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Section 408

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 location 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 or making repairs to the projects; relocation of part of the project; or installing utilities or other non-project features. Because these projects are in place for the benefit of the public, USACE will ensure that any alteration proposed will not be injurious to the public interest and will not affect the USACE project’s ability to meet its authorized purpose. USACE accomplishes this through the authority of Section 408 and its associated procedures outlined in a guidance document, Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-216. Both are further described below.

Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, as amended, and codified in 33 USC 408 (Section 408) provides that the Secretary of the Army may, upon the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers, grant permission to other entities for the permanent or temporary alteration or use of any USACE Civil Works project.

On July 31, 2014 USACE issued Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-216, Policy and Procedural Guidance for Processing Requests to Alter U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Projects Pursuant to 33 USC 408. The EC provides the requirements and procedures for an overall review process that can be tailored to the scope, scale, and complexity of individual proposed alternations, and provides infrastructure specific considerations for dams, levees, floodwalls, flood risk management channels, and navigation projects.

EC 1165-2-216 can be found through this direct link or at www.publications.usace.army.mil by searching under Engineer Circulars.



USACE has recently launched an effort to update and improve the Section 408 process and will be posting updates of this effort here.  The effort will include various opportunities to provide feedback.