WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation granted the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) its request to extend the time period when it can use the emergency provisions of Section 106 for the review of projects that are a direct response to emergency and disaster declarations on the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Unless extended, such emergency provisions are applicable only within 30 days of an emergency or disaster declaration. This extension adds six weeks to that period.

“It is vital for the ACHP to work with its federal partners, using the emergency provisions for National Historic Preservation Act reviews, to help protect the welfare of the public,” ACHP Chairman Aimee Jorjani said. “We invite all federal agencies to contact us with questions and allow us to assist them in achieving their objectives during this difficult time.” 

The ACHP granted the extension under 36 C.F.R. § 800.12 of the regulations implementing Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act through May 29, 2020, for projects that respond to COVID-19 under the national emergency declared by President Trump on March 13, 2020; major disasters declared by President Trump for states; and other COVID-19 emergencies or disaster declarations that have already been issued by the President, a tribal government, or the governor of a state, or may be issued by any of them while the extension is in place.

The extension applies to Responsible Entities, state and local governments that assume authority for environmental reviews under HUD regulations and HUD program offices that conduct environmental reviews. Under many HUD programs, federal environmental and historic preservation responsibilities are delegated to such state and local governments. Responsible Entities include state or local government entities that receive funds from various HUD programs such as the Community Development Block Grants. As one of HUD’s longest-running programs, it provides funds for local community development activities related to affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, and infrastructure development.

The Section 106 emergency procedures may only be used for projects that respond to COVID-19 emergencies or disaster declarations. Such projects may include establishment of testing centers, conversion of existing facilities to treatment and quarantine facilities, and acquisition of buildings that could be adapted for group living. 

HUD may approach the ACHP for further extensions as needed. Read the ACHP letter to HUD Deputy Assistant Secretary John Bravacos.