USACE Headquarters hosts Section 408 Listening Sessions

Listening Session Series—we want to hear from you!

USACE is hosting virtual listening sessions on the Section 408 program in summer 2022. The goal of these listening sessions is to hear from those who have applied for Section 408 permissions about their experiences with the program. If you are interested in attending a listening session, please register using the links below.

  • August 16, 9:00-10:30 AM ET - Register
  • August 16, 3:00-4:30 PM ET - Register
  • September 1, 9:00-10:30 AM ET - Register
  • September 1, 3:00-4:30 PM ET - Register

For more information about the listening session series, refer to the Stakeholder Engagement Fact Sheet, or if you have any questions or would like to submit feedback on your experience with Section 408 program separately, please email by September 20.

What is Section 408?

Section 408 is the process that allows alteration to a federally authorized project. The proposed project cannot pose a risk to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the federally authorized project. Examples of federally authorized projects include, but are not limited to levees, dams and the federal navigation channel.

This requirement was established in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, codified at 33 United States Code (USC) 408 (Section 408).

Section 408

Through the Civil Works program, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) serves the public by providing the Nation with quality and responsive management of the Nation’s water resources.  As a result, USACE, in partnership with stakeholders, has constructed many Civil Works projects across the Nation’s landscape.  Given the widespread locations of these projects, many embedded within communities, over time there may be a need for others outside of USACE to alter or occupy these projects and their associated lands.  Reasons for alterations could include improvements to the projects; relocation of part of the project; or installing utilities or other non-project features.

In order to ensure that these projects continue to provide their intended benefits to the public, Congress mandated that any use or alteration of a Civil Works project by another party is subject to the approval of USACE.  This requirement was established in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899, which has since been amended several times and is codified at 33 USC 408 (Section 408).

Section 408 provides that USACE may grant permission for another party to alter a Civil Works project upon a determination that the alteration proposed will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the Civil Works project.

Additional Information on Section 408

USACE’s procedures for reviewing requests for Section 408 permission is contained in Engineer Circular (EC) 1165-2-220.  The corresponding internal guidance related to designating a lead district as referenced in EC 1165-2-220 can be found at this link.

To view a fact sheet with additional information about Section 408 and the revised policy, click here.

USACE reviewed and considered public comment on the draft EC 1165-2-220 to inform the final policy and procedural guidance.  To view the summary of comments received, click here.