Press Releases

Tropical Storm Isaac; USACE gives permit holders guidance

Published Sept. 5, 2012

MOBILE, Ala. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mobile District would like to remind serviceable structure owners in affected areas (see chart below) to check their original USACE’s permit before repairing or replacing any property destroyed or damaged by Tropical Storm Isaac.


Under existing Nationwide Permit Number 3, USACE approval is granted to repair and replace structures that were previously permitted.

Affected Areas

Counties of Alabama

Counties of Mississippi









*Serviceable structure – structure intact and usable when Tropical Storm Isaac entered the Gulf of Mexico.

Also, certain repair actions such as dredging to fill shoreline and lots or to restore navigable access to previously authorized marinas, removing vessels or storm debris from wetlands may be allowed. Owners are asked to call 251-694-4611 for Alabama or 251-690-3222 for Mississippi to determine what, if any, Nationwide Permit Program (NWP) requirements may apply to their situation. 


“We want everyone to be able to repair and replace their structures with the least amount of impact on the storm-damaged ecosystem,” Mobile District spokesperson E. Patrick Robbins said. “Each situation is unique and some may require a permit.”

Emergency Evaluation Procedure

Step One:

Emergency evaluation procedures are set up for permits that are not covered by the NWP program.  All applications under the emergency procedure must be provided to the following address: Department of the Army, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, Attention: CESAM-RD - Emergency Procedures, P. O. Box 2288 Mobile, AL 36628-0001 or fax to 251-694-3864.

Step Two:

After the permit request is received, USACE will review it to determine if an emergency situation exists.  An emergency is a situation that will result in a hazard to life or significant loss of property.  An emergency can also be an immediate, unforeseen, significant economic hardship that requires a Corps permit to take corrective action, but cannot wait for the normal permit evaluation process.


Step Three:

If USACE tentatively determines the proposed action is an emergency, descriptions of the proposed action are faxed to representatives from federal agencies and state agencies responsible for water quality certification/coastal zone management and management of state-owned water bottoms.  These agencies will review the documents and contact USACE.


Step Four:

The Regulatory Division will make a decision after the State and Federal agencies review the documents.  Agency coordination for most projects will be completed within 24-48 hours.


The Department of the Army Regulatory Program administers and enforces Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

  • Under Section 10, a USACE permit is required for work or structures in, over or under navigable waters of the United States.
  • Under Section 404, a Corps permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. Many bodies of water and wetlands in the nation are subject to the USACE Section 404 regulatory authority.

USACE strives to make its permit decisions in a timely manner that minimizes impacts to the regulated public. For more information on obtaining a permit, visit




Lorraine Sutton Evans

Release no. 12-023