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Home > Missions > Section 408 Permits

Contact Information

Email: spl.408permits@usace.army.mil

Phone: 213-452-3665


Permit Application (SPL Form 25)

SPL District Boundary Map

Corps Projects Listing:




   Coastal Projects

HQ Publication (EC 1165-2-216)

Corps Criteria and Reference Materials:



    Dams and Basins

    Coastal Structures

    Ecosystem Restoration

    Local Guidelines and Policies (link coming soon)

Frequently Asked Questions (link coming soon)

Section 408 Permitting Information

Section 408 Permitting

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-constructed public works project.  Public works projects include dams, basins, levees, channels, navigational channels, and any other local flood protection works constructed by the Corps.  In order for the District to approve any proposed alterations requests, it must meet Corps’ standards, and must not be injurious to the public interest or affect the USACE project’s ability to meet its authorized purpose.

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 public works projects is granted through the District’s Section 408 program.  The District Engineer has the authority to approve most relatively minor, low impact alterations/modifications to the public works facilities however, some requests which involve significant modifications, raisings, realignments, etc. may need to be approved at Corps Headquarters.

Applications for modifications to completed projects can be submitted from a number of sources.  Most federally-constructed public works projects are turned over to a Non-Federal project sponsor for operation and maintenance.  Anyone wishing to modify one of these facilities should first contact the Non-Federal Sponsor and work with them to prepare the permit application for submission to the Corps for review and approval.  Once the Corps approves the modification / alteration, a Permit will be issued to that Non-Federal Sponsor, who in turn would issue their own permit to the Applicant

Applications for permission to perform new construction affecting flood-control reservoirs and channels for which the Federal Government holds rights-of-way and Operations and Maintenance responsibility, are referred directly to the Corps of Engineers.  The Permit would then be issued directly to the Applicant.

The Permit Review and Approval Process.  The processing of a Section 408 Permit request begins with a written request from an applicant.  The permit application (SPL Form 25) should be completed, along with the other documents, should be submitted to the District. 

Each request for an alteration will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  After the application is received in the District office, it will be assigned an identification number and be reviewed for completeness.  A request for additional information may be sent to notify you of any additional information which may be necessary for the Corps to review your proposed project.  Once sufficient information is provided, it is the responsibility of the Corps’ Levee Safety Program Manager/Dam Safety Officer (LSPM/DSO), supported by the Project Delivery Team technical staff, to evaluate proposed alterations.  The proposal will be evaluated for Impacts of the proposed alteration to flood conveyance, structural integrity, operation and maintenance, NEPA requirements, and flood fighting capabilities as well as meeting Corps policy and criteria.  Upon completion of the review, the Applicant is notified whether the proposal is approved or denied.

EC1165-2-216 provides the policies and procedural guidance that the District follows in processing requests to alter or modify civil works projects that were constructed by the Corps of Engineers.

Upon permit approval, the permittee is responsible for the construction oversight to ensure construction is in accordance with the plans and specifications approved by USACE.  After construction completion, notification is provided to the USACE that all permitted construction is complete and final documentation submitted. 

For more information on Step-by-Step procedures: click here and for Required Technical Analysis and Design Documentation: click here