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Alterations to Flood Risk Reduction Projects

Section 408 Requests to Alter Federal Flood Risk Reduction Projects  

Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and codified in 33 U.S.C. § 408 (Section 408) authorizes the Secretary of the Army, on the recommendation of the Chief of Engineers of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), to grant permission for the alteration or occupation or use of a USACE civil works project if the Secretary determines that the activity will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the project.

Alterations proposed within a federally-constructed Flood Risk Reduction Project’s (FRRP) right-of-way are subject to Section 408. Engineering Circular (EC) 1165-2-216 defines an alteration as any action by any entity other than the USACE that temporarily or permanently builds upon, alters, improves, moves, occupies, or otherwise affects the usefulness, or the structural or ecological integrity of a USACE project.  If the requestor is not the local project sponsor, the requestor must first submit the request to the non-federal sponsor and receive a written Statement of No Objection prior to submission to USACE.

A new policy document (EC 1165-2-220) intended to replace the current guidance above (EC 1165-2-216) is planned for release in late 2018. Additional information on the new policy along with current and interim guidance revising the EC 1165-2-216 can be found at the HQUSACE website: www.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Section408/


Environmental Assessment for Alterations

The Omaha District has prepared a Programmatic Environmental Assessment (PEA) for each state in the District’s area of responsibility to address the potential environmental impacts of specific alterations to FRRPs in the PL 84-99 Program that are similar in nature and have minor to negligible impacts. If the proposed Section 408 alteration would have more than a minor adverse effect, the alteration request must include a separate Environmental Assessment (EA) or Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Note that the categorical permissions listed in the PEAs are for National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance documentation only; proposed alterations will always require technical review through Section 408.


Section 408 Fact Sheet 

Useful Links

1) EC 1165-2-216 Section 408 Policy and Procedures 

2) Programmatic Environmental Assessments:


                Iowa with Missouri



                North Dakota

                South Dakota


3) ER 1165-2-26 Implementation of Executive Order 11988 (See procedures in Section 8)

4) National Levee Database 

5) HQUSACE Section 408 Website


Please direct questions and requests for Section 408 alterations to FRRPs to:

Jennifer Gitt, P.E.


USACE, Omaha District

1616 Capitol Avenue

Omaha, NE 68102

Office Phone: 402-995-2443

Email: Jennifer.L.Gitt@usace.army.mil


For requests to alter USACE federally authorized civil works projects other than FRRPs, please contact:  

Brent Cossette 

Section 408 Coordinator 

Office Phone: 402-995-2712  

Email: Brent.J.Cossette@usace.army.mil