the discharge and the operation of equipment or facilities employed in the control of the proposed discharges; and
(6) The EQC may require the submission of additional information after a certification application has been filed. If a certification application is incomplete or otherwise deficient, processing of the application shall not be completed until such time as the applicant has supplied the missing information or otherwise corrected the deficiency. The EQC shall notify the applicant, in writing, within sixty days of the submission of an application if an application is incomplete or otherwise deficient. A description of the type of additional information necessary to complete the application or correct the deficiency shall be included with such a written notice. Failure to provide additional information or to correct a deficiency shall be sufficient grounds for denial of certification. EQC must act on the application after receipt of a completed application;
(c) Water Quality Certification – Notice and Hearing
The EQC will provide the public with the opportunity to comment on the water quality certification and may, upon request or its own initiative, provide the opportunity for public hearing(s) to consider the issuance of water quality certification as specified in the Administrative Procedures (Title 04, Chapter 10, ASCA) and Environmental Quality Act (Title 24, ASCA). The EQC shall inform the applicant, in writing, that such action has been taken. If, after considering the complete application, comments received during the public comment period, the record, and other information the EQC deems relevant, the EQC determines that applicable water quality standards will not be violated and the best practicable methods of control will be applied to a discharge which is the result of any activity, including but not limited to the construction and operation of facilities, then the EQC shall so certify.
(d) Contents of Water Quality Certification
(1) The name and address of the applicant;
(2) A statement that the EQC has examined the application made by the applicant and other information furnished to the licensing or permitting agency and bases its certification upon an evaluation of all such information contained in such application which is relevant to water quality certification;
(3) A statement that there is reasonable assurance that the activity will be conducted in a manner that will not violate water quality standards or the Clean Water Act;
(4) A statement of any condition which the EQC deems necessary or desirable with respect to the discharge or the activity that will affect water quality; and
(5) Such other information as the EQC may determine to be appropriate.
The EQC may modify the certification prior to the issuance of the federal license or permit, after consideration of any additional information presented by the applicant, licensing or permitting agency or other government agencies or interested parties. The EQC shall provide the opportunity for public review and comment on any such modification.
(f) Water Quality Certification – Adoption of New or Revised Water Quality Standards
(1) All water quality certifications issued by the EQC will include a clause indicating that the certification is subject to amendment or modification if new or revised water quality standards are adopted by the EQC.
(2) Upon adoption or revision, of water quality standards, the EQC will notify the licensing or permitting authority and request the licensing or permitting authority to amend or modify the license or permit to reflect the applicable water quality standards.History: Rule 6-05, eff 2005.