Section 408


Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and codified in 33 USC 408 (commonly referred to as “Section 408”) authorizes the Secretary of the Army, on the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), to grant permission for the alteration or occupation or use of a USACE civil works project if the Secretary determines that the activity will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the project.

On September 10, 2018 USACE issued Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-220, 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 policies and procedural guidance 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 1165-2-220 can be found through this direct link or at by searching under Engineer Circulars.

For more information, or questions, about Section 408 Permissions, dial 504-862-1576 or send an email using the form below.


Section 408: Resources for Getting Started

If you are looking for information about how to navigate the Section 408 program, these resources are for you. During the program’s Summer 2022 Listening Session Series, stakeholders and Section 408 coordinators from USACE districts across the country asked for tools to help guide them through the ins and outs of seeking permission to alter a USACE Civil Works project—especially for those who are new or unfamiliar with program processes.

The following materials were designed with this feedback in mind:

These materials are a great place to start—and for even more information, please see the section below, “Who can I talk with about a Section 408 request?” to get connected with a Section 408 coordinator.

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:

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