Section 408 Background
Through the Civil Works program, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serves the public by providing the Nation with quality and responsive management of the Nation’s water resources. As a result, USACE, in partnership with stakeholders, has constructed many Civil Works projects across the Nation’s landscape. Given the widespread locations of these projects, many embedded within communities, over time there may be a need for others outside of USACE to alter or occupy these projects and their associated lands. Reasons for alterations could include improvements to the projects; relocation of part of the project; or installing utilities or other non-project features. In order to ensure that these projects continue to provide their intended benefits to the public, Congress mandated that any use or alteration of a Civil Works project by another party is subject to the approval of USACE. This requirement was established in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which has since been amended several times and is codified at 33 USC 408 (Section 408). The 408 Program is responsible for processing requests by private, public, tribal, or other federal entities, to make alterations to, or temporarily or permanently occupy or use, any USACE federally authorized Civil Works project. On average, there are 1,200 Section 408 permit applications received by USACE per year.
The US Army Corps of Engineers Section 408 policy, contained in the document Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-220 effective starting September 10, 2018, sets forth the process and criteria USACE uses to review requests to alter USACE Civil Works projects. For example, communities may want to alter existing USACE projects to increase recreational opportunities or improve flood risk management. Section 408 also applies if a business or utility company seeks to run power lines or pipelines over or through a USACE project. The purpose of a Section 408 review is to ensure that the Congressionally-authorized benefits of a USACE project are not undermined by an alteration made by others, and to ensure the alteration is not injurious to the public interest (e.g., flood risk management, coastal storm damage reduction, navigation).
Section 408 Permissions
To determine if your project needs a Section 408 review, please copy and paste the requested information below, complete with your project details, to the following email address: SPA-RD-NM@usace.army.mil
• Name (first/last)
• Mailing Address
• Phone number (555-555-5555)
• Applicant Entity (e.g. state agency/county/city/port/diking district/ private citizen/other)
• Applicant Representative (e.g. consultant/agent), if applicable
• Project Title
• Name of USACE Regulatory POC / Number of USACE Regulatory Permit (if applicable)
• Location of proposed work (street/city/zip code)
• Latitude (in decimal degrees, i.e. 1.11)
• Longitude (in decimal degrees, i.e. 1.11)
• Google Maps link (Google Maps pin drop location via url)
• Describe the proposed project (be as detailed as possible)
• Current land ownership
• Section township range
• Work type (indicate one: new construction/maintenance/installation/dredging/environmental restoration/gravel mining)
• Other work type (if other work type, explain)
• Attachments (include in e-mail or if too large use https://safe.arl.army.mil/) and use SPA-RD-NM@usace.army.mil as a recipient.
• Design drawings / conceptual sketches / area maps / other project design info