Early Coordination with Indian Tribes During Pre-Application Processes: A Handbook

October 29, 2019

This handbook presents recommendations for federal agencies, applicants, and Indian tribes to work together in pre-application information gathering or prior to initiating the Section 106 process. The Section 106 regulations state that “(t)he agency official shall ensure that the Section 106 process is initiated early in the undertaking’s planning, so that a broad range of alternatives may be considered during the planning process for the undertaking.” The ACHP is aware that many Section 106 reviews for infrastructure, energy, and other development projects begin after significant preparations and a great many investments have been made about project location. Projects for which non-federal entities apply for funding or approval typically require the applicant to include environmental and cultural resources information in the application. The Section 106 process in many cases is not initiated until the applicant submits an application to a federal agency. Thus, it can be challenging to consider alternatives for the proposed project’s location in order to avoid or minimize impacts to historic properties in the Section 106 process.