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Home Recovery Act Recovery Updates
Many projects funded through the Recovery Act have the potential to support the preservation and productive use of historic properties. The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) serves as a source of technical assistance for federal historic preservation reviews. The ACHP is available to advise federal agencies on new developments and innovative approaches available in addressing Section 106 compliance.
The ACHP and DOE Develop Prototype Programmatic Agreement for Weatherization Programs
The ACHP and the Department of Energy (DOE), with input from the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), have developed a Prototype Programmatic Agreement (PA) to assist DOE in fulfilling its Section 106 responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act as a condition of obligating federal funds, including Recovery Act monies, for its three weatherization grant programs under the Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs (OWIP). These programs include the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG), the State Energy Plan (SEP), and the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The Prototype PA was distributed on February 8, 2010, to SHPOs and state agencies so that they may tailor the prototype to their state’s unique needs. Click here for additional information.
ACHP Issues Program Comment to Streamline Communication Facilities Construction and Modification
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) issued a Program Comment for the USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on October 23, 2009. The Program Comment relieves RUS, NTIA, or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from conducting duplicate Section 106 reviews when these agencies assist a telecommunications project subject to review by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The initiative will help facilitate the deployment of $7.2 billion in Recovery Act funding for the expansion of access to broadband services nationwide. Read more here.
Build America Bonds and Section 106
Recently, the Office of Federal Agency Programs has received inquiries from SHPOs about whether projects financed by bonds under the Recovery Act's Build America Bond program would be considered undertakings (36 CFR 800.16(y)) subject to Section 106. We'd like to provide background information and our analysis for the reference of SHPOs and other stakeholders.
FHWA's Economic Recovery Program and Transportation Enhancement Funding under the Recovery Act
The ACHP has posted information about the status of FHWA's economic recovery programs, including the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grants and the availability of Recovery Act funds for transportation enhancement projects, including eligible preservation activities. Read here for more information.
ACHP Issues Program Comment for GSA on Select Repairs and Upgrades
In early August via an unassembled vote, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) issued a Program Comment for the General Services Administration (GSA), setting forth the way in which GSA will comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act for select repairs and upgrades to windows, lighting, roofing, and heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems within historic public buildings. As a model federal agency alternative pursuant to Section 800.14(e) of the ACHP's regulations, the Program Comment will streamline select review protocols for GSA, facilitating their execution of repair and upgrade projects funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) and other sources. Read more here.
Office of Management and Budget Reporting Guidance
OMB issued guidance in February and again in March 2009 that affirms the responsibilities federal agencies have in meeting the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act in carrying out Recovery Act projects. The ACHP is currently working with OMB and the Council on Environmental Quality to address the coordination and timing of Section 106 and NEPA and the reporting requirements of Section 1609(c) of the OMB guidance.
OMB guidance allows federal agencies to develop interagency agreements to implement these requirements set forth in the Recovery Act. It is assumed that includes compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. The ACHP encourages agencies to learn more about how these and other approaches can be used to streamline Section 106 reviews. News and notices of training opportunities will be posted here, so check this site often for updates.
ACHP Outreach to Federal Agencies
The ACHP recently reached out to federal agencies to highlight the opportunities for the enhancement and productive use of historic properties presented by many Recovery Act programs. The ACHP also offered assistance to agencies in maximizing the efficiency of the Section 106 review process for Recovery Act projects. Read a sample of a letter sent to a federal agency. Similar letters were sent to these departments:
Department of Agriculture
Recovery Act and Historic Preservation Forum
On April 13, the ACHP hosted a Recovery Act and Historic Preservation Forum outlining the basic information about responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act that federal agencies should know when planning for and reporting on their Recovery Act activities. View the presentation.
Check here for future updates and announcements.
Updated May 24, 2010