Review & Compliance

    Under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA), as amended, Section 106 requires a federal agency to take into account the effects of its projects on properties eligible for or listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The process is commonly referred to as Section 106 Review. Federal agencies are required to go through Section 106 review and Compliance before the expenditure of federal funds or the issuance of any licenses or permits.

    Federal agencies must allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) and other parties a reasonable opportunity to comment before proceeding with the project. Ultimately, Section 106 is a consultative process. Federal agencies must work with the State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa and/or the appropriate Tribal Historic Preservation Officer. Input from the general public and other interested parties is required. This consultation should occur at the early stages of planning, before work begins. The role of the State Historic Preservation Office of Iowa is to provide information and guidance in making recommendations to a federal agency on the potential effect of a project. However, the federal agency retains all decision-making authority.

    An Abbreviated Overview of the Section 106 Review Process

    These procedures were established by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) as presented in 36 CFR Part 800.

    Per the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, Section 106 requires federal agencies to follow four basic steps:

    • Initiate Section 106 to determine if Section 106 applies
    • Identify historic properties in the project area
    • Assess the effect of the project on historic resources
    • Resolve adverse effects

    Once the agency has defined the undertaking, identified the Area of Potential Effect (APE), and consulting parties, it is ready to begin Section 106 compliance. The agency must make a reasonable and good faith effort to identify historic properties within the Area of Potential Effect. The Area of Potential Effect must include areas directly or indirectly impacted by the action.. For example, the Area of Potential Effect for a natural gas pipeline would include not only the actual pipeline trench, but also includes the construction right-of-way, compressor stations, meter stations, staging areas, storage yards, access roads, and other ancillary facilities.

    The agency needs to consider the full range of effects that might occur. For example, a construction project might cause vibration impacts to historical archaeological sites that contain structural remains. Note, too, that the Area of Potential Effect might be different for above-ground resources subject to visual or audible effects.

    A successful, complete Section 106 review by federal agencies involves the following:

    • Seeking out and engaging interested parties and consulting with them throughout the process
    • Gather information to determine which historic properties are located within the Area of Potential Effect
    • Determine effects on the historic properties
    • Avoid, minimize or mitigate the effect to those historic properties
    • Reach an agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office/Tribal Historic Preservation Office to resolve adverse effects or obtain comments from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

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