Review and Compliance: Section 106

Review and Compliance: Section 106

 

Section 106 Review and Compliance might be one of the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office’s lesser-known programs, but it is still a valuable tool Nebraskans have for protecting the places that they love. This law was passed in 1966 as part of the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 106 was created to make sure that all qualified federal projects take into account their effects on historic properties and to allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation the opportunity to comment on these effects. A critical part of this process involves notifying and involving the public. Concerned members of the public can request to participate in the process and provide written comments to the federal agency and the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office.

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.

The Section 106 review looks at properties that are 50 years or older, and are either already listed or are potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

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)?

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

John Swigart

Section 106 Review and Compliance Coordinator
Archeological Survey Coordinator
Archeological Site Search Coordinator

john.swigart@nebraska.gov

402-560-0574

Betty Gillespie

Section 106 Standing Structure Review and Compliance Coordinator
betty.gillespie@nebraska.gov

402-805-7392

 

Section 106 of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act (as amended) aims to protect historic and cultural properties from unintentional federal action. A federal action can be through a permit, license, or funding. Historic and cultural properties include standing structures and archeological sites.

 

Requires federal agencies to consult with the State Historic Preservation Office to:

· Identify historic properties in the project area and determine their eligibility for the National Register of Historic Places.

· Consider the effect of their projects on historic properties.

· Seek ways to avoid or reduce adverse effects to historic properties.

 

Gives the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment on the project and its effects on historic properties.

 

Seeks the public’s opinion if review finds adverse effects to historic properties.

 

Our office has specific guidelines for archeological sites. Please email john.swigart@nebraska.gov for questions about these guidelines.

 

How do I submit a project for review?

 

Download this form if you have a simple project that involves one or two properties.

 

Is your project more complex? Please mail the following information to our office.

  • Detailed description of proposed project
  • Name of all funding, permitting, and/or licensing agencies for the project (state and federal)
  • Clear project location map, including project site plan, if applicable
  • Clear, current photos of all standing structures within the project area. It helps if you key the photographs to a site plan.
  • Project address(es)
  • Project plans and specifications, if applicable

 

Contact us with questions.

This is a State of Nebraska law. Our office reviews and comments when a State Agency within the State of Nebraska wants to make changes to a historic building it owns. Changes must meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. The Governor has the final say when our office and the State Agency disagree on what the Agency should do to the building.

 

How do I submit a project for review?

 

Follow the same process for federal review.

 

Contact us with questions.

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