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Contact: section408nwp@usace.army.mil

Program Manager: Marci Johnson


Public Affairs: 503-808-4510



Project alteration or "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.

Bottom Line: if you want to make alterations or use property federally authorized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, you need to gain permission by filing a "Section 408" request.

Engineering Circular (EC) 1165-2-216 defines an "alteration" as any action by any entity other than the USACE that builds upon, alters improves, moves, occupies, or otherwise affects the usefulness, or the structural or ecological integrity of a USACE 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 (EC 1165-2-216).

The purpose of this policy is to improve consistency in processing requests both geographically and across Civil Works project types, outline a process that is scalable to be commensurate with the anticipated impacts of an alteration, and provide those seeking alteration a clear understanding of information required by them in seeking alteration to a USACE project. 

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.

Read more here: Process protects public interest, federal projects.

Project review

To determine if you project needs a Section 408 review, please e-mail all of the following to section408nwp@usace.army.mil.

Contact info:
  • Name (first/last)
  • Phone number (555-555-5555)
  • E-mail
  • Applicant/Agent type (indicate one: consultant/state/county/city/port/diking district/internal USACE/private citizen/other)
  • Applicant rep (indicate one: self/name of firm/government office)


Project information:

  • 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.amrdec.army.mil and use section408nwp@usace.army.mil as a recipient.

Guide for Section 408 submissions

***This checklist is a guide to initiate the Section 408 process but does NOT constitute a complete Section 408 package. Please e-mail for assistance.***

1. Date of Submission:

A. Identify Applicant/POC and/or sponsor:

B. Applicant: Name, address, email, and phone number of person/entity making request or having request made on their behalf. (The applicant is considered to be the financially responsible party.)

C. Point of Contact (POC): name, address, email, and phone number.  If the POC for an action is someone other than the applicant, it is the responsibility of the applicant to coordinate with that POC working on their behalf.  All information regarding a proposal will be addressed to the POC with a copy to the applicant. 

2. Identify the purpose and need. 

3. Provide a description of the proposed activity.

4. Is the proposed project a federally authorized project?    Yes/No

5. Has the sponsor/diking district provided a letter of endorsement for the project?   Yes/No (if yes, please attach or indicate the date provided to or sent to the Portland District)

6. All three checklists in the fact sheet/checklist document (below) must be addressed either by answering the questions in writing with supporting documentation, or if they don’t apply please indicated that that checklist doesn’t apply.

7. Information requested in the checklists below may be submitted in an approved digital format via email, or regular mail. 

8. Please send the checklist(s) to the Section 408 Project Manager and to the Levee Safety Program Manager.

Section 408 affects federally authorized projects

Section 408 affects federally authorized:

  • Dams
    • Is the proposed project on or through a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dam? Visit: Dam database.
  • Levees
    • Is the proposed project on or through a federally authorized levee? Visit: Levee database.
  • Navigation channels
    • Is the proposed project within a federally authorized navigation channel or structure? Visit: Navigation information.
  • Any other federally authorized project

Fact sheet & checklists:

Fact Sheet/Checklist

Approved Section 408s