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Home arrow Working with Section 106 arrow Section 106 in Action arrow Archive of Prominent Section 106 Cases arrow Prominent Section 106 Cases: Winter 2002
Prominent Section 106 Cases: Winter 2002

Introduction and Criteria for ACHP Involvement

Transfer of the Old U.S. Mint, San Francisco

Redevelopment of Ford Island and Management of the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex/Navy Region Hawaii

Construction of Telescopes at Mauna Kea Science Reserve

Demolition of Allen Park Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Construction of South and East Beltway, Lincoln

New Mexico and Arizona:
Development of Fence Lake Mine

New York:
Disaster Assistance Programs at the World Trade Center Site, New York City

South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Nebraska:
Missouri River Master Manual, and Title VI Land Transfer

West Virginia:
Redevelopment of Murphy Farm, Harpers Ferry


Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) 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 conducts this process in consultation with State Historic Preservation Officers, representatives of Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and other parties with an interest in the issues.

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 the attention of ACHP.

The specific Criteria for ACHP 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 small but representative cross-section of undertakings that illustrate the variety and complexity of Federal activities in which ACHP is currently involved. In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, ACHP has participated in consultation to address the implications for historic properties of disaster relief and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site. At the same time, we have also been working to ensure the preservation of historic properties at Pearl Harbor, 60 years after that attack on America. Projects affecting other important historic properties also have required ACHP’s attention, including modern development adjacent to Harpers Ferry National Historical Park and the transfer of the Old U.S. Mint out of Federal ownership.

Several cases profiled in this report also feature important policy issues, such as how to address changing capital asset management needs at the Department of Veterans Affairs and how to mitigate the impact of Federal projects on properties of traditional religious and cultural significance to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiians. Likewise, this report highlights the wide variety of Federal activities that trigger the Section 106 review process. Whether the Federal Government is funding the construction of new roads, disposing of property, or approving mines on Federal lands, its activities can impact historic properties.

This report illustrates the ways the Federal Government influences what happens to historic properties in communities throughout the Nation. It also 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 ACHP and Section 106 review.

Updated May 6, 2003

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