This site describes the process for review and approval of all requests to modify, alter, or occupy any existing U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works projects. Civil works projects include dams, levees, flood risk management channels, navigation channels, beach projects, and any other flood risk management, navigation, recreation, and infrastructure and environmental stewardship projects constructed by the Corps. It is imperative the intended functions of these projects are not jeopardized. Section 408 is intended to ensure proposed alterations to federal projects do not compromise the original purpose of the project or increase life safety risks.
General: The sole authority to grant permission for temporary or permanent alterations is contained in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and codified in 33 USC 408 (Section 408). Approval for any modifications, alterations, or occupation of civil works projects is granted through the Wilmington District’s Section 408 program. The District Engineer has the authority to approve most relatively minor, low impact alterations or modifications to the civil works facilities; however, requests that involve significant modifications, raisings, realignments, etc. may need to be approved at Corps Headquarters.
A Section 408 review includes an engineering, environmental, real estate, and legal review to ensure the alteration does not impair the usefulness of the federal project and is not injurious to the public’s interest. The Wilmington District has a streamlined process for “minor” alterations that have a low risk of impacting the federal project, which typically requires 60 days to process. Alterations with more risk of impacting the project require a more thorough review. These reviews may require 90+ days to process. Please contact with the Section 408 Coordinator to determine what level of review may be required for your alteration.
The Permission Review and Approval Process: The processing of a Section 408 permission request begins with a written request being submitted to the Wilmington District by the requestor.
Engineer Circular 1165-2-220 provides the policies and procedural guidance that that all Corps of Engineers Districts follow in processing requests to alter or modify civil works projects that were constructed by the Corps.
Upon permission approval, the requestor is responsible for the construction oversight to ensure construction is in accordance with the plans and specifications approved by the Corps. The Corps may inspect construction. The requestor will be notified if Corps personnel will be inspecting the site. After construction completion, notification is provided to the Corps that all permitted construction is complete and final documentation is to be submitted.