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When do I need a flood plain permit?

You are required to obtain a flood plain permit before doing any construction in the flood plain.  There are exceptions for certain projects on very small streams. 

"Do I need a flood plain permit?" Tool

If you are undertaking a project that may involve construction in an Iowa flood plain, this tool can help you determine if you need to apply for a state and/or local flood plain permit. Please remember:

  • This tool is subject to revision at any time.
  • You are responsible for complying with all local, state and federal statutes, ordinances, rules and permit requirements applicable to the construction, operation and maintenance of your project.
  • The results from this tool can be used for general information and guidance. If you want an official response about whether a permit is required for your project, please submit a Joint Application (Form 36).
If you have any questions or the results are unclear, please contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at 866-849-0321.
How do I apply for a flood plain permit?

You can apply for a flood plain permit by filling out a Joint Application Form (Form 36).  This application form not only covers the flood plain permit, but it also covers Iowa Sovereign Lands Approval and the US Army Corps of Engineers 404 Water Quality Permits.  The application must be submitted to both the iowa DNR and the US Army Corps of Engineers.

You must submit one (1) copy of the application form and supporting documentation to the Iowa DNR by email or  two (2) copies of the application form and supporting documentation if using US Mail:      

If emailing, submit copy to JointApplication@dnr.iowa.gov

If using US Mail, submit copies to:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Flood Plain and Sovereign Lands Sections
502 E 9th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319-0034

You must submit one (1) copy of the application and the supporting documentation to the US Army Corps of Engineers by US Mail:    

    US Army Engineer District
    Rock Island Corps of Engineers
    Clock Tower Building
    Post Office Box 2004
    Rock Island, Illinois 61204-2004

To request a variance from the rules, complete a Variance Request Form (542-0004)

  • Email or Mail variance request with the Join Application Packet to the addresses listed above
Project Type Guidance

The permit application must include documentation that your project meets the state's minimum criteria for your project type.  Guidance documents for some project types are available to help you document that your project meets the state's criteria.  If you need assistance completing your application, call our Help Line at 866-849-0321.

Are there any other permits that are needed for the project?

Contact your city and county officials to help you determine if any local permits are required.