Emergency Management


Section 408 Policy and Procedural Guidance

The Engineering Circular (EC) 1165-2-220 was developed by the Department of the Army, United States Corps of Engineers (USACE) as policy and procedural guidance for the processing of requests to alter USACE civil works project(s) pursuant to 33 USC 408 (i.e. 408 Civil Works Project Alterations).

EC 1165-2-220

Section 408: Civil Works Project Alterations

USC Title 33, Sec. 408 Rivers and Harbors Act

It shall not be lawful for any person or persons to take possession of or make use of for any purpose, or build upon, alter, deface, destroy, move, injure, obstruct by fastening vessels thereto or otherwise, or in any manner whatever impair the usefulness of any sea wall, bulkhead, jetty, dike, levee, wharf, pier, or other work built by the United States, or any piece of plant, floating or otherwise, used in the construction of such work under the control of the United States, in whole or in part, for the preservation and improvement of any of its navigable waters or to prevent floods, or as boundary marks, tide gauges, surveying stations, buoys, or other established marks, nor remove for ballast or other purposes any stone or other material composing such works: Provided, That the Secretary of the Army may, on the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers, grant permission for the temporary occupation or use of any of the aforementioned public works when in his judgment such occupation or use will not be injurious to the public interest: Provided further, That the Secretary may, on the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers, grant permission for the alteration or permanent occupation or use of any of the aforementioned public works when in the judgment of the Secretary such occupation or use will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of such work.

In addition to Section 408 Permission,  your project may also require a permit from the Rock Island District Regulatory Program. The Regulatory Program has jurisdiction over most of the state of Iowa, approximately 2/3 of the state of Illinois, and the northeastern portion of the state of Missouri. The Regulatory Program is responsible for administering Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. 

Section 404 Permits are required in order to discharge fill material or dredged material into "waters of the United States." Waters of the United States includes streams (including streams that have been converted into ditches), creeks, rivers, ponds, lakes, and wetlands.

Section 10 Permits are required for the construction of any structure in, over, or under a "navigable water." A list of Section 10 Navigable waters in  the Rock Island District and Regulatory perm requirements can be accessed at: https://www.mvr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/.

Section 408: Categorical Permissions

Categorical permissions are intended to streamline the approval of "categories" of alterations, similar in nature, effects to a USACE Civil Works project, and impacts to the environment. The USACE Rock Island District has identified several sets of specific and commonly occurring activities that require Section 408 permissions within the District's area of responsibility that, both individually and cumulatively, have been determined not to impact the usefulness of the USACE project(s); associated environmental impacts are less than significant; and the activities would not be injurious to the public interest.

Click the following link to view Rock Island District Categorical Permissions.
*Note: Reference to EC 1165-2-216 has been superseded by EC 1165-2-220 (see above).

Resources for Getting Started

Below are resources for navigating the Section 408 program and process.

For additional information, contact us via one of the methods listed below.

408 Contact Information

Phone: (309) 794-5720

Email:  MVR408@usace.army.mil

Mailing Address:
District Engineer
US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District
Attn: Keller (PM-M)
Clock Tower Building
P. O. Box 2004 Rock Island IL 61204-2004