Federal Review & Compliance Defined
What is it? Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires that federal agencies
- take into account the effect of their undertakings on historic properties
- seek ways to avoid or reduce adverse effects their projects may have on historic properties
- afford the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation an opportunity to comment on the project and its effects on historic properties.
What does it do? The regulations that govern the "Section 106 process," as it is known, also require that the federal agency consult with the State Historic Preservation Office to:
- identify historic properties in the project area
- assess the effects a project may have on historic properties located in the project area
- seek ways to avoid or reduce adverse effects the project may have on historic properties
For example, if the Federal Highway Administration, through the Nebraska Department of Roads, contemplates construction of a new highway, it must contact the State Historic Preservation Office for assistance in determining whether any sites or structures listed on or eligible for listing on the National Register are located in the project area. (A list of National Register properties is available on this web site under the title National Register of Historic Places. While this provides an inventory of properties currently listed in the National Register it is not a substitute for a survey of additional potentially eligible resources in the Area of Potential Effect). If properties that meet National Register criteria are found, the Federal Highway Administration must consult with the State Historic Preservation Office to avoid or reduce any harm the project might cause to the property. Note that a property need not actually be listed on the Register to be affected, eligible properties are also considered. The Section 106 process must take place early enough in the planning process to allow for alternatives that would avoid adverse effects to historic properties; in the example above, the modification of a new highway's right-of-way could avoid an archeological site or historic barn.
Public participation in this process is vital. The Section 106 process requires the federal agency to seek views of the public and interested parties if adverse effects to historic properties are discovered through consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office examines information provided by the federal agency, the Nebraska Historic Buildings Survey, and the National Register, but often the most valuable information comes from comments provided by the public. Section 106 of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act (as amended) is intended to protect historic and cultural properties from unwitting federal action; it is truly a law that gives the public a voice.
Visit the Nebraska State Historical Society Archeological Survey page.
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's Website
Section 106 Flowchart by the ACHP
Section 106 Review Submittal Requirements
Archeological Properties (Section 106 Guidelines)
Archeological Contractors List
Apply to join the Archeological Contractors List: Contractor Form
View the Architectural Historian / Historian Contractors List (pdf)