What is Section 106
Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of Federal undertakings on historic properties. Historic properties include any district, site, building, structure, or object that is included or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. In Pennsylvania, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has delegated certain section 106 responsibilities to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for FHWA-aid or FHWA-permitted projects.
The section 106 process seeks to accommodate historic preservation concerns with the needs of the Federal undertaking through consultation among agency officials and other parties with an interest in the effects of the undertaking on historic properties.
The goal of consultation is to identify historic properties potentially affected by the undertaking, assess effects and seek ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate any adverse effects on historic properties. Learn more about the section 106 process.
Section 106 Consultation – Your Rights and Responsibilities
Under section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, consultation means “the process of seeking, discussing, and considering the views of others, and, where feasible, seeking agreement with them on how historic properties should be identified, considered, and managed.” Consultation is built upon the exchange of ideas, not simply providing information.
As part of the section 106 process, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) work with consulting parties. Consulting parties include: the State Historic Preservation Officer (Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission), Federally-recognized Indian Tribes, local governments, as well as other individuals and organizations with a demonstrated interest in the project.
Interest is demonstrated by the nature of a legal or economic relation to the project or affected properties, or concern with the project’s effects on historic properties. A landowner and a local preservation group are examples of an individual and organization with a demonstrated interest.
Consultation does not mandate a specific outcome. Rather, it is the process of seeking views on the project’s effect on eligible historic properties and, if the effect is adverse how project effects on historic properties should be resolved.
What is the New Statewide Section 106 Programmatic Agreement?
In April 2010, a New Statewide Section 106 Programmatic Agreement (PA) and Cultural Resources Administrative Procedures went into effect. The Programmatic Agreement among the Federal Highway Administration, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the State Historic Preservation Officer and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) delegated certain section 106 responsibilities to PennDOT for the Federal-aid Highway Program in Pennsylvania.