Historic Preservation Tips

March 1, 2016 Historic Preservation, News, Planning, Projects Brian Nowakowski

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. If your project involves federal funding, federal licenses, or federal permits, make sure you are in compliance! Nationally the process is administered by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP). Coordination on the state level is with the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) who helps to identify historic properties and ways to avoid or minimize any potential adverse effects.

This applies for projects involving:

  • Historic Properties-properties that are included in the National Register of Historic Places or meet the criteria for the National Register.
  • Federal Projects- Federally owned or controlled properties, projects receiving Federal Funds (ex. HUD, FEMA), Federally Permitted (ex. US Army Corps, FAA, FCC)

The following steps of identification and assessment are coordinated with the HPO. It is always advised to include the public in this process. This is best done through the identification of any locally interested groups and affording them an opportunity to provide comments. Steps that should be taken:

  1. Identify if there are any historic properties included in the project area. If there are no historic properties present, documentation is provided to the HPO and project proceeds.
  2. If there are historic properties, identify any potential effects the project would have on these historic resources.
  3. If there are effects, determine if they have will have an adverse effect on the historic resource. In consultation with the HPO, if it is determined that there is no adverse effect, the project proceeds.
  4. If there is a determination of adverse effect the agency begins consultation with the HPO to seek ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate the adverse effects before proceeding.

Prior to the enactment of the National Historic Preservation Act, it was not uncommon for nationally significant resources to be damaged or destroyed by Federal undertakings. The Section 106 process now provides proper protection of our historic resources.

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