Corps permits may be needed for flood damage repairs

Published Oct. 4, 2010

ROCK ISLAND, Ill., – As repairs to property damaged by 2010 flooding takes place, the first thing that comes to mind may be obtaining the proper building permits.  There is one permit that is often overlooked, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit.

Many damages are on high ground and do not require permits under the Corps’ authorities.  However, some repairs must be permitted by the Corps.

Repair of Structures

If repairs involve a discharge of dredged or fill material into a stream or wetland for the replacement of a previously authorized, currently serviceable, structure or fill to its pre-disaster condition, the work is authorized by Nationwide Permit Three.  Any work related to repairing flood damage should commence, or be under contract to commence, within two years of the flood.

Removal of Flood-Deposited Sediment and Debris

If the removal involves flood-deposited sediment and debris from the navigable waters listed on our website,, you are required to file an application and receive a response from the Corps.  This type of work is limited to an area within 200 feet of an existing structure.  All excavated material must be deposited and retained in an upland, non-wetland location.

Permits are not needed from the Corps if work does not involve the above rivers or flood-deposited sediment and debris is not returned or placed in any water of the United States, including wetlands.

Restoration of Altered Streams

If stream channels have completely changed course due to this year’s flooding, or if a secondary channel has scoured out on the flood plain, the area may be restored to the 2010 pre-flood conditions under Nationwide Permit 27.  Restored stream banks should be protected with riprap or water-tolerant vegetation.  Written verification should be received from this office prior to starting work.

Restoration of Upland Areas

If discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States are necessary to restore upland areas lost because of the flooding, the work can be conducted with a Nationwide Permit 45.  Property lost through gradual erosion over a period of years may not be reconstructed under this nationwide permit.  Written verification should be received from this office prior to starting work.

Work on Federal Lands

Individuals proposing any work on federal land should contact the Rock Island District Real Estate Division office at (309) 794-5234 or (309) 794-5201 to determine what permissions are needed before commencing work.

All terms and conditions for the above Nationwide Permits are included in the Fact Sheets available at  Please select the Nationwide Permit section for your state.  Application forms and instructions are also available at this website.

Should you have any questions about Corps permits or need an application, please call Donna Jones at 309-794-5371, email, or write to the Rock Island District, ATTN:  Regulatory Branch, P. O. Box 2004, Rock Island, IL  61204

Release no. 11-10-01