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As of February 22, 2021, the PA SHPO is requesting all submissions for Environmental Review under Section 106 and the Pennsylvania History Code be made through PA-SHARE. Providing detailed and accurate project information facilitates PA SHPO review and response time. PA SHPO's legally mandated review period is within 30 days of receiving a complete project submittal. PA SHPO makes every effort to provide comments within this time frame. When providing information, please be aware that environmental review extends to the entire project area, whether licensed, permitted, or funded in whole or in part by a state or federal agency.
Please note: Under the Pennsylvania History Code, all state agencies are required to initiate consultation with the PA SHPO when projects they manage or sponsor could affect historic resources.
Identification of Historic Properties
One of the first steps in the environmental review process involves identifying resources that may be affected by a project. The federal agency, its applicant, or authorized consultant must make a "reasonable and good faith effort" to identify any significant historic resources within the project area. These resources may already be known or they may be found through a survey of the project area. The PA SHPO's inventory of previously-identified resources is available online through PA-SHARE. If further investigations are warranted for a project, consultants should follow all applicable PA SHPO survey standards.
Before conducting survey work, it is important to have a clear understanding of the needed scope of work and to submit a survey proposal for approval through PA-SHARE. You can also contact the appropriate reviewer to discuss the level of effort needed to identify historic properties within your project area.
Determinations of Eligibility
"Historic properties" are those resources (prehistoric or historic sites and buildings, structures, districts, objects) listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register criteria are standards by which all properties requiring consideration under the environmental review process are evaluated for significance and integrity. The PA SHPO provides guidance for evaluating the National Register eligibility of historic resources in Pennsylvania.
Resolution of Effects
Once historic properties are identified, the environmental review process works to avoid or minimize effects on historic properties through consultation. Avoiding an adverse effect is often accomplished through project redesign.
It may not always be possible to avoid an adverse effect while meeting the project needs, environmental or design constraints, or other requirements. Typical examples of adverse effects include:
- Physical destruction of a historic building or archaeological site
- Inappropriate alterations
- Change of a property's setting or location
- Introduction of visual or audible intrusions
- Neglect of a resource that leads to its deterioration
- Transfer of a property out of state or federal ownership without adequate restrictions to ensure its long term preservation
Adverse effects are resolved through further consultation among the agency, applicant and consulting parties and negotiation of an agreement document. The agreement document stipulates specific measures the federal or state agency and/or applicant will implement to mitigate the undertaking's adverse effects. Further guidance on preparing agreement documents may be found on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's website. It is also necessary to notify the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) using their e106 system.