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Nebraska Post-flood and Flood Protection Permitting

Published Sept. 20, 2013

OMAHA, Neb. - To address National Weather Service forecasts for river levels along the South Platte and Platte rivers in Nebraska to be in or above flood stage, landowners may decide to take action they believe is necessary to protect property.

Where possible, the public should contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nebraska Regulatory Office (402) 896-0896 for work associated with flood protection and repair work for flood damaged areas performed in waters of the U.S. within the State of Nebraska and the Omaha District. A flood emergency does not remove the landowner's responsibility to obtain a Section 404 permit when one is required. 

Under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Corps regulates fill material placed below the Ordinary High Water Mark (OHWM) within waters of the U.S. and may regulate fill material removal. The OHWM is the line on the shore/bank/waterway established by water fluctuations and indicated by physical characteristics. Fill placed in upland areas, above the OHWM, is not typically regulated under the Clean Water Act or the Rivers and Harbors Act. Landowners are responsible for contacting the Corps to determine if a flood-related activity lies within the Corps’ regulatory jurisdiction.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District has developed a Regional General Permit (RGP 11-02), authorizing certain flood-related fill or excavation activities, other work associated with flood protection, and repair work for flood-damaged areas performed in waters of the U.S. within the State of Nebraska.  http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Portals/23/docs/regulatory/NE/gen/RGP-11-02-WEH.pdf.

Waters of the United States include, but are not limited to, rivers, lakes, ponds, creeks, gulches and wetland areas. Authorized fill and excavation impacts are limited to the minimum necessary for the project. Maximum limits are detailed within RGP 11-02.

Proposed wetland fill or drainage activities authorized by this permit will require wetland mitigation in accordance with RGP 11-02.

To request authorization for work under RGP 11-02, contact the Nebraska Regulatory office prior to work commencing to determine that the proposed work is necessitated by flood conditions and meets the RGP-11-02 criteria.

Application procedures including a list of information required for processing a permit application are outlined within RGP 11-02.

EMERGENCY AUTHORIZATION PROCEDURES: More extensive flood repair work, exceeding the limits established in RGP 11-02 may be authorized under emergency authorization procedures when there is an unacceptable hazard to life, significant loss of property and/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 an application under standard procedures.

To request emergency authorization:

  1. Project proponents should E-mail or personally deliver information to the Nebraska Regulatory Field Office which details the proposed work, location map and a narrative description of what needs to be done, how soon, and how the situation arose. 
  2. The Nebraska Regulatory office will coordinate the emergency response with the Omaha District Regulatory office, Northwestern Division Office, and other resources agencies.

For questions or assistance in determining if a permit is required for flood-related activities, please contact the appropriate Corps’ Regulatory Office listed below or online at

Martha Chieply
John Moeschen

Release no. 20130920-001