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Corps provides guidance on Section 408 approval process

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued an Engineering Circular that provides guidance on how it will process requests from non-Corps entities to alter USACE-owned civil works projects.

The guidelines, available in the circular here, are pursuant to the Corps' Section 408 permitting process and applicable to all private, public, tribal and other federal groups wishing to use USACE properties.

Section 408 authorizes the Secretary of the Army to grant for the alteration, occupation or use of USACE properties, if the Secretary determines the activity "will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness for the project."

As defined by the Engineering Circular, the Corps' Section 408 procedures will be grouped into nine steps, including: pre-coordination, written request, required documentation, district-led Agency Technical Review, Summary of Findings, division review, USACE headquarters review, notification, and post-permission oversight.

The Corps said the guidance will not only be applied to conventional projects being developed in combination with unpowered USACE dams, but also non-conventional projects, such as hydrokinetic facilities, that would use civil works structures like jetties, levees and navigation channels.

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