The U.S. Congress established Section 106 as part of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA). NHPA, strengthened and expanded by several subsequent amendments, today has become the cornerstone of this country's historic preservation policy.
The NHPA was enacted because of concern that many of our nation's historic resources were not receiving adequate attention as the government sponsored public works projects. In the 1960s, federal historic preservation law applied to only a handful of nationally significant properties, and Congress recognized that new legislation was needed to protect other historic properties that were being harmed by federal activities. For purposes of Section 106, any resource listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places is considered a historic property.
Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, federal agencies must identify and evaluate cultural resources and consider the impacts of undertakings they fund, license, permit, or assist on historic properties listed in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The federal agencies must afford the State Historic Preservation Officer and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (Council) the opportunity to comment on these federal undertakings.
The term "federal undertaking" includes a broad range of federal activities: construction, rehabilitation and repair projects, demolition, licenses, permits, loans, loan guarantees, grants, federal property transfers, and many other types of federal involvement. Whenever one of these activities affects or has the potential to affect historic properties in Arkansas, the sponsoring federal agency is required to seek the comments of the AHPP, the Council, and other consulting parties.
The federal agency involved in the proposed undertaking is responsible for initiating and completing the Section 106 review process. In certain circumstances, local governmental bodies may act as the responsible agency. There can be other participants in Section 106 review as well. At times, local governments, Indian tribes, applicants for federal grants, licenses or permits, and others may join in the review process when it affects their interests and activities.
Section 106 review is a federal agency responsibility and the applicant should contact the agency sponsor regarding their Section 106 policies and procedures. The AHPP does not approve projects, but provides technical assistance to federal agencies and is afforded the opportunity to comment on federal undertakings as set forth in 36 CFR Part 800.
Through the Section 106 Review process, the AHPP can work with the federal agencies to protect cultural resources by bringing historic properties into consideration during the early stages of project planning or developing measures to mitigate any adverse effects. The AHPP Section 106 staff reviews thousands of projects each year.
For more information, email the Review personnel at [email protected] or write the AHPP at 1100 North Street, Little Rock, AR 72201, or call the agency at 501-324-9880 (TDD 501-324-9811).