The Section 408 Program

The US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Section 408 program allows another party, such as a local government, company, or individual, to alter a USACE Civil Works project. Given the widespread locations of these projects, many embedded within communities, over time there may be a need to either 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.

Examples of projects that need USACE Section 408 permission include:

  • Running a water main from one side of a levee to the other.
  • Adding hydropower to a dam.
  • Building a bridge across a navigable waterway maintained and surveyed by USACE.
  • Building a swimming pool in a backyard, within the footprint of the USACE easement for a levee.

The Section 408 program verifies that changes to authorized USACE Civil Works projects will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the project. 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 U.S.C. 408–the section of U.S. Code that gives the program its name.

We want to hear from you!

USACE recently concluded a virtual listening session series to learn from those who have applied for Section 408 permissions about their experiences with the program.

Click here to download the listening session presentation slides.

If you would like to submit feedback on your experience with Section 408 program in conjunction with the listening session series, please email HQ-Section408@usace.army.mil by September 20.

Who can I talk with about a Section 408 request?

If you are considering making alterations to a USACE Civil Works project, such as a levee, dam, or navigable waterway, we encourage you to check out your USACE district’s webpage for information on their Civil Works projects or contact your USACE district’s Section 408 coordinator as soon as possible. A pre-application meeting can be helpful to understand the requirements.

Your district Section 408 coordinator can confirm whether a Section 408 request is needed and answer any questions you have about the process of submitting a request. Contact information for district Section 408 coordinators can be found via USACE district webpages.

Once your request has been submitted, you may view the status of your Section 408 request and/or Regulatory permit via the USACE Permit Finder.

Where can I find more information about Section 408?

The links below provide more in-depth information about Section 408 and the Section 408 program:

For more information, or if you have any questions about Section 408, please email HQ-Section408@usace.army.mil.