The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Fort Worth District has constructed numerous Civil Works projects throughout Texas. These USACE federally authorized Civil Works projects represent a diverse range of the USACE water resources mission, including Flood Risk Management projects, Ecosystem Restoration projects, and Multi-Purpose Reservoirs. Many of these Civil Works projects have been constructed with the cooperation of non-federal local sponsors.
The authority to grant permission for temporary or permanent alterations to USACE Civil Works projects is contained in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and codified in 33 USC 408 (Section 408). Section 408 authorizes the USACE to grant permission to alter a Civil Works project upon a determination that the proposed alteration will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the project.
How to Submit a Section 408 Request
Assistance with determining if a proposed activity requires a Section 408 review begins with contacting the Fort Worth District. Early communication with the Fort Worth District, and the non-federal local sponsor who has operation and maintenance responsibilities, is critical to ensure a timely and efficient review. For questions, please contact the Section 408 Coordinator listed on this page.
Engineer Circular 1165-2-220 contains guidance applicable to all types of USACE Civil Works projects that may be tailored for a specific Section 408 request.
In addition to requirements in Engineer Circular 1165-2-220 (see paragraph 11 for basic requirements) the following information is important in ensuring a timely review:
- To initiate the Section 408 process, and before USACE can hold pre-application meetings, submit a signed cover letter from the requester and responsible party which should include: a description of the proposed alteration, identification of the authorized agent(s), and statement whether authorization under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 are also necessary. The letter may be submitted electronically attached to an email from the requester to the Section 408 Coordinator. The non-federal sponsor (or USACE lake manager if applicable) should receive a copy of this letter and this contact with the non-federal sponsor (or USACE lake manager if applicable) should be acknowledged in the communication with the Section 408 Coordinator.
- Section 408 applies to the real property identified and acquired for the USACE Civil Works project (see EC 1165-2-220 for more guidance)
- Section 408 submittals should be concise, organized documents, containing all required information as described in EC 1165-2-220
- Section 408 submittals should include a table of contents identifying all portions of the submittal
- Section 408 submittals may use appendices or attachments for large documents, however these appendices or attachments should be named in the Section 408 submittal
- Section 408 submittals should be as complete as possible, and submitted first to the non-federal sponsor prior to submission to USACE
- Section 408 submittals must have a separate Statement of No Objection signed by the non-federal sponsor, before the USACE will review the Section 408 request
- In addition to guidance in EC 1165-2-220, Section 408 submittals should include:
- Identification of the USACE project and a complete description of the proposed alteration(s), including necessary drawings, sketches, maps, and plans
- Cover letter signed by the entity requesting the Section 408 permission
- Cover letter should identify the agents/consultants that represent the requester
- Real estate requirements include a description of real property required to support the proposed alteration and maps clearly depicting existing real property and additional real property, if required. Include the draft real estate easement, other instrument, or modification of existing agreements that the non-federal sponsor would grant to the requester, if applicable.
- Overview figure(s) of the proposed alteration for use in a USACE public notice and for agency coordination, with an aerial background
- Do not submit copies of previously approved USACE feasibility reports or National Environmental Policy Act documents unless requested by USACE. Incorporate these documents by reference in Section 408 submittals.
- Official Species List from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service online Information for Planning and Consultation (IPaC) http://ecos.fws.gov/ipac
- Cultural resources report, if required
- Environmental compliance documentation, if required
- Geotechnical report, if required
- Hydrologic and hydraulics report, if required