Section 408

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:

Contact info:
• Name (first/last)
• Mailing Address
• Phone number (555-555-5555)
• E-mail
• Applicant Entity (e.g. state agency/county/city/port/diking district/ private citizen/other)
• Applicant Representative (e.g. consultant/agent), if applicable

Project information:
• 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 and use as a recipient.
• Design drawings / conceptual sketches / area maps / other project design info

Section 404

Section 10/404/103 Background

The USACE Regulatory Program is responsible for executing regulatory authorities under Section 10/404/103, for work performed in, over or under a navigable water of the U.S.; for discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S., including wetlands; and for transportation of dredged material to the ocean for disposal. With over a century of implementation experience, the Regulatory Program has a well-structured permit application procedure, environmental and public interest review requirements, multiple efficiency measures, a national database for tracking of application status, and national program performance metrics.  On average, the Regulatory Program provides approximately 80,000 permit and permit-related decisions per year.

More information on the Albuquerque District’s Regulatory Program can be found at

Joint 404/408 Applications

Individual Permits
In accordance with EC 1165-2-220, cases in which a Section 408 permission and a Regulatory standard individual permit are both required for the same proposed alteration/activity, the district will conduct these evaluations in a coordinated and concurrent manner resulting in a single decision document.
Although each mission area (between Section 408 and Regulatory) is responsible for the review requirements specific to its respective authorities, the environmental compliance to cover both the Section 408 permission and Regulatory permit decisions will be coordinated by a single office.  In addition, there will be a single transmittal letter to the requester that includes as attachments both the Section 408 decision letter and the Regulatory permit.
General Permits
Cases in which an alteration requiring a Section 408 permission and a Regulatory permit decision other than a standard individual permit, the district will conduct these evaluations in a coordinated and concurrent manner to the maximum extent practicable. For these cases, there will be a single transmittal letter to the requester that includes as attachments both the Section 408 decision letter and the Regulatory permit.
Section 408 Tracking Database 
Along with improvement to the Section 408 process, USACE has developed a database for tracking Section 408 requests, which includes a public interface to provide the status of requests. Information regarding 408 projects can be found at
Regulatory Point of Contact - Kelly Allen (505) 342-3216
Section 408 Coordinator - Bruce Jordan (505) 342-3427