Most flood control projects require environmental review triggered by a federal, state, or local agency permit or decision. For example, federal agencies must consider the environmental impacts of their proposed actions under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and many states have their own “mini-NEPA” laws that require state and
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) issued a new engineering circular (EC 1165-2-216) to provide policy and guidance for processing requests to alter USACE civil works projects pursuant to 33 U.S.C. section 408. This new circular collects existing guidance from several informal documents, codifies USACE practice from some USACE Districts that process many 408 requests, and expands the guidance to cover other objectives beyond flood risk reduction, such as water supply, hydroelectric, and ecosystem restoration. Section 408 (33 U.S.C. section) is a decades old provision of Federal law that prohibits a non-Federal interest from altering a Federally authorized water resources development project without advance permission from the Secretary of the Army. That authority has been delegated to the Assistant Secretary of the Army, then to the Chief of Engineers, and then to the Director of Civil Works. This new Engineering Circular provides the rules associated with that delegation.