As massive government-sponsored construction projects, such as the interstate highway system, and urban renewal in older cities became commonplace after World War II, an estimated 25 percent of the nation's finest historic sites were lost. In response to growing public concern, Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 1966 (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.). The law established a national policy for the protection of important historic buildings and archeological sites, and outlined responsibilities for federal and state governments to preserve our nation's heritage.
The SHPO is mandated by the NHPA to represent the interests of the state when consulting with federal agencies under Section 106 of the NHPA and to maintain a database of historic properties. The NHPA also created the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), an independent federal agency in the executive branch that oversees the Section 106 review process. In addition to the views of the agency, the SHPO and the ACHP, input from the general public and Native American tribes is also required. The responsibilities of all parties in the Section 106 review process are set forth in federal regulations developed by the ACHP as 36 CFR 800: Protection of Historic Properties.
The NHPA requires any agency issuing a federal permit or license, providing federal funds or otherwise providing assistance or approval to comply with Section 106. A few examples of projects that require compliance with this law include:
The agency determines whether its proposed action is an undertaking. An undertaking is defined as "a project, activity, or program funded in whole or in part under the direct or indirect jurisdiction of a federal agency, including those carried out by or on behalf of a federal agency; those carried out with federal financial assistance; and those requiring a federal permit, license or approval".
Submit a letter to the SHPO initiating consultation for the project by defining on a map the Area of Potential Effect (APE).
Hire a professional consultant(s) to inventory all historic and archaeological resources within the Area of Potential Effect (APE) which are over 50 years old.
For further information on how to inventory historic buildings click here.
For further information on how to inventory archaeological resources click here.
Based on the inventory of historic and archaeological resources, the agency or government should make a determination of eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places for the various resources.
Properties already listed on the National Register are, of course, "eligible". Properties not yet listed are considered eligible if they meet the following criteria:
If there are no historic properties in the project area, or if the site is less than 50 years old, or if the site lacks integrity, the determination would be “No Historic Properties.”
Based on the inventory of historic and archaeological resources, the agency or government should make a determination of the effect/ impact will the work will have on the eligibile resource. Note that the "effect" needs to be determined only for eligible properties. There are three possible effects:
In most cases, archaeological sites receive a No Adverse Effect if the site’s value lies solely in its research potential, and the information can be preserved through appropriate research.
SHPO either concurs with the "determination(s)" and "effect" call(s) or does not concur. If SHPO concurs, one of the following effect determinations will be made:
If SHPO does not concur: Federal agencies may only make final determinations on their own with assistance from other federal agencies such as the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, or the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.