The ACHP is proposing an exemption (exempted category) that would release all federal agencies from the Section 106 requirement to consider the effects of their undertakings involving the installation and placement of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). Under 36 CFR 800.14(c), the ACHP or an agency official may propose a program or category of undertakings that may be exempted from review under the provisions of Subpart B of the Section 106 regulations.

Background

Several sections within the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) of 2021, as well as Executive Orders 14008 and 14057, have committed the federal government to modernize its entire vehicle fleet to electric vehicles, which will necessitate the installation of supply equipment to support their operation. The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Federal Preservation Officer convened a federal work group of several agencies, including representatives of the General Services Administration (GSA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), to consider a programmatic solution to address the significant increase in undertakings as a result of these mandates. Given the applicability of these requirements to federal agencies across the government, the ACHP determined it would lead the effort to develop the programmatic solution.

The ACHP is proposing this exemption because the installation of EVSE is likely to result in minimal or no effects to historic properties when certain conditions are met. Because the EVSE relies on existing electric infrastructure, as well as existing parking structures and areas, minimal ground disturbance will be needed. Further, the equipment itself will either be placed in a way that is minimally visible, or will utilize colors that allow it to blend in. Finally, EVSE is easily reversible, allowing any effects to be temporary in nature.

The proposed exemption would apply to the installation of EVSE on federal, state, and private lands. However, the exemption would not apply on tribal lands unless the Tribe agrees in advance to allow the exemption. Additional details on that option will be developed in consultation with Indian tribes.

What is EVSE and How Would a Section 106 Exemption Apply?

  • EVSE consists of the electrical hardware used to supply electric energy to a plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) in order to charge a PEV’s batteries. 
  • As illustrated below, the proposed exemption would apply to Level 1, 2, and 3 (also known as DC) EVSE for passenger cars and light-duty vehicles installed in existing designated parking areas or structures, utilizing existing electric infrastructure. The proposed exemption would apply to wall mount, pole mount, or freestanding EVSE. It does not apply to EVSE which requires the installation of a photovoltaic canopy or solar panels.
  • As currently proposed, only minimal changes to a facility’s or location’s distinctive materials, features, spaces, and spatial relationships, including landscapes and streetscapes, can be made. The consultation process may result in modifications to the proposed language.
  • EVSE installation is reversible and temporary, ensuring that these nonadverse effects to historic properties are not permanent. 
Three cars plugged into different kinds of charging stations
Images courtesy www.advancedenergy.org

Consultation and Public Participation

A small working group of Federal Preservation Officers assisted the ACHP in developing the initial language for the draft exemption. Consistent with the regulations, and as the proponent for the exemption, the ACHP is responsible for conducting consultation with State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and other consulting parties, as well as ensuring public participation opportunities consistent with the proposed exemption’s scope.

The ACHP hosted consultation meetings with SHPOs, THPOs, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and other consulting parties via Zoom in June 2022. There was general support among consulting parties for the exemption, although questions were raised regarding potential additional conditions to ensure the nonadverse effect threshold would be met during the installation of EVSE. A second round of consultation to discuss the revised draft exemption has been scheduled for late August 2022. Public comments on the proposed EVSE exemption were solicited through a Federal Register notice. 

The ACHP will continue to update this page with information about how comments have been considered and addressed.

Any questions or requests to be a consulting party should be directed to program_alternatives@achp.gov with the subject line “EVSE Exemption.”

Additional Resources

More information about EVSE installation and use can be found in the following federal agency resources.

These links are being provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement or an approval by the ACHP of any of the products, services or opinions of the corporation or organization or individual. The ACHP bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Please contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content, including its privacy policies.