The Water Resources Branch is responsible for managing and administering water resources activities of the Commonwealth as they relate to floodplain management, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Dam Safety, and Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certifications. In doing so, the WRB provides technical, administrative, and communication support to over 350 NFIP participating communities in Kentucky and over 1000 regulated activities per year. The WRB also serves as the technical advisors for the Division of Water on topics related to flood hazard mapping, levees, and compliance with applicable statutes and regulations.
Shawn Hokanson, Branch Manager, 502-782-6977, Shawn.Hokanson@ky.gov
401 Water Quality Certification Section
Beth Harrod, 502-782-6700, Elizabeth.Harrod@ky.gov
The 401 Water Quality Certification Program of the Division of Water is the Commonwealth’s review and authorization of selected federal license and permits Any person, firm, or agency (including federal, state, and local government agencies) planning to work in jurisdictional waters of the United States or place dredged or fill material in waters of the United States should contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Division of Water, Water Quality Certification Section to obtain applicable permits. Federal licenses and permits subject to 401 Water Quality Certification include Clean Water Act 404 permits for discharge of dredged or fill material issued by the USACE, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) hydropower licenses, and Rivers and Harbors Act 9 and 10 permits for activities that have a potential discharge in navigable waters issued by the USACE. A 401 Water Quality Certification from the Commonwealth of Kentucky also affirms that the discharge will not violate Kentucky's water quality standards.
Examples of activities that may require a certification from the Division of Water, Water Quality Certification Section include:
• Placement of dredged or fill materials into surface waters and/or wetlands
• Structural fill such as culverts and bridge supports
• Bank stabilization
• Road and utility crossings
• Gravel mining/removal
• In-stream basins
• Dredging, excavation, channel widening, or straightening
• Flooding, excavating, draining and/or filling a wetland
• Bank sloping; stabilization
• Stream channel relocation
• Water diversions
• Divert, obstruct, or change the natural flow or bed of any surface waters and/or wetlands
• Construct a barrier across a stream, channel, or watercourse that will create a reservoir: dams, weirs, dikes, levees or other similar structures
Dam Safety Section
Glen Alexander, 502-782-6874, Glen.Alexander@ky.gov
The Dam Safety Section has regulatory authority over the majority of the dams throughout the state with the exception of dams owned by the US Army Corps of Engineers and dams associated with active mining sites. The section is responsible for conducting regular inspections of existing dams, overseeing remediation of deficient dams, permitting dam construction and modification, and working with local officials and dam owners on emergency preparedness. The section is also responsible for overseeing the inventory of dams owned by the Commonwealth and managing the State Owned Dam Repair Program.
Shawn Hokanson, Acting Supervisor, 502-782 -6977
The Floodplain Management Section has the primary responsibility for the approval or denial of proposed development and other activities in the floodplain of all streams in the Commonwealth. Typical activities permitted are bridges, culverts, residential and commercial buildings, placement of fill, stream alterations or relocations, and water and wastewater treatment plants and other utility structures. Permits are issued for proposed actions in floodplains that meet all state floodplain statutes, regulations and standards. Additionally, the Floodplain Management section ensures that permitted development in floodplains complies with applicable requirements and limitations. The section works closely with the Division’s Field Office Branch to ensure development in floodplains is conducted in as safe a manner as possible and minimizes future flooding impacts.