Washington, D.C.– On behalf of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), Chair Sara C. Bronin has called on Congress to reject provisions in 15 bills that would exempt certain types of infrastructure projects from review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 106 requires federal agencies to consider the effects of projects, carried out by them or subject to their assistance or approval, on historic properties. This consideration is accomplished through consultation with key stakeholders and consideration of the views of the public.

“With the largest number of streamlining efforts ever under development at the ACHP, and the ACHP’s leadership in initiating government-wide permitting efficiencies, we are doing our part to move key infrastructure projects forward while still protecting historic properties,” Chair Bronin said. “As just one example, I recently issued a decision that will expedite broadband construction across the country in a manner that avoids or minimizes impact on historic resources. We encourage Members of Congress to learn more about the tools we already have available—and are using—to balance preservation and progress.”

Following a vote on the issue by ACHP members, Chair Bronin sent letters to Members of Congress in leadership positions, and she will communicate further with key offices about existing opportunities to develop “program alternatives,” which provide more flexible approaches for federal agencies to comply with the requirements of Section 106 review while meeting other federal mission requirements and needs. These alternatives might be considered when an agency is carrying out a certain type of undertaking repeatedly; is addressing effects to or treatment of a category of historic properties and finds it is more efficient than individual reviews; or finds that tailoring the process would reduce delays. These alternatives can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of Section 106 reviews and streamline routine interactions.

Chair Bronin will continue to communicate the willingness of the ACHP to work with federal agencies to explore the possibility of program alternatives.

The 15 bills addressed in the letters focus on broadband deployment, energy development, and the semiconductor industry:

  • Limit, Save, Grow Act (H.R. 2811)
  • Harnessing Energy at Thermal Sources (HEATS) Act (H.R. 7409)
  • Federal Land Freedom Act (S. 20/H.R. 98)
  • Building Chips in America Act (S. 2228/H.R. 4549)
  • Reducing Barriers for Broadband on Federal Lands Act (H.R. 3297)
  • Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act (H.R. 3288)
  • Brownfields Broadband Deployment Act (H.R. 3292)
  • Coastal Broadband Deployment Act (H.R. 3311)
  • Connecting Communities Post Disasters Act (H.R. 3301)
  • Proportional Reviews for Broadband Deployment Act (H.R. 3291)
  • Reducing Antiquated Permitting for Infrastructure Deployment (RAPID) Act (H.R. 3323)
  • Streamlining Permitting to Enable Efficient Deployment (SPEED) for Broadband Infrastructure Act (H.R. 3342)
  • Timely Replacement Under Secure and Trusted for Early and Dependable (TRUSTED) Broadband Networks Act (H.R. 3280)
  • Wildfire Communications Resiliency Act (H.R. 3296)
  • Wireless Broadband Competition and Efficient Deployment Act (H.R. 3289 and 7376)

View the letters below:

ACHP Comments on 11 Broadband Bills

ACHP Comments on Limit, Save, Grow Act

ACHP Comments on Harnessing Energy At Thermal Sources (HEATS) Act 

ACHP Comments on Federal Land Freedom Act (Senate version; identical sent to House)

ACHP Comments on Building Chips in America Act