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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. 

PERMT (Permit and Environmental Review Management Tool)
Iowa DNR PERMT website with 24/7 access for your Iowa DNR Flood Plain and Sovereign Lands Permits, BFE Requests, AFO Determinations, and related work. 

Permit and Environmental Review Management Tool (PERMT)

Determine if You Should Submit a Joint Application for Your Project.  You are required to obtain federal, state, and local permits before doing any construction in the flood plain or work near a river or stream. PERMT will walk you through steps to determine if an Iowa DNR permit application is required. 

  • Your first steps will be to choose one or more project types; select your location using either a point, line or shape; and finally clicking “Get Results” to determine if you should submit a Joint Application.
  • If no Iowa DNR permit application submittal is required, PERMT will automatically take you through the steps to log in, fill out a joint application, and submit the Joint Application form to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Rock Island District for 404 Water Quality Permit review.
  • If a state permit application should be submitted, PERMT will automatically take you through the steps to log in, fill out a joint application, and submit that joint application to the Iowa DNR Flood Plains, Iowa DNR Sovereign Lands, and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Rock Island District for 404 Water Quality Permit review.
  • PERMT does not submit your Joint Application to county or city officials for local permitting, including local flood plain permitting. You are responsible for contacting local permitting officials and obtaining all required local permits prior to construction.
  • Iowa DNR and US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District Responses. The Iowa DNR will send out one response for both the Iowa DNR Flood Plain and Sovereign Lands programs. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District will communicate with you directly regarding the status and final response to any Joint Application submitted. The status or results of this review are not avaible on this system.

Fill out and Submit a Joint Application for Permit Review. (Login Required) You are required to obtain federal, state, and local permits before doing any construction in the flood plain or work near a river or stream. PERMT will walk you through steps to determine if a permit application is required. 

  • Your first steps will be to choose one or more project types; select your location using either a point, line or shape; and finally clicking “Get Results” to determine if you should submit a Joint Application.
  • If a state permit application should be submitted, PERMT will automatically take you through the steps to log in, fill out a joint application, and submit that joint application to the Iowa DNR Flood Plains, Iowa DNR Sovereign Lands, and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Rock Island District for 404 Water Quality Permit review.
  • PERMT does not submit your Joint Application to county or city officials for local permitting, including local flood plain permitting. You are responsible for contacting local permitting officials and obtaining all required local permits prior to construction.
  • Iowa DNR and US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District Responses. The Iowa DNR will send out one response for both the Iowa DNR Flood Plain and Sovereign Lands programs. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District will communicate with you directly regarding the status and final response to any Joint Application submitted. The status or results of this review are not avaible on this system.

Submit a Request for a Base Flood Elevation or other Flood Plain Parameters. (Login Required) PERMT will walk you through a process for creating an Account ID and Password. Once that is complete, you will be able to fill out the request form. You can electronically submit this form to the Iowa DNR following the completion of the request form.

Submit an Animal Feeding Operation (AFO) Flood Plain Determination Request or Declaratory Order. (Login Required)  PERMT will walk you through a process for creating an Account ID and Password. Once that is complete, you will be able to fill out the request form. You can electronically submit this form to the Iowa DNR following the completion of the request form.

Submit an Environmental Review Request. (Login Required) PERMT will walk you through a process for creating an Account ID and Password. Once that is complete, you will be able to fill out the request form. You can electronically submit this form to the Iowa DNR following the completion of the request form. 

Track the Iowa DNR Review Status of Your Joint Application(s). (Login Required) 

Submit Additional Information for Your Joint Application. (Login Required) 

Submit Notice of Completion on Construction for a Permitted Project. (Login Required)

Get a PDF copy of Iowa DNR Project Response Documents. (Login Required)

Update your Contact Information for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Officials. (Login Required) PERMT will require you to log in using the City/County Account ID and Password. Local NFIP Communities may update the contact information for the local flood plain manager, and other community officials.

Public Search. Search by location to find recent Flood Plain and Sovereign Land construction projects. No log in required.

You are required to obtain federal, state, and local permits before doing any construction in the flood plain or work near a river or stream. Not every project requires submittal of a permit application. However, you can check if you project requires submission of a Joint Application using PERMT. PERMT will walk you through steps to determine if a permit application is required. 

  • If a permit application is required, PERMT will automatically take you through the steps to log in, fill out a joint application, and submit that joint application to the Iowa DNR Flood Plains, Iowa DNR Sovereign Lands and the US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District for review.
  • PERMT does not submit your Joint Application to county or city officials for local permitting, including local flood plain permitting. You are responsible for contacting local permitting officials and obtaining all required local permits prior to construction.
  • Iowa DNR and US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District Responses. The Iowa DNR will send out one response for both the Iowa DNR Flood Plain and Sovereign Lands programs. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District will communicate with you directly regarding the status and final response to any Joint Application submitted. The status or results of this review are not avaible on this system.
  • Flood Plain / Dam Safety Technical Assistance Help Line: email us at floodplain-help@dnr.iowa.gov or 866-849‐0321. Please note that due to Covid19, you can only leave a message on this phone line at this time.
  • Sovereign Lands Assistance: 515-725‐8464 
  • US Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District: Phone: 309-794‐5057 or IowaRegulatory@usace.army.mil 
  • PERMT results are based solely on user provided input, and are only valid when the system is correctly used. Incorrect use of this program to obtain an incorrect automated result of “no application is required” does not prevent potential enforcement action for a project.
  • PERMT 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 PERMT only cover requirements for submitting a Joint Application to Iowa DNR Flood Plain and Dam Safety Section and Iowa DNR Sovereign Lands Section. They do not include requirements for the US Army Corps of Engineers.
  • If you have any questions or the results are unclear, please contact the Iowa Department of Natural Resources at 866-849-0321.

If you are undertaking a project that may involve construction in an Iowa flood plain, PERMT can help you determine if you need to apply for a state and/or local flood plain permit, and it will also walk you through the permit application submittal process as required.

To request a variance from the rules, complete a Variance Request Form

  • Submit this form in PERMT to request a variance from a specific 567 IAC Chapter 72 approval criteria. 
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, email us at floodplain-help@dnr.iowa.gov or call 866-849‐0321. Please note that due to Covid19, you can only leave a message on this phone line at this time.

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.