Public Notices

Special Public Notice: Emergency Procedures

Regulatory Branch
Published Dec. 21, 2015

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), Portland District, Regulatory Branch is providing the following emergency permitting procedures to the public: 

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) defines emergency by our Regulations at 33 CFR Part 325.2(e)(4) 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 of the failing structure and has not made reasonable attempts to secure appropriate permits and conduct timely repairs.  Emergency declarations by the state or a county government does not mean all repair activities qualify as emergency situations.  The Corps makes emergency authorization decisions on a case-by-case basis.


You must notify the Corps Regulatory Branch of the need to perform emergency 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. Click here for a link to the project managers a nd their regions. If the project managers are not available, contact the Section or Branch Chief (on same link).  If you need to contact the Corps after work hours or on the weekends, please contact the Branch Chief, Shawn Zinszer, at 503-927-0363.


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 be required to remove or modify the emergency work or for additional proposed work to complete the final repairs.  The project may require compensatory mitigation or other requirements.  A final permit approval may take over 6 months to obtain.


In certain circumstances we may initiate "expedited" (not emergency) authorization procedures.  This process may take several weeks to complete.  In other cases, the proposed work will be subject to our regular permit process appropriate for the nature and location of the work.


It is important you contact the Corps prior to beginning work.  Unauthorized discharges may be subject to an enforcement action.