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Home arrowNews arrowOctober 17, 2013

Guidance on Section 106 Timeframes Due to Government Shutdown Announced

October 17, 2013--Today the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and other affected federal agencies returned to full staffing levels following a partial government shutdown from October 1 – 16, 2013. As the federal agency responsible for overseeing the Section 106 review process of the National Historic Preservation Act, we are providing guidance to federal agencies and others who implement or participate in Section 106 reviews regarding the implications of the partial shutdown on the timeframes set for individual Section 106 reviews. We trust that this information will address for participants in the Section 106 review process concerns they may have regarding timing, consultation and roles and responsibilities caused by recent events.

In the event that a federal agency has referred a disputed no adverse effect finding to the ACHP pursuant to 36 CFR § 800.5(c)(3) or provided the ACHP a notice of an adverse effect pursuant to 36 CFR § 800.6(a)(1), the deadline for a response from the ACHP has been suspended for the period of October 1 – 16, 2013. In either case, the 15 day time period allowed by the regulations for ACHP comment or response shall not include those days. For instance, if the ACHP received a referral of a disputed no adverse effect finding five days before the shutdown, today (October 17) would mark the sixth day of our 15-day response window. The ACHP will otherwise continue to respond within regulatory timeframes for these notices.

We strongly encourage any federal agency or its agent that has consulted other federal agencies as part of a Section 106 review who themselves may have been subject to the partial government shutdown to extend comment periods to allow for a reasonable opportunity to comment. Likewise, we strongly encourage any agency or its agent that has sought the views of a State or Tribal Historic Preservation Officer who may have furloughed staff that were paid using federal funds during this partial shutdown to extend comment periods to allow for the applicable, full regulatory timeframe. Section 106 consultations with all other non-federal parties or those not paid with federal funds withheld during the shutdown should have proceeded in accordance with timelines as normally defined by the regulations implementing Section 106. However, the ACHP encourages federal agencies and its agents to consider allowing additional comment time to those who request it or may have been otherwise impacted by the partial shutdown.

We appreciate your patience as we work to address the backlog of notifications and requests for comments that were submitted to the ACHP during the partial government shutdown. We will endeavor to respond to these requests and others relating to Section 106 consultation in a timely manner and notify federal agencies when we may need to request additional time. In the event that you need more immediate assistance, please feel free to contact ACHP staff for assistance. You can find the appropriate contact at http://www.achp.gov/work106.html.

 

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