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Standard treatments are program alternatives that the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) can establish to assist agencies in their compliance with the review process under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. § 470f) and its implementing regulations (36 C.F.R. part 800). Standard treatments establish practices for dealing with certain categories of undertakings, effects, historic properties, or treatment options that have been fully vetted and studied by the ACHP and Section 106 users and that carry the ACHP’s explicit endorsement. As such, this guidance applies to standard treatments issued by the ACHP as a federal agency program alternative under § 800.14(d) of the ACHP’s regulations.
The intent of standard treatments issued by the ACHP as a program alternative is to establish best practices which encourage excellence through the application of widely accepted historic preservation practices. By doing so, federal agencies can expedite their Section 106 compliance process for undertakings that incorporate these standard treatments into project planning and design.
Section 800.14(d) of the Section 106 regulations sets forth the process by which the ACHP can establish standard treatments on its own initiative or at the request of a federal agency. Federal agencies are not obligated to follow approved standard treatments but may elect to do so when they believe these standard treatments will be of benefit in meeting their Section 106 compliance requirements.Standard treatments do not stand alone in fulfilling an agency’s compliance requirements. While some standard treatments may delineate practices that the ACHP deems to fall below the adverse effect threshold, other standard treatments may provide ACHP-endorsed mitigation and minimization measures for use in negotiating Section 106 agreements regarding certain categories of undertakings, historic properties, or effects.