[Preservation Tips & Tools] The Basics of Section 106 Review


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If you take pride in your local heritage and love all the quirks that make your community special, chances are good that you’d be willing to protect it if it suddenly came under threat. So, you should know about Section 106 -- a viable tool to help preservation efforts -- and how you can use it to save a place that matters to you.


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[Preservation Tips & Tools] The Basics of Section 106 Review

  1. 1. What You Should Know About… THE BASICS OF SECTION 106 REVIEW
  2. 2. What is Section 106? Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA) ensures that federal agencies take preservation values into consideration when they propose a project that may affect historic properties. There’s some basic but crucial information to know when it comes to understanding Section 106, so let’s start with the parties involved in the process.
  3. 3. Federal Agencies Section 106 applies only to agencies affiliated with the federal government.
  4. 4. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) This independent federal agency oversees the review process and steps in when there is conflict or when otherwise deemed necessary.
  5. 5. SHPOs, THPOs, NHOs Federal agencies must consult with these government appointed officials and their staff during the review process in order to assess the possible or apparent adverse effects the project may create.
  6. 6. The public -- and you Given that this review process was created for the benefit of the public, you are perhaps the most important party involved. Section 106 is our opportunity to receive all of the information about the project, voice our concerns, and make a difference.
  7. 7. What is the process of Section 106 review? The Section 106 review process involves a lot of detailed steps, and it’s vital to understand those details if you wish to influence the outcome of a potentially harmful federal project. We’ve broken down the process for you into five easy-to-understand steps.
  8. 8. 1. Initiate 106. It is the duty of federal agencies to begin the Section 106 review process. To do so, they must identify if their proposed project will affect any historic properties. During this step, they must also identify the SHPO/THPO/NHO with whom they are going to consult.
  9. 9. 2. Identify historic properties. During this step of the review, federal agencies and their consulting parties must identify both listed and non-listed historic properties that their project will affect. Conflict can sometimes arise during this stage due to the classification process of non-listed properties.
  10. 10. 3. Assess adverse effects. Adverse effects are the alterations of a building or site that would damage its integrity and/or character due to the project. If the consulting parties determine that the project would have adverse effects, they must begin to explore ways to prevent, minimize, or mitigate them.
  11. 11. 4. Resolve adverse effects. This step usually results in the negotiation of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) among the consulting parties. This agreement outlines the measures the federal agency must take in order to prevent, minimize, or mitigate the adverse effects.
  12. 12. 5. Implement the project. If an MOA is reached, the project will proceed as agreed upon. If the consulting parties cannot come to an agreement, the ACHP will step in to review the case and give their comments, which the federal agencies must consider.
  13. 13. Look for part 2! Where’s the public in all of this, you might be wondering? Look for part two coming next week, where we will share tips on how you can get involved in a Section 106 review.
  14. 14. The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America’s historic places. Preservation Tips & Tools helps others do the same in their own communities. For more information, visit blog.preservationnation.org. Photos courtesy: Penn State, Flickr; Sarah Ross, Flickr; Eric Allix Rogers, Flickr; Tony Webster, Flickr, U.S. Government, Wikimedia; Michigan Historic Preservation Office, Flickr; Baltimore Heritage, Flickr; Antonio R Villiaraigosa, Flickr; NC in DC, Flickr; Wonderlane, Flickr; Reynermedia, Flickr; Daniel Oines, Flickr.