Public Notices

Emergency Permitting Application Procedures

Published Dec. 21, 2018

Emergency Permitting Application Procedures

Point of Contact: Carrie Bond
Phone: (503) 808-4387

Issue Date: December 19, 2018

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Portland District, Regulatory Branch has posted emergency procedures on its website as follows:

The Corps regulations for the processing of permit applications at 33 CFR Part 325.2(e)(4) defines an “emergency” as a situation which would result in an unacceptable hazard to life, a significant loss of property, or an immediate, unforeseen, and significant economic hardship if corrective action requiring a Department of the Army permit is not undertaken within a time period less than the normal time needed to process the application under standard procedures.

The Corps may not view an action as an emergency if the applicant has known of the deficient condition and the need for work, but has not made reasonable attempts to secure appropriate permits and to conduct the work in a timely manner. Emergency declarations by the state or a county government does not mean all projects within the region of the declared emergency qualify as emergency situations. The Corps makes emergency authorization decisions on a case-by-case basis.

You must immediately notify the Corps Regulatory Branch of the need for emergency work and obtain authorization, if applicable, prior to performing the work. The Corps has the responsibility to determine if the proposed work is consistent with the Corps' definition of an emergency, whether authorization is needed, and if so, which type of authorization is required.

Contact the Corps Regulatory Branch Immediately:
Call the Corps Regulatory Branch project manager for your region to discuss the situation as soon as possible. For a list of project managers and their regions, visit If the project manager is not available, contact the Section or Branch Chief (contact information at same link as above). If you need to contact the Corps after work hours or on the weekends, please contact the Branch Chief, Bill Abadie, at 503-708-7653.

If the work meets the Corps' definition of an emergency, then the Corps will initiate the emergency authorization procedures. Emergency authorization procedures include coordinating with resource agencies, tribes, and our Division office. This process may take from a few hours to up to a week. Work cannot begin until the Corps indicates work may commence. The emergency work should be the minimum necessary to resolve the emergency situation. Following the emergency, additional coordination with the Corps will likely be required to remove or modify the emergency work, to obtain authorization for additional proposed work to complete the final project, or for compensatory mitigation for unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States. A final permit approval may take over 6 months to obtain.

For projects that do not qualify as emergency situations, the Corps may initiate "expedited" (non-emergency) authorization procedures. This process may take several weeks to complete. In other cases, the proposed work will be subject to our standard permit processing procedures appropriate for the nature and location of the work.

It is important you contact the Corps prior to beginning work and as soon as you are aware of the need for work. Unauthorized work may be subject to an enforcement action.

Additional information about the Corps’ Regulatory Program is available at: