State water quality jurisdiction over wetlands & other waters

Waters under the jurisdiction of the state include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, inland waters, underground waters, salt waters and all other surface waters and watercourses. Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is responsible for the protection of waters of the state except for waters on tribal land. Water on tribal land is under the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the tribe whose land it is.

Isolated wetlands

For waters of the state under Ecology’s jurisdiction, and where there is no Corps jurisdiction, Ecology will issue an Administrative Order that the work is consistent with the State Water Pollution Control Policy (RCW 90.48) and other state laws. Follow the procedures on the Isolated Wetland Administrative Order webpage to apply for an Administrative Order from Ecology. Coordinate with the tribes and EPA early in the design process for work in waters of the state on tribal lands to find out what approval is needed for the work.

Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC)

Work that needs a Federal permit, like Section 404 or Section 10, and discharges or has the potential to discharge pollutants into WOTUS must receive a CWA Section 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) from the appropriate Section 401 certifying agency or tribe. Follow the procedures on the Section 404 Nationwide Permits and Section 404 Individual Permits webpages to obtain WQC depending on the type of Corps permit you need.

For work not on tribal lands

The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has WQC authority over work not on tribal lands. Follow the instructions on the Environmental liaisons webpage to contact the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) Ecology liaisons.

For work on tribal lands

Tribal lands, or “Indian Country”, are all lands within Reservation boundaries, tribal lands held in trust, dependent Indian communities, and in-lieu-fishing sites. Ten tribes in Washington have treatment as a state and WQC authority on tribal lands. The EPA has WQC responsibility for the remaining tribes in Washington State with tribal lands.


EPA (for work with any tribes not listed below)

Linda Storm, Aquatic Ecologist
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Aquatic Resources Unit (OERA-140)
1200 6th Avenue – Suite 900
Seattle, WA 98101


Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation

Mark White, 360-273-5911,
Glen Connelly,


Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Todd Thorn, 509-634-2428,


Kalispel Indian Community

Kenneth (Ken) Merrill, 509-447-7276,


Lummi Tribe

Leroy Deardorff,


Makah Indian Nation

Dana Sarff, 360-645-3151,


Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe

Dave Fuller, 360-297-6323,


Puyallup Tribe of Indians

Char Naylor,


Spokane Tribe of Indians

Brian Crossley, 509-626-4409,


Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

Todd Mitchell, 360-466-7201,


Tulalip Tribe

Kurt Nelson, 360-716-4617,
Todd Zackey,