What is the Section 106 Review Process?
Section 106 of the NHPA requires federal agencies to evaluate the impacts of actions they authorize, fund, or carry out to historic properties and cultural resources. Federal agencies evaluate their impacts by requiring their project proponents to undergo Section 106 Review with the State Historic Preservation Office to ensure that there are no impacts to sites that are eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The important distinction in Section 106 is that it requires evaluation of impacts to cultural resources ONLY when and where the project involves a federal permit, federal lands, or federal funds.
So, for example, if a project is impacting wetlands within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ jurisdiction (federal trigger: Clean Water Act Section 404), cultural resources must be evaluated at the discrete wetland location (which is the extent of USACE jurisdiction) but not in the non-regulated private uplands. In this same example, if a project was to avoid all impacts to wetlands (and other waters of the U.S.) and thereby avoiding USACE permitting altogether, then the project would NOT require Section 106 review since there is no federal trigger. Or, as another example: if a project is federally-funded (federal trigger: funding) up to 100 percent of the project may have to be assessed for cultural resources because the entire project is within a federal action.
Learn more about Section 106 Review here >>