1. What is Section 106?
This legislation requires all qualified federal projects to take into account their effects on historic properties and to allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation the opportunity to comment on these effects. These properties can be above-ground structures or below-ground archeological sites. The review process varies depending on the type of resource. It is overseen by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and takes into account recommendations from the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office (NeSHPO), as well as public comments.
2. What is a historic property?
3. What kinds of projects require a Section 106 review?
All projects that include federal funding, licensing, or permitting are required to undergo Section 106 review and compliance. These types of projects can include construction, renovation, repair, rehabilitation, ground disturbances, etc. You can check to see if a project is required to undergo a Section 106 review by asking the following questions:
- Does the project involve a federally owned/controlled property (ex: military bases, parks, forests, post offices, and courthouses)?
- Is the project receiving federal funds, grants, or loans?
- Does the project require a federal permit, license, or other approval (ex: a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for building on wetlands or the construction of cellular towers)?
4. What are the steps in the review process?
There are 4 major steps to the process:
- Initiate review: The federal agency must identify if any historic properties/resources will be impacted by the project. They must also identify which state agency that they are going to work with (SHPO or THPO), contact other consulting agencies, and notify the public.
- Gathering information: All potentially impacted historic properties are identified.
- Assess Effects: Determine if there will be adverse effects.
- Explore measures to resolve adverse effects through avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures: This stage typically results in the negotiation of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) or Programmatic Agreement (PA) among the consulting parties.
Throughout this four-step review process, the federal agency is responsible for conveying all information with “consulting parties” and the general public.
5. What is considered an "adverse effect" to a resource?
If a project would alter the significance and/or integrity of a historic resource to the point where it might no longer qualify for the National Register. Some of the impacts include destruction, inappropriate modifications, relocation, neglect, or the transfer/lease/sale of a historic property out of federal control without adequate preservation restrictions.
6. Will the discovery of an "adverse effect" completely shut down a project?
No, the federal agency is required to resolve all adverse effects in consultation with the SHPO or THPO, established consulting parties, and the ACHP if they choose to be involved. Section 106 review does not guarantee the full protection of a historic property.
7. How does the public learn about Section 106 projects?
Agencies are required to notify the public, but how they publicize this information can vary. Notifications in newspapers, on television, and by radio are common methods of communication. The Federal Register (www.federalregister.gov) posts notices about projects as well. Federal agencies will also contact local museums, historical societies, and Section 106 consultants.
8. How can private citizens become involved in the Section 106 review process?
Private citizens or organizations can request to be consulting parties if the project involves historic properties in which they are directly affiliated or if they have a specialized interest. However, there is no guarantee that your request will be granted. You are also encouraged to share your views with your local SHPO or THPO.