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Home Historic Preservation Programs & Officers Federal FHWA Illinois PA Case Study
Case Study - Illinois
Statewide Programmatic Agreement for the Mitigation of Adverse Effects to Euro-American Tradition Archaeological Sites in the State of Illinois
DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM:
On August 30, 2011, the ACHP, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) executed a Programmatic Agreement (PA) that streamlines the Section 106 review process for Federal-Aid Highway projects affecting Euro-American archaeological sites. The streamlined process may be used to comply with Section 106 for undertakings classified as minor highway projects (that is, projects that qualify as Categorical Exclusions under the National Environmental Policy Act). Additionally, the Illinois SHPO must agree with IDOT, in writing, that:
Review of these projects is streamlined through (1) the delegation of responsibility to IDOT for the identification, evaluation and treatment of Euro-American Tradition sites in consultation with the Illinois SHPO and the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS); and (2) use of a “Standard Data-Recovery Plan for Euro-American Tradition Archaeological Sites” as the standard treatment for these types of sites. The PA requires that IDOT notify SHPO, Indian tribes, and when appropriate, other potential interested parties prior to concluding environmental review. If any of these parties objects or expresses concern about use of the standard treatment approach or if archaeological sites are determined likely to contain human remains or burials, the streamlined process will not be used. In such cases, FHWA and IDOT must go through the standard Section 106 review process (36 CFR 800.3-800.6) to conclude consultation.
ANALYSIS OF CONSULTATION AND AGREEMENT:
FHWA and IDOT worked closely with the Illinois SHPO and the ACHP to develop and finalize this PA. The streamlined approach, using a Standard Data Recovery Plan, works well in Illinois. Because IDOT projects commonly occur in rural or once-rural settings, specific methodologies have been developed for the standard treatment of farmsteads. The Standard Data Recovery Plan outlines a methodology for the recovery of significant information from historic farmstead sites. Adjustments to this methodology may be made when other types of historic period Euro-American resources are investigated, such as urban residential areas or other, more specialized non-domestic sites. The PA allows for this by requiring close coordination with the SHPO to determine the appropriate use of the standard treatment. FHWA and IDOT sought comments on a draft of the PA from the public and federally-recognized Indian tribes with an interest in Illinois lands. They received no comments in response to this outreach.
The PA is intended to supplement the amended Statewide PA for minor transportation projects which was executed among FHWA, IDOT, SHPO, and the ACHP in September 2010.
WHY IS THIS A GOOD AGREEMENT?
The sites to be treated under this PA are generally the remains of small, rural farmsteads. Individually, these sites may contribute little information regarding historic settlement patterns, subsistence, and architecture of farming communities in Illinois. Through use of a standardized methodology, IDOT will be able to generate consistent and comparable information that can be readily synthesized and utilized in the preparation of overview studies. The PA requires that the results of these investigations be reported in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards and Guidelines. The results must also be made available to the general public through web postings, public and professional lectures; an annual report of site investigations; and through the publication of studies that synthesize the data recovered under the PA.