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Home arrowNews arrowMarch 28, 2013

Program Comment Issued for the Department of Energy

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) issued a Program Comment to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to extend the duration of agreements based on the DOE prototype Programmatic Agreement (PA) for its Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), State Energy Program (SEP), and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG). The ACHP membership voted in favor of issuing the Program Comment via an unassembled vote that concluded on March 11, 2013.

The Program Comment extends the duration of the existing 44 agreements executed under the prototype PA until December 31, 2020, and provides the same duration period for any future agreements that may be executed. The Program Comment does not alter or modify any other provisions of the prototype PA or the 44 executed agreements, including the ability of signatories to amend or terminate the agreement.

DOE formally requested the ACHP comment on its continuing use of the prototype PA to tailor its Section 106 compliance for undertakings funded by WAP, SEP, and EECBG in each state in lieu of renegotiating and amending each executed agreement. The prototype PA provides a duration period of three years for each agreement based upon the date of final signature and filing with ACHP. DOE formally requested the Program Comment on January 31, 2013, prior to the first expiration of a PA in mid-March of 2013.The Program Comment is an effective program alternative to extend each of the 44 individual agreements and to ensure that these successful agreements remain in force.

The ACHP published a notice of the proposed Program Comment in the Federal Register on February 22, 2013 and notified SHPOs and the Section 106 contacts for Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations of a one-week review and comment period. The DOE provided the draft Program Comment and brief background narrative to its state agency recipients for their review and comment as well. Overall, the public comments received by the ACHP and the discussion at the ACHP committee and business meetings were supportive of the Program Comment.

The Program Comment does not restrict the use and application of the prototype PA in states where they have not yet been developed. Any future new agreements developed under the prototype will expire in 2020, ensuring continuity in the Section 106 review for those undertakings covered by existing agreements.

By extending the duration of PAs through the issuance of a Program Comment, the DOE, SHPOs, and state agency recipients are afforded the opportunity to continue operating under the prototype PA. Any proposals to amend or terminate an agreement must occur prior to December 31, 2020. Read the Program Comment here.

Please contact Lee Webb, ACHP’s liaison to DOE, at 202-606-8583 or via email at lwebb@achp.gov if you have questions or need additional information.

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