American Recovery Act & Section 106 Reviews
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. Many of the projects funded through the Recovery Act have the potential to support the preservation and productive use of historic properties.
Recovery Act Projects, like all federal and federally-sponsored programs and projects, are reviewed pursuant to Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires federal agencies to consider the effects of proposed federal undertakings on historic properties. NHPA’s implementing regulations found in 36 CFR Part 800, require federal agencies (and their designees, permittees, licensees, or grantees) to initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) as part of the Section 106 review process. SHPO consultations should be initiated early in the project planning process, BEFORE the project is begun.
What is an undertaking?
Undertaking means 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. (§800.16 (y))
If the undertaking is a type of activity that does not have the potential to cause effects on historic properties, assuming such historic properties were present, the agency official has no further obligations under Section 106. (§800.3(a)(1)).
Note: Certain types of projects funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program (EECBG), State Energy Program (SEP) and Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) are categorically exempted from the Section 106 SHPO consultation because they have been determined to have limited potential to adversely affect historic properties. These projects include undertakings for planning, training and educational purposes, undertakings to replace equipment on existing buildings or structures that result in no building or structure changes or ground disturbances, and undertakings on buildings or structures less than 45 years of age that will result in no ground disturbances.
A copy of the ARRA Programmatic Agreement between the California Energy Commission (CEC), Department of Community Servicces and Devlopment, USDOE, and OHP can be viewed here.
What is a historic property?
A historic property is any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places. For more information see National Register Bulletin 15, “How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation.”
OHP Section 106 Environmental Compliance Information
OHP Section 106 Staff Reviewers Contact Information
Minimum Information Needed for Section 106 Reviews
Guidance for Native American Heritage Commission Consultation
Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) Recovery Act Overview
ACHP Economic Impacts and Benfits of Historic Preservation
ACHP Coordination of Section 106 for Recovery Act Programs Q & A
ACHP Section 106 Tool Kit
ACHP Section 106 Recovery Act Updates