Nationwide Programmatic Agreement for Section 106 of the NHPA


Have an upcoming project or planning session? Section 106 of the NHPA requires the NPS to take into account the effect their actions have on historic properties included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register. Funding and permitting projects also require compliance with Section 106.

The NPS has developed a Nationwide Programmatic Agreement (PA) for compliance with Section 106. The PA provides coordination between the National Park Service (NPS), the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), federally recognized Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations to implement Section 106 under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (NHPA).

The PA provides two paths for 106 compliance: a Streamlined Review for qualifying actions, and Standard Review for all other actions. In order to use the Streamlined Review, projects must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. The project falls within the categories of actions defined in the PA as “streamlined activities.”
  2. All historic properties have been previously identified and evaluated, in consultation with the SHPO/THPO, within the project’s Area of Potential Effects (APE).
  3. The Section 106 coordinator and members of the park’s CRM Team have certified that the effects of the action will not be adverse to historic properties.

If all three criteria are met, the Section 106 Coordinator can document the findings and the project can proceed without further Section 106 consultation. At the end of the calendar year, all streamlined review projects must be reported to the associated SHPO/THPOs as a stipulation of the programmatic agreement. If one or more of those criteria are not met, the project must be reviewed under the Standard Review 4-step process in consultation with the appropriate consulting parties.

For questions about implementation of the PA, please contact your Regional Section 106 Coordinator.

Who is it for?

The Programmatic Agreement is specifically oriented towards NPS staff members with roles in the Section 106 process: Superintendents, Section 106 Coordinators, and professionals on the Cultural Resource Management Team with roles in the Section 106 process at the park level. The PA assigns responsibilities to these individuals, indicates qualifications necessary for their participation, and outlines their roles in policy and procedure.

The PA also describes the involvement of individuals beyond the NPS. Non-NPS participants in the Section 106 process who might use the PA Toolkit include State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs); representatives of federally recognized Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, and others, as appropriate; contractors; and additional parties as necessary. For these individuals and parties, the PA provides information on the necessary qualifications to participate in the Section 106 process, procedures, lines of communication, and more.

Additional Information and Training

Complete the Section 106 Programmatic Agreement Learning Activity here on the CLP.

Download the 2008 Nationwide Programmatic Agreement and check out the Getting Started with Section 106 online course.

Here’s a brief checklist to consult regarding the PA: NPS Nationwide PA Checklist.

And for additional assistance, check out the Section 106 PA Guidance Document.

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