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USACE Permitting Programs

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers receives its authority from the following federal laws:

Section 10 of the Rivers & Harbors Act of 1899

Requires approval prior to the accomplishment of any work in or over navigable waters of the United States, or work which affects the course, location, condition or capacity of such waters. Projects typically requiring Section 10 permits include construction of piers, wharves, bulkheads, dolphins, marinas, ramps, floats intake structures, and cable or pipeline crossings; dredging and excavation; and overhead transmission lines, tunnels, or directional bore holes.

Section 404 of the Clean Water Act

Requires approval prior to discharging dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States. The Clean Water Act aims to protect the physical, chemical and biological integrity of water quality in the United States. Increased surface runoff from development has the potential to cause significant changes in aquatic ecosystems. Discharges of runoff may carry pollutants such as eroded soil, oil, metals, and pesticides that adversely affect oceans, streams, wetlands, lakes, and groundwater.

Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research, & Sanctuaries Act of 1972

As amended (33 U.S.C. 1413), authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to issue permits for the transportation of dredged material for the purpose of dumping it into ocean waters.

For more information and to begin the application process for a Section 10/404/103 permit, visit our Regulatory webpage.

Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (Section 408)

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.

For more information and to begin the application process for a Section 408 permission, visit our Section 408 webpage.

Note: You may need both a Regulatory permit and Section 408 permission.

If you still have questions whether your project would need a USACE permit, fill out this checklist and email it to SPLPermitInquiries@usace.army.mil.