Electronic Permit Guidebook

               Click here for permit information 

     Click here for permit information

Do I Need a Corps Permit?

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 A Department of the Army permit, issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), is required for certain activities in, over, under or near waters of the U.S. or special aquatic sites, including wetlands. The Corps regulates activities under the following laws (click on the following laws for more information). 




        a.  Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 

Requires a permit prior to the accomplishment of any work in, over or under navigable waters of the United States, or which affects the course, location, condition or capacity of such waters. Typical activities requiring Section 10 permits are:

    • construction or installation of piers, wharves, bulkheads, dolphins, marinas, ramps, floats, overhanging decks, buoys, boat lifts, jet ski lifts, intake structures, outfall pipes, marine waterways, overhead transmission lines, and cable or pipeline crossings, etc.
    • dredging and excavation
         b.  Section 404 of the Clean Water Act 

Requires a permit prior to discharging dredged or fill material into the waters of the United States, including special aquatic sites such as wetlands. Typical activities requiring Section 404 permits are:

    • depositing fill, dredged, or excavated material in waters of the U.S. and/or adjacent wetlands
    • grading or mechanized land clearing of wetlands
    • placement of spoils from ditch excavation activities in wetlands
    • soil movement during vegetation clearing in wetlands
    • fill for residential, commercial, or recreational developments
    • construction of revetments, groins, breakwaters, beach enhancement, jetties, levees, dams, dikes, and weirs
    • placement of riprap and road fills
         c.  Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972


Requires approval for the transportation of dredged material excavated from navigable waters of the U.S. for the purpose of dumping it in ocean waters. This includes dredged material shipped by truck to a port site for ocean disposal and ocean hopper barges.

    • The geographic scope of Section 103 is those waters of the open seas lying seaward of the baseline from which the territorial sea is measured. Along coast lines this baseline is generally taken to be the low water line.
    • There is jurisdiction overlap with the Clean Water Act. By interagency agreement with EPA, the discharge of dredged material in the territorial seas is regulated under the Section 103 criteria rather than those developed for Section 404.
 Who should obtain a permit?
    • Any person, firm, or agency (including Federal, State, and local government agencies) planning to work in waters of the United States. In addition to a Department of the Army permit, the proposed project may require other local, state, and federal authorizations. For assistance in determining other permit requirements for the proposed project, we recommend you contact the Washington State Office of Regulatory Assistance via the internet at www.ora.wa.gov.