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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow ACHP Case Digest arrow Spring 2004
Case Digest, Spring 2004
Protecting Historic Properties: Section 106 in Action

Introduction and Criteria for ACHP Involvement

Partial Demolition of Site Summit, Chugach Mountains, Anchorage

Transfer of Ownership of Redstone Castle, Redstone

Partial Demolition of the Moanalua Shopping Center, Oahu

Transformation of the 2nd Brigade, U.S. Army Garrison
(closed case)

Minnesota & Wisconsin:
Construction of a New Crossing Over the St. Croix River

New Jersey:
Development of Revolutionary War Battlefield, Edison

New York:
Construction of a Federal Courthouse, Buffalo

South Carolina:
Management of the Savannah River Nuclear Site

Expansion of the Monorail System, Seattle

Transfer of the Hanford Nuclear Site, Columbia River

Development of the Lander Trail, Pinedale


Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Federal agencies to consider historic preservation values when planning their activities. In the Section 106 process, a Federal agency must identify affected historic properties, evaluate the proposed action’s effects, and then explore ways to avoid or mitigate those effects.

The Federal agency often conducts this process in consultation with Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), State Historic Preservation Officers, representatives of Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, and other parties with an interest in the issues. Sometimes a Programmatic Agreement or a Memorandum of Agreement is reached and signed by the project’s consulting parties. The agreements are an option provided for in the ACHP’s regulations that sets forth a tailored process to guide how an agency meets the requirements of Section 106.

Each year thousands of Federal actions undergo Section 106 review. The vast majority of cases are routine and resolved at the State or tribal level, without involvement of ACHP. However, a considerable number of cases present issues or challenges that warrant ACHP’s attention.

The specific Criteria for Council Involvement in reviewing Section 106 cases are set forth in Appendix A of ACHP’s regulations. In accordance with those criteria, ACHP is likely to enter the Section 106 process when an undertaking:

  • has substantial impacts on important historic properties (Criterion 1);
  • presents important questions of policy or interpretation (Criterion 2);
  • has the potential for presenting procedural problems (Criterion 3); and/or
  • presents issues of concern to Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations (Criterion 4).

This report provides information on a representative cross-section of undertakings that illustrate the variety and complexity of Federal activities in which ACHP is currently involved. It illustrates the ways the Federal Government influences what happens to historic properties in communities throughout the Nation, and highlights the importance of informed citizens to be alert to potential conflicts between Federal actions and historic preservation goals, and the necessity for public participation to achieve the best possible preservation solution.

In addition to this report, ACHP’s Web site contains a useful library of information about the ACHP and Section 106 review.

Updated January 6, 2005

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