Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act 1899
In response to the severe flooding and other storm-related damages in Montana, it is anticipated that municipalities and owners of damaged property will want to conduct repair activities immediately and in the near future. Department of the Army authorization, through a Corps permit, is required to conduct regulated activities within a water of the United States. A Department of the Army (DA) Section 404 Clean Water Act permit may be required for dredging or placing fill in waters of the United States, including rivers, lakes, streams, creeks, and wetlands. A DA Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act permit may be required for work or structures in or affecting the course, condition or capacity of navigable waters of the United States. Navigable waters in the state of Montana include the Missouri River, the Yellowstone River downstream of Emigrant, and a portion of the Kootenai River.
Many of the existing Nationwide Permits have scopes of work and thresholds which allow you to accomplish your project without delay. The Corps does not issue “emergency permits,” but does implement significantly modified procedures to evaluate permit applications during emergency situations. Permit decisions may be made in a matter of days or hours depending upon the urgency of the situation.
An “emergency” situation, as defined in 33 CFR 325.2(e)(4), is “a situation which would result in an unacceptable hazard to life, a significant loss of property, or an immediate unforeseen, and significant economic hardship if corrective action requiring a permit is not undertaken within a time period less than the normal time needed to process the application under standard procedures.” 33 CFR 325.2(e)(4) provides for the implementation of expedited processing procedures for the review, coordination, and decision making of Corps permit applications during emergency situations.
Where possible, it is imperative for the public to contact the USACE Montana Regulatory Office at Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil or (406) 441-1375 for work in waters of the U.S. associated with flood protection and repair work performed in waters of the U.S. for flood damaged areas within the State of Montana. A flood emergency does not remove the landowner's responsibility to obtain permits under Sections 10 and 404 where permits are required. After the flood emergency is over, landowners will need to either apply for a permit or remove the material that was placed during the emergency.
For more information regarding our existing permits or emergency authorizations, contact the USACE Omaha District, Montana Regulatory Office by email at Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil.
For any activities that are not emergency protective measures (i.e., permanent work or final reconstruction), all regular permitting and regulatory processes apply. Permit reviews for emergency situations will be given priority; routine, non-emergent review timelines may be extended and experience processing delays.
We recommend the following best practices to help us more efficiently review projects:
- Always submit Joint Permit Applications (JPA) to Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil. Emailing an application to a Project Manager directly or mailing it to one of our offices will only cause delay in getting it entered into our system, extending your project review time.
- If you are requesting an aquatic resource delineation be performed, the time for us to get onsite and start can be a year or more, so please consider hiring a consultant.
- For larger projects, preapplication meetings are recommended. This allows us to work out potential challenges early in the process, speeding up the subsequent permit review process. Please submit a Pre-App request to the Corps at Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil.
- Once your project is received by the Montana Regulatory Office, you should receive a confirmation email from the data entry team with your NWO project number and a point of contact. If you do not hear back from us within 2 weeks, please send us an inquiry at Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil. Please always reference that NWO project number and follow the directions for who to contact.
Montana Regulatory State Program Office (406) 441-1375 or Montana.Reg@usace.army.mil
Omaha District, Regulatory Branch (402) 995-2451
RGP-14-MT “Natural Disaster Mitigation & Emergency-Related Activities in Montana
Nationwide Permit Information
Montana Joint Application
Montana Joint Application Instructions
FEMA Montana Severe Storm and Flooding DR-4655-MT