Section 106: A Quick Overview and SHPO’s Role in the Process

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires that all federal agencies planning actions defined as undertakings (i.e., activities making use of federal funds or requiring federally-issued permits, licenses, or approval)--or even state agencies, municipalities, or other parties making use of pass-through federal funds or approvals for their projects--"take into account" the potential effects of their proposed projects on historic properties.

Historic properties are historic resources (either archaeological, architectural or engineered in the form of buildings, structures, districts, sites, and objects) that are either listed in, or eligible for listing in, the National Register of Historic Places.

Federal agencies, or their designees, are responsible for making all decisions regarding historic properties. The SHPO claims no authority to halt, stop, or cancel a project--nor is that the intent of the NHPA.

The SHPO's responsibility in a review and compliance context is restricted to providing recommendations and comments on a federal agency's determinations or inventories, reports, and plans prepared under the authority of project- or agency-specific Agreement Documents.

For additional information, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs - found in the Resources tab of this section) and/or listen to this audiofile of Section 106 in a Nutshell.