Skip to Content

Rule

Protection of Historic Properties

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble Start Printed Page 77698

AGENCY:

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

ACTION:

Final rule; revision of current regulations.

SUMMARY:

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is publishing its final rule, replacing the previous rule which implemented the 1992 amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and improved and streamlined the rule in accordance with the Administration's reinventing government initiatives and public comment. Litigation earlier this year challenged that previous rule. This rulemaking has addressed questions and concerns raised by that litigation, and has given the public a chance to provide input to determine how the rule has operated and revise the rule as appropriate. The final rule modifies the process by which Federal agencies consider the effects of their undertakings on historic properties and provide the Council with a reasonable opportunity to comment with regard to such undertakings, as required by section 106 of the NHPA. The Council has sought to better balance the interests and concerns of various users of the section 106 process, including Federal agencies, State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs), Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (THPOs), Native Americans and Native Hawaiians, industry, and the public.

DATES:

This final rule is effective January 11, 2001.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

If you have questions about the rule, please call Frances Gilmore or Paulette Washington at the regulations hotline (202) 606-8508, or e-mail us at regs@achp.gov. When calling or sending e-mail, please state your name, affiliation, and nature of your question, so your call or e-mail can then be routed to the correct staff person. Informational materials about the new rule will be posted on our web site (http://www.achp.gov) as they are developed.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The information that follows has been divided into five sections. The first one provides background information introducing the agency and summarizing the history of the rulemaking process. The second section highlights the changes incorporated into the final rule. The third section describes, by section and topic, the Council's response to public comments on this rulemaking. The fourth section provides a description of the meaning and intent behind specific sections of the final rule. Finally, the fifth section provides the impact analysis section, which addresses various legal requirements, including the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Unfunded Mandates Act, the Congressional Review Act and various relevant Executive Orders.

I. Background

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (“Council”) is the major policy advisor to the Government in the field of historic preservation. Twenty members make up the Council. The President appoints four members of the general public, one Native American or Native Hawaiian, four historic preservation experts, and one governor and one mayor. The Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture, four other Federal agency heads designated by the President, the Architect of the Capitol, the chairman of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the president of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers complete the membership.

This final rule sets forth the revised section 106 process. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 470f (NHPA), requires Federal agencies to take into account the effect of their undertakings on properties included in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and to afford the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment on such undertakings.

Through Section 211 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Council is authorized to “promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to govern the implementation of section 106 * * * in its entirety.”

After publishing two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (59 FR 50396, October 3, 1994; and 61 FR 48580, September 13, 1996), the Council published a final rule setting forth a revised process implementing section 106 in its entirety (64 FR 27044-27084, May 18, 1999). Such rule went into effect on June 17, 1999, and superseded the rule previously issued in 1986.

Two major forces behind that revision process were the 1992 amendments to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and the Administration's reinventing government efforts. In October, 1992, Public Law 102-575 amended the NHPA and affected the way section 106 review is carried out. Among other things, the 1992 amendments:

1. Clarified that “[p]roperties of traditional religious and cultural importance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization may be determined to be eligible for inclusion on the National Register.” 16 U.S.C. 470a(d)(6)(A);

2. Required that “[i]n carrying out its responsibilities under section 106, a Federal agency shall consult with any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that attaches religious and cultural significance to properties described” above. 16 U.S.C. 470a(d)(6)(B). Also see 36 CFR 800.2(c)(3) (granting such tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, “consulting party” status in the section 106 process). Implementation of this statutory consultation requirement is found throughout the proposed rule. See, for example, 36 CFR 800.3(f)(2), 800.4(a)(4), 800.4(b), 800.4(c)(1), 800.5(a), 800.6(a)-(b).

3. Added a provision in the NHPA prohibiting Federal agencies from granting a license or assistance to applicants who, with the intent to avoid the requirements of section 106, significantly adversely affected historic properties related to the license or assistance. In such cases, the Federal agency can only grant the license or assistance if it determines, after consulting with the Council, that circumstances justify granting the license or assistance despite the effects to the historic property. 16 U.S.C. 470h-2(k). See 36 CFR 800.9(c).

4. Explicitly recognized the long-standing practice of having Federal agencies develop agreements to address adverse effects of their undertakings to historic properties. This practice had also been recognized in the earlier, 1980 amendments, where Section 205(b) of the NHPA was changed to state that the Council could be represented in court by its General Counsel regarding “enforcement of agreements with Federal agencies.” It also clarified that where such an agreement is not reached, the head of the relevant Federal agency must document his/her decision pursuant to section 106. Such agency head cannot delegate that responsibility. It also provided that agreements executed pursuant to the section 106 process would govern the relevant Federal undertaking and all its parts. 16 U.S.C. 470h-2(l). See 36 CFR 800.6, 800.7.

5. Added a member to the Council. This Council member would be a Native Start Printed Page 77699American or Native Hawaiian appointed by the President. 16 U.S.C. 470i(a)(11).

6. Explicitly clarified the fact that the Council has authority to “promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to govern the implementation of section 106 of this Act in its entirety.” 16 U.S.C. 470s (emphasis added) (highlighted text was added by the 1992 amendments); and

7. Amended the definition of the term “undertaking,” by adding “[projects, activities, and programs] subject to State or local regulation administered pursuant to a delegation or approval by a Federal agency” to the list of actions constituting an “undertaking.” 16 U.S.C. 470w(7)(D). The amended, statutory definition of “undertaking” was adopted verbatim in the rule. 36 CFR 800.16(y).

Additionally, as part of the Administration's National Performance Review and overall regulatory streamlining efforts, the Council undertook a review of its regulatory process to identify potential changes that could improve the operation of the section 106 process and conform it to the principles of the Administration. A description of the Council's revision efforts from 1992, which led to the final rule that went into effect in 1999 (“1999 rule”), is found in its preamble (64 FR 27044-27084, May 18, 1999). That preamble extensively details its history, purpose, intent, and response to public comment.

On February 15, 2000, the National Mining Association (“NMA”) filed a lawsuit challenging the 1999 rule. Among other things, the lawsuit alleged violations of the Appointments Clause of the Constitution and certain provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act pertaining to rulemaking. After assessing the allegations contained in the lawsuit, the Council decided to move forward with the present rulemaking process that culminates today with this final rule. The Council believed that this rulemaking would provide an opportunity to address assertions about the procedural adequacy of the promulgation of the 1999 rule, including those about the participation of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (“Trust”) and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (“NCSHPO”), as Council members, in the adoption of the final, revised rule. It would also give the public a chance to provide input to determine how the rule has operated and revise the rule as appropriate. This rulemaking does not evidence Council agreement with the merits of the allegations but, rather, the Council's desire to remove these issues from litigation.

Accordingly, at the June 23, 2000 Council meeting in Maine, the Chairman of the Council asked the Council members to take two actions. The first action was a new vote on the adoption of the 1999 rule, without the participation of the Trust and NCSHPO. The Council members voted 16-0 in favor of the 1999 rule, with the Trust and NCSHPO voluntarily recusing themselves from the vote and any deliberation on it.

The second action was a vote on undertaking the present rulemaking process, using the text of the 1999 rule as the proposed rule. Again, the Council members voted in favor of moving forward with the rulemaking by a vote of 16-0, with the Trust and NCSHPO voluntarily recusing themselves from the vote and any deliberation on it. Accordingly, on July 11, 2000 the Council published a proposed rule for public comment (65 FR 42833-42849).

The public was given a 30-day period, until August 10, in which to comment on the proposed rule. All those who filed a timely request for an extension of the comment period were given until August 31 to submit their comments. We believe the extension granted was reasonable in light of the circumstances.

As stated above, the text of the proposed rule submitted for public comment was the same as the one for the final rule that had been in effect for more than a year. That final rule, in turn, was the product of a rulemaking process that afforded the public ample opportunity, throughout six years, to participate and comment. The preamble of that 1999 final rule (found at 64 FR 27044-27084, May 18, 1999) extensively details its history, purpose, intent, and response to public comment. It is a lengthy document and will not be re-printed here.

After the close of the public comment period, the Council, minus the Trust and NCSHPO, considered the comments and incorporated changes into a draft rule as was deemed appropriate. On November 17, 2000, the Council voted on whether to adopt the draft rule as a final rule. As stated before, the Council members representing the Trust and NCSHPO had already recused themselves from the rulemaking process and proposed suspension. They accordingly removed themselves from the table and took no part in the deliberations and vote on this matter.

The Council voted to adopt the draft rule as the final rule now being published, by a vote of 17 for, 1 abstention, and none against.

The Council reiterates that the Trust and NCSHPO did not participate in any way whatsoever in the deliberations, decisions, votes, or any other Council activities regarding this rulemaking. Their only participation in this rulemaking took the form of a written comment filed by NCSHPO on the proposed rule. Such comment was submitted by NCSHPO, as a member of the general public, during the commenting period provided by the notice of proposed rulemaking.

II. Highlights of Changes

The Council retained the core elements of the section 106 process that have been its hallmark since 1974. The Council also retained the major streamlining improvements that were adopted in June, 1999. Changes adopted were primarily modifications to remove operational impediments in the process and clarifications of certain provisions and terms. In addition, a number of technical and informational edits were made throughout the rule. Major changes are as follows:

1. Clarification of the Role of State Historic Preservation Officers.

Section 800.2(c)(1) was amended to acknowledge the statutory responsibility of SHPOs to cooperate with agencies, local governments, and organizations and individuals to ensure that historic properties are considered in planning.

2. Clarification of the Role of Indian Tribes and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers

Section 800.2(c)(2) was completely rewritten to better distinguish the roles of Indian tribes that had assumed the responsibilities of SHPOs on their tribal lands under section 101(d)(2) of the Act from that of Indian tribes which had not. The Council notes that these amendments do not change the substantive role of non-101(d)(2) Tribes or any other party in the section 106 process under the proposed rule, but simply provide for a clearer rule. Section 800.2(c)(2)(ii) was also amended to clarify that the Act requires agency consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations that attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties regardless of whether the historic properties are located on or off tribal land. Section 800.2(c)(2)(ii)(B) was amended to better reflect the sovereignty of Indian tribes over their tribal lands. Start Printed Page 77700

3. More Flexibility To Involve Applicants

Section 800.2(c)(5) was amended to resolve a major problem regarding the participation of applicants for Federal assistance or permission in the Section 106 process. Under the change, an agency may authorize a group of applicants to initiate the section 106 process, rather than being required to grant individual authorizations. Language was also added to clarify that such authorizations do not relieve the Federal agency of its obligations to conduct government-to-government consultation with Indian tribes.

4. Clarification of Undertakings Covered by the Section 106 Process

Section 800.3(a)(1) was amended to better state the premise of the rule that only an undertaking that presents a type of activity that has the potential to affect historic properties requires review. The previous language implied that making such a determination related to the circumstances of the particular undertaking, rather than the more generic analysis of whether the type of undertaking had the potential to affect historic properties.

5. Reinforcement of the Federal Agency's Responsibilities in Identifying Historic Properties

Section 800.4(a) was amended to assert that determinations in this subsection are made unilaterally by the Agency Official, after consultation with SHPO/THPO. Some had misunderstood the previous version as providing for consensus determinations.

6. Revision of the Role of Invited Signatories

Section 800.6(c)(2) was rewritten to remove confusion about the ability of the Federal agency to invite other parties to become formal signatories to Memoranda of Agreement and to clarify their rights and responsibilities as invited signatories. Also regarding memoranda of agreement, § 800.6(c)(8) was amended to provide that the option for their termination exists not only when one party simply cannot comply with its terms, but also when the terms are not being followed for whatever reason.

7. Revision of the Use of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) To Comply With Section 106

Section 800.8(c)(4) was rewritten to more clearly state the actions a Federal agency must take in making a binding commitment in an NEPA documents to carry out measures to avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse effects and thereby use the NEPA process to comply with section 106 requirements.

8. Redefinition of the Role of the Council When Improving the Operation of Section 106

Section 800.9(d)(2) was amended to require the Council to participate in section 106 reviews in a manner parallel to SHPOs/THPOs when the Council decides to join individual case reviews it would not otherwise engage in. This occurs when the Council has determined that section 106 responsibilities are not being properly carried out by an agency or SHPO/THPO and the Council's participation can remedy the problem.

9. Modification of Documentation Standards

Section 800.11(a) was amended to state that a Federal agency's responsibility to provide documentation was limited by legal authority and the availability of funds. Section 800.11(c)(2) was also amended to require Federal agencies to include the views of the SHPO/THPO when consulting with the Council on withholding confidential information.

10. Inclusion of National Register Eligibility Assessment in Consideration of Post-Review Discoveries

Section 800.13(b)(3) was amended to add a requirement that a Federal agency seeking expedited section 106 review for properties discovered after approval of an undertaking provide information on the eligibility of affected properties for the National Register.

11. Increased Flexibility for Programmatic Agreements

Section 800.14(b) was amended by the addition of a new section authorizing the Council to create “prototype programmatic agreements” which could be executed by a Federal agency and an SHPO/THPO without Council participation. This would permit routine programmatic agreements that follow an accepted model to be completed more expeditiously.

12. Improved Consideration of Stakeholder and Public Views on Proposed Exemptions

Section 800.14(c)(5) was amended to add Council consideration of the views of SHPOs/THPOs and others consulted when determining whether to approve an exemption from the section 106 process. The Council was also required to notify the agency and SHPOs/THPOs of it decision on the requested exemption.

13. More Flexibility for Federal Agencies When Consulting With Indian Tribes on Nationwide Program Alternatives

Section 800.14(f) was amended to reemphasize a Federal agency's obligation under various authorities to consult with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations when developing nationwide program alternatives, but to acknowledge that it is the agency's responsibility to determine the appropriate means of meeting those obligations.

III. Response to Public Comments

Following is a summary of the public comments received in response to the notice of proposed rulemaking, along with the Council's response. The public comments are printed in bold typeface, while the Council response follows immediately in normal typeface. They are organized according to the relevant section of the proposed rule or their general topic.

Section 800.1

The Council should expand the definition of SHPO responsibilities beyond cooperation with the Secretary, Advisory Council and Federal agencies to include explicit reference to organizations and individuals, such as regulatees and their consultants. The Council noted that such language was warranted by the NHPA, and therefore inserted language regarding such SHPO duties per section 101(b)(3)(F) of the NHPA.

The very last sentence of this section should be changed to: “The Agency Official is encouraged to initiate the section 106 process as early as practicable in the undertaking's planning so that it may consider impacts on historic resources.” The language on the proposed rule stated that the Agency Official “shall ensure that the section 106 process is initiated early in the undertaking's planning * * *” The Council disagreed with the commenter's proposed change since it is crucial that agencies initiate the section 106 process at a point where alternatives have not yet been foreclosed. Otherwise, the review would be rendered meaningless.

Council is urged to preserve flexibility provision under the 1986 regulations, which stated: “The Council recognizes that the procedures for the Agency Official set forth in these regulations may be implemented by the Agency Official in a flexible manner reflecting different program requirements, as long as the purposes of section 106 of the Act and these regulations are met.” Specific areas of Start Printed Page 77701flexibility are incorporated in the proposed rule to embody the general flexibility term found in the 1986 rule. Among these are: phased identification, compression of steps, NEPA coordination, and the various program alternatives under § 800.14 of the rule.

Section 800.2(a)

The regulations should state that Federal agencies that authorize applicants to initiate consultation are still responsible for their government to government relationships with tribes. The Council agreed and incorporated such change at § 800.2(c)(5) since the statement comports with Executive Orders and Memoranda regarding the government-to-government responsibilities of Federal agencies towards federally recognized tribes.

Requirements of § 800.14 preclude implementation of § 800.2(a) insofar as it calls for utilization of the agency's existing procedures to fulfill consultation requirements. The Council disagreed. The comment failed to consider the difference between procedures that implement 36 CFR part 800 (those under § 800.2(a)) and procedures that actually substitute/modify the process under 36 CFR part 800 (those under § 800.14).

Nothing in NHPA requires Federal agencies to consult with a particular party, thus, while such consultation may be beneficial, it should be left to the discretion of the Federal agency under NHPA. The Council not only believes that such consultation is beneficial, but it also believes it has the required authority to justify this and all other sections of the proposed rule. Consultation occurs in the section 106 process propounded by the rule in a way that is fully consistent with the statute. See, for example, the statutory language under section 101 of the NHPA regarding SHPO and THPO assistance to Federal agencies in the section 106 process, the consultation requirements with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations under the 1992 amendments to the NHPA, and language under Section 110 of the NHPA ensuring that public involvement occurs in the section 106 process. Such consulting entities have the specialized knowledge and interest that Federal agencies may lack. Consultation with these parties provides the Federal agency with the information it needs to make reasoned assessment of how its undertakings affect historic properties. Furthermore, it is clear to the Council through its years of experience, that such consultation is necessary and that Federal agencies heavily rely on such assistance (in particular that of the SHPOs). Please also refer to responses given under the legal topics.

Federal officials (and not State, local or tribal government officials) are responsible for taking into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. Furthermore, it is inappropriate to mention Section 112 of the NHPA in this section since the Council has no authority to enforce it. The Council agrees that the responsibility for section 106 compliance lies with Federal agencies, including the “take into account” responsibility. The Council clarifies that section 112 is merely restated in the rule for reference purposes (as opposed to enforcement).

ACHP refusal to take a position regarding delegation of authority have resulted in SHPOs disregarding FCC's jurisdiction and emphasizes on enforcement over historic preservation. During the time frame of this rulemaking, the Council issued a memorandum to the FCC, all SHPOs and the telecommunications industry clarifying its position on delegations of authority. This and several other issues mentioned by the telecommunications industry in this rulemaking process have been or are in the process of being addressed through ongoing discussions with the industry, the FCC and SHPOs. These discussions commenced before the present rulemaking process. Such ongoing discussions are referred hereinafter as “Telecommunications Working Group.”

Although section 101 of the NHPA establishes an advisory role for SHPOs to assist Federal agencies, the rules fail to establish consistent objective standards for SHPOs to apply in carrying out their duties. It undermines the ability of SHPOs and Federal agencies to adequately serve the Council's goal of protecting historic properties. The Council believes that the rule contains adequate standards that guide SHPOs in carrying out their functions. These standards can be found in various parts of the rule (e.g., criteria of adverse effect under § 800.5(a), and various definitions of terms under § 800.16). Further standards, such as the National Register Criteria of Eligibility (36 CFR part 63), are referenced in the present rule, and guide SHPO duties. Furthermore, pursuant to the NHPA, the Department of the Interior regularly reviews SHPO programs and ensures such programs and their personnel have the necessary expertise to guide their performance of their statutory duties, which include “to consult with * * * Federal agencies * * * on Federal undertakings that may affect historical properties.” 16 U.S.C. 470a(b)(3)(I).

“Delegation authority” should be expanded to include “approved” state agencies and other pre-approved designees to conduct section 106 coordination on behalf of the Agency Official. The Council disagrees since the comment fails to realize that such authority can only come through statute. Congress specifically placed section 106 compliance responsibilities on Federal agencies. Only Congress can shift that responsibility. The Council is only aware of certain Department of Housing and Urban Development programs containing such a statutory delegation.

Section 800.2(b)

Licensees should be recognized as consulting parties under the regulations. Applicants for licenses, permits, approvals or assistance are specifically listed in the rule as consulting parties (see §§ 800.2(c)(5) and 800.3(f)(1)).

Add the following to § 800.2(b)(2): “Within 30 days of receipt of a request for such advise, the Council shall reply in writing with advise, or it shall reply in writing that it will not offer advice stating its reason(s) for so doing.” This is needed to ensure Council responds in a timely fashion. The Council disagreed with this proposal. Time limits, and the consequences of not replying in time, are already specified in the proposed rule as needed.

Section 800.2(c)

Remove the first sentence of § 800.2(c)(1)(I). It is unrealistic to charge the SHPO with “reflecting the interests of the State and its citizens in the preservation of their cultural heritage.” This only encourages agencies to treat SHPO coordination as the be-all and end-all of consultation, even where large numbers of a State's citizens violently disagree with a SHPO position. The rule reasonably supports the idea that the SHPO reflects the interests of the State by virtue of being a State official appointed by the elected State Governor.

Several comments requested that the rule distinguish the roles of Tribes that have an approved “Tribal Historic Preservation Officer' (THPO) pursuant to section 101(d)(2) of the NHPA, and those that do not. The use of the term “THPO” for both was deemed to be highly confusing. As stated in the highlight of changes above, § 800.2(c)(2) was completely rewritten to better distinguish the roles of Indian tribes that had assumed the responsibilities of SHPOs on their tribal lands under section 101(d)(2) of the Act from that of Indian tribes which had not. The Council notes that these amendments do Start Printed Page 77702not change the substantive role of non-101(d)(2) Tribes or any other party in the section 106 process of the proposed rule, but simply provide for a clearer rule.

Many THPO's have construed this provision to mean that they must be invited to participate as “consulting parties” on all undertakings affecting properties of traditional religious and cultural importance, a position at odds with the NHPA. It is requested that the role of tribal representatives and THPO's in consultation off tribal land to be clarified consistent with the statute. The Council believes that section 101(d)(6)(B) of the NHPA clearly gives federally recognized tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations a right to be consulted regarding historic properties of religious and cultural significance to them. The cited section of the statute does not qualify that right depending on whether the historic property is located on or off tribal lands. It also does not qualify that right depending on whether the tribe has a THPO certified pursuant to section 101(d)(2) of the NHPA.

Too difficult to implement requirements of § 800.2(c)(2) when the project is not on reservation land. It is unreasonable for each Federal agency to develop on their own information as to which tribe(s) may be associated with specific geographic areas. While the Council acknowledges certain initial difficulties in identifying tribes to consult outside tribal lands, it believes the statute is clear in mandating such consultation regardless of the location of the historic property. The Council and the National Park Service are currently conducting a guidance project to assist agencies in identifying Indian tribes to be consulted.

Regulations do not create a “consultative” role for SHPO staff who would prefer to spend their time and efforts preserving historic properties rather than enforcing procedures on telecommunications projects. The SHPOs have a specific statutory duty to consult with Federal agencies and assist them with their section 106 duties. 16 U.S.C. 470a(b)(3)(I). Moreover, the SHPOs do spend their time directly preserving historic properties through their involvement in the section 106 process. The Council has not received contrary views from any SHPOs. Finally, similar issues of SHPO/telecommunications industry work in the section 106 process is being addressed by the ongoing Telecommunications Working Group.

Definition of “additional consulting parties” is too open ended, since it makes it possible for anyone who can claim a “concern” to become a consulting party, adding delays and expenses to the process (§ 800.2(c)(6)). Even if Council had authority over this issue, at a minimum the rule should require a demonstration of some form of protectable interest similar to the concept of legal standing. Standards for additional consulting parties adequately balance the project's need for expediency and the right of those with defined interests in getting involved in the process. To ensure this provision is not abused, the rule gives the Agency Official the ultimate discretion to invite additional consulting parties or not. The Council believes the Agency Official is in a better position to balance the benefits of including these parties against the costs of so doing. The Agency Official will be able to do this on a case by case basis, according to the particulars of the specific undertaking at issue.

Use of the phrase “SHPO/THPO” has led to misunderstandings concerning the different regulatory roles of the SHPOs and THPOs in consultation on projects located off tribal lands. Guidance is needed to clarify these roles. The Council believes the rule is clear in that Federally recognized tribes have to be consulted regarding historic properties of cultural and religious significance to them, regardless of the location of such properties. With the changes regarding the use of the term THPO, there should be no confusion as to consultative rights of tribes.

Expanded definition of consulting parties has made it difficult and time consuming for agency officials to establish an appropriate consultation process. Guidelines for determining formal consulting parties should be developed. The Council believes that §§ 800.2 and 800.3(f) set forth clear standards for who should be a consulting party, and a clear process for who makes the determination and when. A further expansion on this topic to aid Federal agencies is better suited for guidance.

Regulations give tribes a secondary role to SHPOs with respect to tribal cultural and sacred properties which are not on tribal lands. The 1992 Amendments were intended to provide tribes with rights at least equivalent to SHPOs regardless of where the properties are located. Tribes want same consultation rights as SHPO for tribal cultural properties located off tribal lands. SHPO role is a creation of the regulations and is not required in the Act. The Council does not believe that Tribes have a secondary role to SHPOs. They do have a different role however. The rule recognizes that Tribes are entitled to consult regarding historic properties of religious and cultural significance to them that may be affected by an undertaking. The SHPO is also entitled to consult, consistent with the definition of SHPO responsibilities in the Act, regarding historic properties. 16 U.S.C. 470a(b)(3).

The regulations assume that the THPO is a regulatory/executive body of a tribal government. Federal agencies believe that consulting with the THPO or tribal cultural resource manager fulfills the government-to-government responsibility. Agencies need to become familiar with this responsibility. The regulations fail to address or identify the process for government-to-government consultation. It is the duty of the relevant Federal agency (and not the Council) to specify how they meet their government-to-government responsibilities. See Executive Memorandum on Government-to-Government Relations with Native American Governments, dated April 29, 1994.

Granting SHPOs a role on tribal lands where there is no 101(d)(2) THPO is an intrusion on tribal sovereignty and is hypocritical since tribes are not given an equivalent role for their traditional cultural and sacred properties off tribal lands. The Council disagrees. Tribes that attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties must be invited to consult, regardless of where the property is located. The proposed rule follows statutory roles given to Tribes and SHPOs. See 16 U.S.C. 470a in general, and 470a(d)(2)(D)(iii).

The regulations provide a significant role for the THPO, above the tribal government leader. Federal agencies now have an “out” to avoid the government-to-government responsibility. Agencies need to learn, and ACHP trainers need to emphasize, the difference. The regulations should include a section that requires agencies to develop a process that recognizes the THPO role. The Council reasonably assumes 101(d)(2) THPOs are the appropriate contact for government to government relations. Nevertheless, the Council will confirm this statement with the Department of the Interior.

800.2(c)(3)(vi) is confusing. This allows for the SHPO and Council to ignore and avoid tribal involvement. It also provides an outlet for Federal agencies to disregard Federal law, E.O.s, etc. Finally, the SHPO then becomes a decision maker on tribal lands. This provision was requested by Tribal comments that wanted to avoid Tribes being required to sign an agreement if they chose not to sign it. A Start Printed Page 77703waiver under § 800.2(c)(3)(vi) requires positive action from the Tribe, and therefore does not present a loophole to be used by Federal agencies or any other entities.

A tribe that does not have a 101(d)(2) THPO does not have the same authority as a tribe that does. This gives the SHPO the ability to come onto reservation lands and dictate how the tribe handles its preservation program and individual projects. Would like the regulations to provide tribes the option of inviting the SHPO into consultation on tribal lands. Section 101(d)(2) of the NHPA provides for THPO substitution of the SHPO on tribal lands if approved by DOI. If there is no approved 101(d)(2) THPO, NHPA provides that the SHPO shall consult with Federal agencies on any undertaking within the State. Also, NHPA specifically states the right of private owners of land within tribal boundaries to request SHPO involvement in undertakings on tribal lands. See section 470a(d)(2)(D)(iii) of NHPA.

Change last sentence to: Nothing in this part alters, repels, interprets, or modifies tribal sovereignty or preempts, modifies, or limits the exercise of any such rights. This change would delete “is intended to . . .” The Council agreed with such a change since it was needed to more properly accord with tribal sovereign rights and the original intent of the section.

Section 800.2(c)(5)

Several comments requested that the rule be changed so that Federal agencies will not be required to give specific authorization for each applicant to initiate consultation with SHPO/THPOs. The Council supported amending the proposed rule to allow agencies to authorize applicants to initiate consultation on a broader basis than individual authorizations.

Because of the time and resources required to consult with Tribes, more Federal agencies are delegating their consultation responsibilities, without guidance, to consultants, applicants and others. Many tribes, however, refuse to interact with parties other than the Federal agency or agency director. The Council responds to this concern by clarifying that such insistence is due to the Federal agencies' government-to-government responsibilities under Executive Orders and Memoranda.

Delegating authority to applicants is delegating Federal agency responsibility. This process lacks the integrity of upholding the intent of laws and EOs. Generally, tribes are insisting on formal consultation with Federal agencies, not applicants. Federal agencies are required to consult with Indian Tribes on a government-to-government basis pursuant to Executive Orders, Presidential memoranda, and other authorities. The proposed rule therefore was amended to acknowledge this responsibility. The authorization to applicants to initiate consultation does not include consultation with Tribes.

Section 800.2(d)

Proposed part 800 elaborate procedures for public participation go well beyond the provisions of NHPA. NHPA does not require separate public notice and comment requirements at every stage of the review process. Recommend that part 800 recognize Federal agencies' existing public participation procedures and permit agencies to rely on those procedures in addressing adverse effects only. The rule does not require separate public notice and comment requirements at each step. Also, the proposed rule already allows for use of agency procedures. Nevertheless, it is simply impractical and illogical to solely rely on agency procedures for public involvement regarding section 106 if such procedures fail to address historic preservation issues.

Public participation provisions are an improvement over the 1996 proposed rule, but still invite problems. Council is not vested with authority to regulate public participation. Section 106 does not address this topic. Council has no authority to vest anyone, but itself, with a reasonable opportunity to comment on the Federal undertaking. The Council believes it has the required authority to justify this and all other sections of the proposed rule. Please refer to our response regarding legal authority, below.

This provision lies outside of the NHPA section 106 authority, and is a back door mechanism to impose upon Federal agencies the Council's interpretation of the interested public instead of leaving the interpretation of that role to the agencies, in consultation with the Secretary of Interior as provided for in section 110(a)(2)(E) of the NHPA. Deleting this provision is recommended. The Council disagrees. As stated below, the Council has the required authority to justify this and all other sections of the proposed rule. Furthermore, § 800.2(d)(3) allows the use of agency procedures to the extent they provide pertinent information on historic preservation.

Section 800.3(a)

Several comments requested clarification that under § 800.3(a) the agency should not be considering case-specific issues, and that in this section the reference is to “type and nature” of the undertaking. In light of these comments and practical experience, the Council agreed that such a change was necessary. The language in § 800.3(a) was amended to state that the determination is as to whether the undertaking is a “type” of activity that has the potential to cause effects on historic properties, assuming such properties would be present.

Regulations should address what happens with program alternatives or PAs that were executed before the effective date of the new regulations. Such agreements are still valid and will continue to be in effect according to their terms.

Section 800.3(b)

The section should read that the Agency Official “may coordinate * * *.” Council cannot require such coordination. The comment misreads the proposed rule. It only states that the Agency Official “should coordinate,” implying encouragement, but not requirement.

Section 800.3(c)

30 day response period is too long and only ensures the destruction or damage to an archeological site where the project went forward because of the necessities of the mission. A 15 day response period would be much more appropriate in recognition of the rapid forms of communication available. The Council disagrees. The 30 day time period reflects an adequate balance between project need for expediency and workload requirements on reviewers.

Either delete section 3(c)(3) altogether, or add further guidance or regulatory definition of the phrase “* * * and to the nature of the undertaking and its effects on historic properties.” Also, delete any discussion of timing in section 3(c)(4). It erroneously implies that nearly everything submitted to the SHPO falls under a 30 day review period. Review time periods should simply be referenced in the various sections of §§ 800.4-800.6. The rule indeed imposes a 30 day limit on SHPO/THPO at each step of the process where a formal response is required to findings and determinations, unless otherwise noted. See § 800.3(c)(4). SHPO/THPO cannot require the process to stop by failing to respond by the end of this period. On the other hand, there is no such clock for consultation alone (e.g., regarding APE or for seeking ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse Start Printed Page 77704effects). All that the Federal agency needs to do regarding such consultation is to make a reasonable effort to consult (which may or may not take 30 days) and move forward with the process.

Section 800.3(d)

Once SHPO declines to participate, Federal agencies should have no further burdens. To the extent that the Council is relying on SHPOs to comment or consult on its behalf under section 106, the agency complies with section 106 by providing SHPO (Council) an opportunity to comment. Rule should also contain presumption that SHPO concurs with a written finding if it does not respond within 30 days. Accordingly, § 800(d) should read: (1) If the SHPO declines in writing to participate, or otherwise cooperate, in the section 106 process, the Agency Official shall proceed as it believes appropriate; (2) If the SHPO does not respond within 30 days to a written finding under this part, or sooner if reasonably requested by the Agency Official, a presumption of concurrence with such finding shall be created. Federal agency obligations under section 106 of the NHPA do not terminate when the SHPO or any other entity declines to continue participating. SHPOs do not comment or participate in consultation on behalf of the Council. A process of allowing the agency to proceed without any Council review when SHPO declines to participate or respond within the 30 days is inconsistent with the letter, intent and spirit of the law. Nothing in the NHPA indicates in any way whatsoever that Federal agency responsibilities under section 106 disappear once a SHPO refuses to participate. The statute mandates Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties and afford the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment regardless of what any other entity does or does not do. 16 U.S.C. 470f. It is noted that the rule does have certain, reasonable presumptions of concurrence when a response does not come in time. See particularly, § 800.3(c)(4).

Section 800.3(f)

The regulations do not give adequate guidance regarding federally designated THPO's, Federally recognized tribes without a designated THPO, and federally recognized tribes not occupying tribal lands. Guidance is also needed to identify associated tribes, crosscutting boundaries or ancestral lands, differentiate among differing views of ancestral lands to ensure that tribes' rights are addressed without impinging upon the property rights of private landowners. Such information can be provided in guidance but is not appropriate in a rule. Furthermore, see information above regarding Council/NPS project regarding assistance to Federal agencies regarding ancestral lands.

Section fails to establish who is responsible for establishing the list of consulting parties, setting a time limit in which the SHPO should respond, and defining what constitutes a good faith effort in doing so. This comment is incorrect. The proposed rule does establish that the Agency Official is ultimately responsible for establishing the list of consulting parties. It also sets forth the 30 day comment period. The meaning of a “good faith effort” will be better handled through guidance.

Section 800.4(a)

This is a useful and important provision. Minor wording changes are proposed to remove any suggestion that the SHPO is responsible for the decision: “(a) Determine scope of identification efforts. In consultation with the SHPO/THPO and other consulting parties, the Agency Official shall (1) Determine and document the area of potential effects, as defined in § 800.16(d); etc.” The Council agreed with this recommended amendment since it clarifies that the ultimate decision here is made by the Agency Official. However, the phrase “and other consulting parties” was removed from the recommended language since the obligation to consult at this stage would not extend to other consulting parties.

Section on determining Area of Potential Effect fails to include time limit for a response by SHPO or other consulting parties to an agency's determination of APE. As stated above, the agency obligation is to consult. Failure by SHPO/THPO to respond to consultation within a reasonable time would allow agency to finalize its unilateral determination of the area of potential effect and move forward in the process.

Indian Tribes are given broad discretion to designate any property to which they attach religious and cultural significance, whether or not within tribal lands, as historic in the context of the consultation process. There are no standards directly relevant to the eligibility of such properties for the National Register. The broad discretion creates great uncertainty, delay, and costs. The rule should contain criteria on designating religiously or culturally significant properties. This comment is incorrect. These properties must be “historic properties” and therefore meet the National Register criteria. They must follow the same process as other potentially historic properties.

Requirement to consult with SHPO regarding the APE should be deleted. It needlessly extends the already protracted consultation process without any concomitant benefits. The Council believes that consultation with SHPO is valuable at this critical point to avoid later problems. Furthermore, consultation with the SHPO/THPO at this critical decision making point has always been viewed as an important part of the process. The Council decided to retain the duty to consult with the SHPO/THPO since the Council believes that SHPO/THPOs have special expertise as to the historic areas in their jurisdiction and the idiosyncracies of such areas, and can greatly assist the Agency Official, using such expertise, in determining an accurate area of potential effects. Nevertheless, it is noted that the Federal agency is ultimately responsible for making the final determination about the area of potential effect (i.e., the concurrence of the SHPO/THPO in such determination is not required).

In the case of scattered site housing rehabilitation program, the Agency Official should have the authority to determine that (1) the area of potential effect is limited to the property to be rehabilitated, and (2) any structure to be rehabilitated that is less than 50 years old is not considered eligible. The result would allow scattered site housing rehabilitation to proceed in a responsible manner without adding a time-consuming consultation process with no apparent benefit to the public or environment. The Council disagrees. Not all scattered site projects are the same. Where a block of properties are to be rehabilitated, the historic district may be affected. The less than 50 years old exemption should be handled during negotiation of a Programmatic Agreement.

Given that some of the tribes with ancestral interest in a project area are no longer physically located within the state, it is difficult or unfeasible to comply with this provision. The reg needs to set some practical limits on consulting with Tribes in identifying historic properties. The NHPA does not set such limits on consultation. The location of tribes and the boundaries of tribal lands are consequences of history to which tribes were subjected. Accordingly, the fact that a tribe may not live on or near a significant property should not be an impediment to its participation in consultation. As stated above, this is the subject of a guidance Start Printed Page 77705project currently under way between the Council and the National Park Service.

The regulations should set forth a process to follow when the SHPO disagrees with an agency determination of the area of potential effects (APE)—similar to the process for determinations of eligibility. Also, we need further guidance on what is considered “documenting” the APE. The Council believes the process in the rule regarding APE should remain unchanged. The determination of APE should be ultimately done by the Federal agency in consultation with the SHPO. SHPO can seek informal advice from the Council. Guidance could be developed regarding what is considered “documenting” the APE.

Section 800.4(b)

Comments recommended that the provisions of section 106 be extended only to properties formally determined eligible, and that this section should therefore be deleted. The Council disagrees. Both the Council and the Department of the Interior have interpreted the NHPA to require section 106 consideration of all properties that are listed on the Register, as well as all those that meet the criteria of eligibility on the National Register, regardless of whether a formal determination by the Keeper has been made. Well established Department of the Interior regulations regarding formal determinations of eligibility specifically acknowledge the appropriateness of section 106 consideration of properties that Federal agencies and SHPOs determine meet the National Register criteria. See 36 CFR 63.3. The NHPA specifically defines “historic properties” as those that are “included in, or eligible for inclusion on the National Register.” 16 U.S.C. 470W(5). Not only does the statute allow this interpretation, but it is the only interpretation that reflects (1) the reality that not every single acre of land in this country has been surveyed for historic properties, and (2) the NHPA's intent to consider all properties of historic significance. It has been estimated that of the approximately 700 million acres under the jurisdiction or control of Federal agencies, more than 85 percent of these lands have not yet been investigated for historic properties. Even in investigated areas, more than half of identified properties have not been evaluated against the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places. These estimates represent only a part of the historic properties in the United States since the section 106 process affects properties both on Federal and non-Federal land. Finally, the fact that a property has never been considered by the Keeper neither diminishes its importance nor signifies that it lacks the characteristics that would qualify it for the National Register.

Rule should clarify that the section 106 process does not impose identification burdens upon the private applicant. Although identification obligations are placed on Federal agencies, in reality the burden is often passed on to the applicant through delays or conditioning the agency's decision until the applicant has funded the identification efforts. Federal agency ability to shift burden to applicant is dependent on that agency's independent authority. The section 106 rule does not confer such authority nor relieve Federal agencies of its duties. This may be an appropriate guidance topic to be developed.

Regulations fail to respect the National Register nomination and listing process and grant unbridled authority to impose section 106 requirements on properties already deemed ineligible. Properties that are determined ineligible are not subject to section 106 consideration. Revisiting eligibility determinations is encouraged on certain occasions, but not mandatory.

Any imputation of a new substantive duty under section 106 to discover unidentified properties is negated by the detailed provisions for the discovery of unknown properties contained elsewhere in NHPA. The Council disagrees. The obligation to identify during planning is different than coming across something during construction. Further obligation is limited in scope, duration and intensity. The “discovery” provisions of the NHPA do impose a continuing duty to survey and identify historic properties. See 16 U.S.C. 470h-2(2)(A). However, the reality is that such an effort has not reached every acre of land of this country that could be affected by a Federal undertaking, and the NHPA seeks to protect historic properties even if they had not been identified prior to the proposition of an undertaking. This is clearly reflected in the statute where it provides, for example, that agency procedures implementing the Council's section 106 rule would provide a process for identifying historic properties. 16 U.S.C. 470h-2(a)(2)(E)(ii). The NHPA would not contain this language if it believed the other, general surveying provisions were sufficient.

Since SHPOs are statutorily required to conduct comprehensive statewide surveys of historic properties (section 101(b)(3) of NHPA), Federal agencies and permit applicants should not have to be required to engage in field investigations or surveys. SHPOs should already know what historic properties exist. No. Agency obligation to “take into account” effects on historic properties necessarily places an affirmative duty to identify historic properties. The Council notes that the rule does not compel shifting of such agency burden to applicants. Also, please refer to the immediately preceding response.

Although proposed rule on its face may place identification efforts on Federal agencies, the reality is that these burdens are borne by applicants. This is usually done by delaying or conditioning the Federal decision until the applicant has funded the identification effort requested by the SHPO or Council. This tactic is improper and the rule should clarify that the process does not impose the burden upon applicants through either direct or indirect means, including delays. The rule does not compel shifting of this or other Federal agency burdens to applicants. Section 106 obligations lie with the Federal agency. Although Federal agencies may be requiring submissions, as a basis of accepting applications, this is not compelled by the rule.

Council only has authority to promulgate rules regarding section 106. Since section 106 does not address the identification of historic properties or evaluation of historic significance, the Council has no authority to regulate these activities. The duty to identify historic properties are placed upon Federal agencies, the Secretary of the Interior, and SHPOs under other sections of the NHPA (namely sections 101 and 110). The Council disagrees. The NHPA grants the Council the authority to promulgate regulations regarding section 106 “in its entirety.” 16 U.S.C. 470s. It would be impossible for an agency to take into account the effects of its undertakings on historic properties (which include those listed on the Register, as well as those eligible for listing), as section 106 requires, if it does not know what those historic properties are in the first place. Accordingly, the identification and evaluation provisions of this rule are reasonable under the authority. Also, see response to comment above regarding ongoing identification duties.

This provision for phased identification and evaluation using an MOA is inconsistent with our prior understanding that an MOA should be used exclusively to stipulate mitigation measures for properties that have been identified and fully evaluated. With this change, why would an agency do a project specific PA? Phased identification acknowledges the reality Start Printed Page 77706of large projects. A programmatic agreement may be an alternative, but this provision expands the flexibility of the rule.

Section 800.4(c)

This section should be revised to overcome the current perception that agencies are required to identify every single specific property that may be affected and study each sufficiently to apply the National Register criteria. This drives up the cost of S. 106 consultation, unnecessarily delays the process, discourages consideration of indirect and cumulative effects, and complicates coordination with NEPA. The provision for phased ID and evaluation helps, but § 800.4(a) should be revised to make it clear that it is permissible to address eligibility prospectively, and to focus on “types of properties” rather than to identify every single property. The phased identification provisions of the rule are intended to deal with this issue. The Council intends to provide guidance regarding phasing.

Section 800.4(c)(1) is misleading in stating that tribes have “special expertise in assessing the eligibility of historic properties that may possess religious and cultural significance to them.” Their expertise is not in applying the criteria of eligibility, it is in identifying some kinds of historic properties and in identifying effects that might not be apparent to others. The current wording sets up the tribes to overrule decisions made by agencies and SHPOs. The Council clarifies that tribal expertise is not in applying the eligibility criteria per se, but in bringing a special perspective to how a property possesses religious and cultural significance. This reflects the fact that such Tribes are particularly well placed to provide insights and information on those properties of religious and cultural significance to them. It is common sense to reach out to the Tribes regarding these issues.

Requiring eligibility determination from the Keeper when SHPO disagrees with Agency Official determination gives SHPO a veto over the project. The Keeper eligibility process is so lengthy that applicants have no alternative but to go along with the SHPO's position regarding time-sensitive projects. SHPO can delay projects simply by claiming not to have sufficient information. Department of the Interior regulations require a response from the Keeper within 45 days. Those regulations also recognize the concurrent Agency/SHPO determination scheme. See 36 CFR part 63. The section 106 rule does not encourage wrongful delays by any party. Cases where an abuse of the process is suspected can always be brought to the attention of the Federal agency conducting the review and/or the Council.

Proposed rule gives Tribes the de facto ability to designate any property to which they attach religious and cultural significance as a historic property. Tribes can then pressure the Agency Official to take their concerns into account above all others. Proposed rule effectively requires Federal agencies to defer to Indian tribes on what properties are reached by section 106, and give added (if not dispositive) weight to religious considerations in that determination. The Council disagrees. Properties of religious and cultural significance to Tribes must meet the National Register criteria in order to be considered “historic” and subject to section 106 consideration. The fact that a Tribe attaches religious and cultural significance to them does not make them “historic,” but neither does it preclude them from meeting the National Register criteria. The Federal agency makes the determination of eligibility, and disputes are ultimately resolved by the Keeper based on the secular National Register criteria. The Tribe is consulted but, again, the ultimate decision in the case of a dispute with the Federal agency finding by a SHPO/THPO, is the Keeper.

The NHPA does not empower the Council to require Agency Officials to obtain a determination of eligibility from the Keeper. In fact the NHPA prohibits “any person or local government” from providing a nomination for inclusion of a property on the Register unless such property is located within a State where there is no SHPO. Moreover, this is redundant with 36 CFR part 63. There is no basis for requiring SHPO concurrence or agreement. Finally, the NHPA expressly prohibits the nomination of any historic property for the Register where the owner objects. 16 U.S.C. 470(a)(6). Such prohibition should be integrated into the proposed rule to reflect that when such objection is lodged with a Federal agency, they may terminate their section 106 review. The comment fails to realize that a determination of eligibility is not the same as a nomination/listing on the National Register. The Council also points out that under the NHPA, an owner's objection to a nomination/listing still can lead to the Secretary of the Interior determining the eligibility of the property. It should also be noted that this rule provides that an owner of an affected property can, and should be, invited as an additional consulting party in the section 106 process. See § 800.2(c)(6) of the rule. Finally, see responses above to the issue of Agency/SHPO concurrence determinations of eligibility.

Various comments comment suggested that in the last sentence, the word “special” should be changed to “unique.” The Council disagreed. The word “unique” excludes everyone else and gives the incorrect impression that Tribes have the final word that cannot really be challenged by the Agency. Also, see response above regarding the need of properties of “religious and cultural significance” to Tribes to meet National Register criteria in order to be considered “historic.”

Section 800.4(d)

The addition of a 30 day waiting period, even when no historic properties are identified, is unreasonable. Suggest that the waiting period after submission to SHPO/THPO be eliminated consistent with previous regulations. The Council disagreed. This period is necessary so the consulting parties and the Council can review the finding responsibly and object if appropriate. Such review also allows mistakes to be caught in time before they potentially lead to costly litigation.

Move this subsection under § 800.5 and re-title § 800.5 to “Assessment of Effects.” The proposed change was rejected since these are outcomes of identification and effect assessments. However, the Council may draft guidance on the topic of assessment of effects.

Section 800.5(a)

A tribal comment stated that the exemption of properties of religious and cultural significance from the demolition by neglect provision (§ 800.5(a)(2)(vi)) is so broadly written that it could lead to the loss of National Register districts in pueblos and other Native communities. This provision had been added at the request of Indian tribes. It specifies that the exception only applies where neglect and deterioration are recognized qualities of the property. A further safety valve is that a “no adverse effect” determination is subjected to review by consulting parties (which would include Tribes that attach religious and cultural significance to the historic property at issue). See § 800.5(c). Lastly, the Council is not aware of this provision having been applied inappropriately or over the objections of Tribes.

Criteria of adverse effect too broad, and encompasses activities of benefit to the public. Accordingly, such activities Start Printed Page 77707are delayed. Examples of such activities are: reclamation of abandoned mines, creation of wetlands, “hazardous material remediation” (§ 800.5(a)(2)(ii)), rehabilitation of historic properties, and provision of handicapped access. Adverse effect criteria are linked specifically to objective National Register criteria published by the National Park Service, which are used to determine characteristics that contribute to a property's historic significance. If those characteristics are adversely affected, then the historic significance is impaired. It is noted that program alternatives under § 800.14 are intended to deal with repetitive or minimal impact situations. Finally, while the listed activities may be of benefit to the public, it does not necessarily follow that such positive activities could not also cause an adverse effect on historic properties. Again, all that the section 106 process requires is that such effects be taken into account. The section 106 process does not prohibit any projects, beneficial or otherwise.

Proposed rule uses impermissibly vague and overbroad terms, in violation of the Due Process Clause. Its definition of “adverse effects” includes those when an undertaking “may” alter “indirectly” “any” of the characteristics making the property eligible in a way that would diminish the integrity of the property's “feeling” or “association.” Such definition does not give fair notice as to what it requires, and is not grounded on intelligible principles. This further complicates, expands, and lengthens the process, adding difficulties, costs and uncertainty. As stated above, adverse effect criteria are linked specifically to objective National Register criteria published by the National Park Service. The National Register criteria itself expands on the meaning of its terms and provides various examples. These criteria have been fleshed out through consideration and application countless times, over the years, since the program began, and explained through various guidance documents. For example, see National Register Bulletin 15, “How to Apply the National Register Criteria for Evaluation,” which includes definitions of the terms “feeling” and “association.”

Criteria of adverse effect should exclude “insignificant” transfers of property. De minimis transfers of property are being subjected to lengthy section 106 process. The rule provides for an avenue, under § 800.14(c), whereby the appropriate agency can pursue an exemption.

The criteria of Adverse Effect is devoid of any limitations on the proximity of an undertaking to a historic site, allowing the SHPO to be inconsistent and subjective when evaluating effects. The standard set forth under section 106 is effect, not proximity. While it is possible that distance separating an undertaking from a particular historic property may remove any effects, such a determination should be made on a case by case basis, and is not suitable for a generalization. Different undertakings simply have different areas of potential effects according to several factors such as the nature of the undertaking itself, the nature of the historic property at issue and topography.

The current and proposed rule do not take into account the fact the cumulative impact of adding a monopole to areas with modern intrusions would not be an adverse effect. The proposed rules, therefore, will lead to consultative gridlock as the expansion of wireless services continues. This and several other issues mentioned by the telecommunications industry in this rulemaking process have been or are in the process of being addressed through ongoing discussions with the industry, the FCC and SHPOs. These discussions commenced before the present rulemaking process. Such ongoing discussions are referred hereinafter as “Telecommunications Working Group.”

Section 800.5(b)

Final decision regarding adverse effects is charged on the Agency Official. Council has no authority to impose its determination on this matter. Council may comment on the issue, but the final decision is to be made by the Agency Official. The Council has used its expertise in setting up the criteria of adverse effects on this rule. It therefore has a justifiable role and the expertise in ensuring the correct interpretation of its rule. Section 800.7 of the rule is clear in stating that the Agency Official can terminate consultation on ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse effects, and request Council comments. The Agency Official can then proceed with its undertaking in any way it wants, after taking the Council's expert comments into account.

There is no basis for mandating consultation regarding adverse effects. To the extent that other sections of the NHPA require Agency Official consultation with the SHPO, these provisions are not to be implemented by section 106 regulations of the Council. The Council believes this consultation is reasonable and necessary in that it provides the Federal agency with the information and considerations needed for it to take into account the effects of its undertakings on historic properties. Consulting parties are defined in such a way as to ensure they have the necessary interest and competence in informing Federal agency decisions on historic properties. As elsewhere in the process, consultation ensures that correct and informed decisions are made and that mistakes are not overlooked. See response regarding legal authority, below.

To address agreements like Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Programmatic Agreements, the Council should add language which recognizes situations where the specific details of future activities are unknown and the consulting parties agree that adverse effects will be avoided through review and standard mitigation measures. Such language can, and many times is, used and provided for in the Programmatic Agreements themselves. There is no need to add this language to the process under the rule to reach such agreements. As stated before, the Council has revised the rule to provide for prototype agreements, which could be particularly helpful in the CDBG context.

Section 800.5(c)

Proposed rule gives Tribes power to require further analysis (and therefore delay) under the process whenever they attach religious or cultural significance to a property. Tribes are provided the same consultative opportunities to review an agency's findings that other consulting parties are provided. The rule only encourages, but clearly does not require, the agency to reach such concurrence. See response above to comments regarding properties of “cultural and religious significance.” Also see section 101(d)(6)(B) of the NHPA.

Subsection (c)(1) is directly contrary to NHPA since NHPA only requires documentation when an adverse effect is found. 16 U.S.C. 470(l). This comment misreads the statute. Section 110(l) of the NHPA simply indicates that when no solution to adverse effects is reached and embodied in an agreement in accordance with this rule, the Federal agency must document its decision after considering Council comment. This is completely different than providing the documentation necessary for reviewers to understand agency decisions in the normal section 106 process, which is reasonable and not precluded by anything in the statute. Start Printed Page 77708

Subsection (c)(2) must clarify that a finding of adverse effect does not require consultation under section 106. The Council is provided a reasonable opportunity to comment under section 106. The Council disagrees. Section 110(l) of the NHPA explicitly indicates its blessing of the Memorandum of Agreement consultation concept when it states that when no such solution is reached in accordance with this rule, then the agency head must document its decision after considering Council comment. Furthermore, the rule clearly states that once a Federal agency has entered into such consultation, it can terminate and proceed to Council comment.

Regarding § 800.5(c)(2)(i), anytime a consulting party objects to a finding, the Federal agency should notify all consulting parties and consult again with all parties prior to seeking consultation with the Council. Regarding 5(c)(3), the Council should also notify all consulting parties of its determination. Regarding the § 800.5(c)(2)(i) point, the Council clarifies that if consultation with the objecting party leads to changes affecting other parties, the Agency should go back to them. The Council also notes that it would notify all consulting parties regarding its § 800.5(c)(3) determination.

Section 800.6(a)

The regulations grant an unconstrained authority to require mitigation to avoid adverse effects with no constraints on cost and without requiring any nexus between the mitigation and actual adverse effect. Comment is incorrect. The agency can, based on the applicant's position, refuse any mitigation measures and terminate consultation. Furthermore, the rule is quite clear in that the consultation that may lead to an agreement is to avoid, minimize or mitigate the adverse effects on the historic properties.

Rules should provide that any Adverse Effect comment should include recommendations and core criteria for mitigation to reduce the effects to No Adverse Effect. While this is permissible, the Council believed the rule should not require it as a duty of SHPO/THPO at the determination of adverse effect step. Review at that point is intended to focus on identifying whether adverse effects exist, and not to provide a full range of mitigation options.

Section 800.6(b)

Proposed rule inappropriately attempts to require parties to sign an MOA to avoid additional delays from Council comment on the undertaking. Federal Register Council has no authority to require execution of a binding contractual agreement of any kind. Section 110(l) does not mean that the Council may compel the use of MOAs. This is beyond Council authority and must be deleted from the rule. The rule does not require or compel execution of an MOA. Furthermore, section 110(l) of the NHPA explicitly indicates its endorsement of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) consultation concept when it states that (1) when no such solution is reached in accordance with this rule, then the agency head must document its decision after considering Council comment, and (2) when such an agreement is reached, it shall govern the undertaking and all its parts.

There is no specific time period for Council review of a MOA when Council is participating in consultation which can significantly lengthen the section 106 compliance process. Regulatory time limits or guidelines (30-45 days) should be promulgated. Similarly, there is no review time specified for Council response to the submission of an executed MOA. Recommend time limit or guidelines of 30 days. The Council consults regarding MOAs but does not “review” them. The Council does not review executed MOAs, so there are no delays of agency action.

Section 800.6(c)

Several comments requested changes to the rule to clarify the issue of invited signatories. The Council agreed that this section needed to be changed. The changes to the rule indicate that the Agency Official is the one that ultimately decides who is an invited signatory, and that the rights to seek amendment or termination of an MOA attach to those that actually sign the MOA.

A comment regarding 36 CFR 800.6(c)(2)(I) supported retention of the permissive “may” in allowing agency to invite an Indian Tribe or Native Hawaiian organization to become a signatory to a MOA, but would find a language such as “should” or “shall” to be unacceptable. Several tribal comments, on the other hand, requested that the tribes be given a signatory right. This was a major issue during the development of the 1999 rule. After careful consideration, the Administration made a policy decision that is reflected in the proposed rule. Indian tribes are not mandatory signatories to an MOA dealing with effects on historic properties off tribal lands. The Council has no new evidence to support changing that position.

SHPOs are given broad discretion to determine appropriate mitigation for an MOA, resulting in the process being unregulated. This comment is incorrect. The Federal agency has the discretion to agree or disagree with SHPO/THPO views regarding an MOA. When an agreement is not reached, the agency goes for Council comment to wrap up the process.

Section 800.7(c)

There is no authority for the Council to dictate to Federal agencies how they consider Council comments, how they document or prepare records of decisions, nor how or whether they notify the public, nor require the agency to provide the Council with the decision prior to approving the undertaking. The NHPA specifically grants the Council the authority to promulgate rules to implement section 106 in its entirety. Section 106 requires Federal agencies to give the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment. Section 110(l) of the NHPA explicitly requires the Federal agency to document its decision made pursuant to section 106. The Council is well within its authority to implement these requirements and determine how such opportunity is provided the Council, and how the required documentation is provided.

Time for Council comment should be limited to 30 days, and the Agency Official could decide to grant an extension if it so desired. The Council believes the 45 day comment period is reasonable, takes into account the reality of staff and Council workload and need for adequate consideration, and reflects a shorter time period than previous rules (the section 106 rule adopted in 1986 set a 60 day period).

Section 800.8(a)

Rule contravenes NEPA by seeking to require processing under NEPA of undertakings that have no significant or no adverse impact on historic properties. The Council emphasizes that the rule clearly does not require NEPA processing for anything. That is something the Federal agency must decide independently.

Rule contravenes NEPA in that it undermines the categorical exclusion provisions of NEPA by requiring section 106 processing for all categorically excluded Federal actions and failing to provide a compatible process for excluding from section 106 those actions that have small or insignificant impacts, thus causing waste of enormous public and private compliance resources struggling with the least measurable and least Start Printed Page 77709important Federal actions. The statement is incorrect. Section 106 of the NHPA covers “undertakings” regardless of NEPA categorical exclusions. The NHPA and NEPA are independent statutes with separate obligations for Federal agencies. Furthermore, § 800.14(c) provides for a way that agencies can request and obtain exemptions.

Section 800.8(c)

Comments suggested need for guidance to facilitate use of provisions allowing substitution of NEPA for section 106 process. The Council is committed to develop such guidance and assist Federal agencies that desire to follow these provisions of the rule.

Any integration of the NEPA process with section 106 should allow EAs as well as EISs to constitute full compliance with section 106. Section 800.8(c) of the rule allows just that when certain reasonable standards are met. Those standards ensure that historic properties are taken into account in a manner consistent with the NHPA.

Council has no authority to prescribe rules regulating Federal agencies' use of NEPA to comply with section 106. Such an approach was rejected during the 1992 amendments. The Council notes that the NEPA coordination provisions of this rule only apply when the Federal agency independently chooses NEPA documents/process to substitute for the regular section 106 process that they would have had to follow otherwise. The Council has the authority to set conditions for an agency to substitute another process for the Council's government-wide rule.

Requirement that the NEPA documents include mitigation measures should be deleted. The Supreme Court has stated repeatedly that NEPA mandates that mitigation measures be discussed, but that there is no requirement that a detailed mitigation plan be adopted. The Council has no authority to attach such a requirement to the NEPA process. Again, the NEPA/106 substitution provisions of this rule apply only when the NEPA process is used to substitute regular section 106 process that the Federal agency would have had to follow otherwise. Nothing in the rule requires adoption of mitigation measures since the option of getting formal Council comments instead is still available.

Section 800.9(a)

It is not the responsibility of the Council to decide whether or not their procedures have been followed regarding Agency determinations. The only Council right is to expect a reasonable opportunity to comment and that its comments will be considered before the agency proceeds with the undertaking. The rule makes it clear that this is not a binding “decision” by the Council, but an advisory opinion (see section 202 of the NHPA). The Council, as the agency promulgating the section 106 rule, has the specific expertise and interest in opining as to whether its rule has been correctly followed.

Section 800.9(b)

The process in § 800.9(b) regarding the Council's determination of a foreclosure lies outside of the Council's authority. A finding of foreclosure is an advisory opinion within the Council's authority (see Section 202 of the NHPA). The Council, as the agency promulgating the section 106 rule, has the specific expertise and interest in opining as to whether its rule has been correctly followed.

Section 800.9(c)

Comments questioned the statutory authority for Council to promulgate regulations implementing section 110(k) of the NHPA. Section 211 of the NHPA authorizes the Council to promulgate regulations to implement section 106 in its entirety. Section 110(k) directly relates to the section 106 and what an agency must do when an applicant's actions may have precluded section 106 review. Moreover, section 110(k) specifies a requirement that the Council be consulted. The rule simply re-states Section 110(k), sets forth how the Council will be consulted, and reminds agencies of their further section 106 responsibilities.

Section 800.9(d)

Council's assertion, under § 800.9(d)(2), that it can participate in individual case reviews, however it deems appropriate, finds no support in any section of the NHPA and should be deleted. The Council changed the rule in response to this comment. The change expressly limits the role of the Council in such reviews to accord with the role already given to the Council under subpart B and parallel to that of SHPO/THPOs.

Section 800.10

A comment questioned the statutory authority for Council to promulgate regulations implementing Section 110 of the NHPA. Section 211 of the NHPA authorizes the Council to promulgate regulations to implement section 106 in its entirety. The Council notes that undertakings affecting National Historical Landmarks (NHLs) are subject to section 106 review. NHLs are “historic properties” listed on the National Register. The provisions of § 800.10 lay out how the Council may participate in the section 106 review of these particularly important historic properties, how the Council may request a report from the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to section 213 of the NHPA, and how the Council will provide a report to the Secretary on the outcome of the consultation.

Section 800.11(a)

NHPA section 470k limits the substance and extent of any documentation requirement dependent upon each Federal agency's authority and funding; therefore the proposed § 800.11 should be revised to clarify that the rules' documentation requirements are not mandatory but are recommended guidelines consistent with NHPA 470k and the Council's advisory role. To better comport with statutory language, § 800.11 was changed by adding language that clarifies that documentation requirements are mandatory but limited “to the extent permitted by law and within available funds.” 16 U.S.C. 470k. The documentation provisions remain mandatory since the Council and other reviewers simply cannot comment without a basis, which can only be provided by adequate documents. The Council believes that the document requirements are not only minimal, but should be readily available to any agency as its record supporting its decisions in the process.

When a documentation dispute is presented to the Council, it must be resolved in a timely manner. When documentation disputes are referred to the Council, the Council is committed to expeditiously providing a resolution to them. The resolution provided by the Council will include guidance as to when the relevant party should complete their review of the finding or determination at issue—taking into account how long the party disputing the documentation has had the documentation, particularly in cases where such documentation is deemed by the Council to have been adequate.

Documentation standards are extremely broad, and likely to create confusion. Specific standards should be included that reference and adopt, at a minimum, documentation sufficient to satisfy the definition of “sacred site” in EO 13007 (“any specific, discrete, narrowly delineated location on Federal land that is identified by” an authoritative Indian tribal source). Documentation standards are Start Printed Page 77710adequately specific and far more specific than those of past regulations. The matter about defining “sacred sites” is better handled through guidance. Nevertheless, the Council clarifies once more that sites, sacred or otherwise, must meet the National Register criteria in order to be considered in the section 106 process.

Questions statutory authority for Council to impose extensive documentation requirements. Section 110(l) of the NHPA requires agencies to document their section 106 decisions, but does not authorize Council to elaborate. Section 203 of the NHPA authorizes the Council to obtain information from Federal agencies, but does not require those agencies to provide the information. Section 203 of the NHPA would be meaningless if it authorized the Council to obtain documents from Federal agencies, but did not require such agencies to comply according to the law. Furthermore, the Council is within its statutory authority to promulgate regulations implementing section 106 in its entirety, in setting the rule's reasonable documentation requirements. Documenting decisions not only assures meaningful compliance with the requirement to take into account effects to historic properties, but it produces the necessary information for consulting parties to assist the Federal agency in meeting its duties. Furthermore, the Council would not have a reasonable opportunity to comment on an undertaking without having adequate documentation on the undertaking and relevant historic properties, as provided in this section of the rule.

Section 800.11(c)

It is too cumbersome for the agency to be required to consult the Secretary of the Interior and the Council every time it wishes to withhold information under this provision. This consultative process is set forth and mandated by section 304 of the NHPA. The rule simply outlines a reasonable process for the Council participation required by section 304.

Regarding § 800.11(c)(2), the Agency official should also submit to Council the views of SHPO regarding the confidentiality of information. The Council agreed and changed the rule to reflect this. SHPOs views as to confidentiality and harm to resources are relevant, and confidentiality is not limited to tribal issues.

Section 800.11(d)

Documentation level for a finding of no Historic Properties Affected is unreasonable. The Council believes the level of documentation is more than reasonable, if not minimal, since the agency should already have the listed documentation readily on hand in order to have been able to reach such a decision.

Section 800.11(e)

Section 800.11(e)(5) should require that each criteria of adverse effect be explained, whether found applicable or inapplicable, to ensure consistency in agency documentation. The Council disagreed with this proposal. Many criteria may have no relevance whatsoever to a particular project. Nevertheless, the Council believes some guidance may be warranted in the future to promote consistency in agency documentation.

Section 800.12(a)

It is not clear how the regulations apply during rehabilitation work, monitoring the emergency from a cultural resources perspective, or when to implement the regulations during emergency situations. The Council believes the rules are clear that the emergency provisions are triggered when an agency proposes an emergency undertaking in response to a declared disaster. The provisions require notification and a seven day review period.

Section 800.12(d)

Implementation time for emergency procedures should be extended from 30 days for a formally declared event to 90 days in order to allow for limited agency resources to adequately address all the issues that arise from a disaster related event. The longer an implementation time is extended, the lesser the justification for emergency, abbreviated procedures. Furthermore, the rule already allows requests for extensions of time when needed. The Council has not declined any such extension requests.

Section 800.13(b)

Agencies often do not often want to assume a new find to be National Register eligible. To address this, the comment offered a proposed change. The Council believed the suggested concept was useful and incorporated changes to the rule. The changes state that the subject of eligibility can be raised (and be considered by agency) in comments. As explained above, section 106 applies to those properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register. This change acknowledges the importance of National Register eligibility at this point.

Section 800.13(b)(2) should be removed for the same reason that the data recovery exemption was removed from the 86 regulations. The Council disagreed. A short cut for these post-review discoveries of archaeological resources of value only for their data is necessary. The Council believes that tribal involvement will provide an adequate safeguard.

Section 800.14

The program alternative provisions are too rigid, intimidating and difficult to apply and create a one-size-fits all approach. The revised regulations should make this provision more useful so that it can be applied more productively to Federal agencies and industry. What the alternatives under § 800.14 do is to provide vehicles to tailor the section 106 process to the particular needs of each agency, agency program or group of undertakings. While the intent is to provide such flexibility in the final product, it is still essential to maintain the role of the public, preservation officers and other stakeholders in providing necessary input in shaping those products.

Section 800.14(a)

Include a provision for Council monitoring and evaluation of whether Federal agency program alternatives are working or not. Council monitoring of program alternatives should be on a regular basis, including, but not limited to, how agencies implement the “exempted categories” projects. Also, add a provision for the Council to publish a list of acceptable Federal Agency alternative programs and make them available to the public. Monitoring measures would be included, as appropriate, in the alternatives' agreements themselves. Regarding a list of Council approved alternatives, the Council does not need a change to its rule to publish such a list.

Since agency must submit any proposed alternate procedures for review by Council and NCSHPO, requirement for publication in the Federal Register should be eliminated. The Council disagrees. Federal Register notice of final adoption of these alternatives is needed to notify the public as to these changes in how Federal agencies comply with section 106.

Regarding all of § 800.14, the Council is granted no rights under the NHPA to be consulted with about Federal agency development of their procedures. Section 110(a)(2) requires consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, but not with the Council. Federal agencies Start Printed Page 77711may find consultation with the Council desirable, but it is not required by the statute. The comment simply misreads section 110(a)(2) of the NHPA. That section deals with non-binding procedures that agencies may use to implement the Council's binding, section 106 regulations under 36 CFR part 800. The alternatives under section 800.14 directly modify or substitute for the Council's binding regulations regarding certain programs or undertakings, and therefore require our direct involvement. The Council believes it has the internal experience and expertise to make such evaluations. Also, the diversity of its membership ensures that a balanced perspective is brought to final determinations regarding consistency. Section 211 of the NHPA states that the Council “is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to govern implementation of section 106 * * * in its entirety.” Section 110(a)(2) of the NHPA states that the “(Federal agency historic preservation) program[s] shall ensure * * * that the agency's procedures for compliance with section 106 * * * are consistent with regulations issued by the Council * * *” (emphasis added). It must be understood, among other things and upon closer examination, that section 110 of the NHPA does not specifically provide for Federal agencies to substitute their programs for the section 106 regulations promulgated by the Council. Through § 800.14 of the rule, the Council is allowing for such substitution, believing this may help agencies in their section 106 compliance. However, the Council will not allow such substitution if the agency procedures are inconsistent with the Council's 106 regulations. The Council, in its expertise, holds that its regulations correctly implement section 106, and that it would therefore be inimical to its mandate and contrary to the spirit and letter of section 100(a)(2)(E) of the NHPA, for the Council to allow inconsistent procedures to substitute the Council's section 106 regulations.

The Council should seek the views of affected SHPOs and notify them of final adoption when an Indian tribe enters into an agreement with the Council to substitute tribal regulations for Council regs. The Council notes that section 101(d)(5) of NHPA already requires such consultation with the affected SHPO, and that the Council would obviously notify such affected SHPO as to a final substitution.

Section 800.14(b)

These regulations require more steps, more paperwork, and therefore more time to process routine CDBG Programmatic Agreements. Under the new regulations, the Council must participate more actively in these highly routine and repetitive agreements; and the Council treats the activities covered by CDBG agreements as “adverse effects.” We request Council reconsider its procedures for routine PAs. In response to this comment, the Council agreed to provide a new procedure for routine Programmatic Agreements. See § 800.14(b)(4).

It is not clear that Programmatic Agreements under § 800.14(b)(3) are developed by an agency official in consultation with the SHPO. Additional guidance is needed beyond simply referencing § 800.6. The Council notes that the SHPO and other consulting parties must be consulted, just as they would be consulted for a Memorandum of Agreement under § 800.6.

Section 800.14(c)

The Council should modify the proposed rule to accommodate and promote voluntary habitat conservation efforts under the ESA. It should establish as an “exempted category”, exempting from section 106 review, all voluntary incidental take and enhancement of survival permits issued by either FWS or NMFS under section 10 of the ESA. Also, approval of and voluntary participation in a “take limitation” or exemption created under a special conservation rule adopted by either the FWS or NMFS under section 4(d) of the ESA should also be exempted from NHPA review. These and other specific alternatives and exemptions recommended by the commenting public should be decided after the appropriate § 800.14 process is followed, and not through the rulemaking itself. The Council encourages Federal agencies to submit proposed exemptions and other alternatives.

Under § 800.14(c)(5), the Agency Official should submit the views of SHPO/THPO to the Council along with the other required documentation. The Council should also notify SHPO/THPO of the Council decision. In § 800.14(c)(7), SHPO's and others should be able to request that the Council review an Agency's activities to determine if the exemption no longer meets the criteria. The Council decided to change this section to explicitly add SHPO/THPO comments to those that need to be submitted. The Council assures the commenting public that it will notify SHPO/THPOs of final decisions regarding exemption decisions. Finally, the Council notes that anyone can request the Council to conduct a review of a program alternative without need of amendment to the rule.

Section 800.14(f)

Requiring comment from all Indian tribes is unnecessarily broad. Section 800.14(f)(1) should be amended so as to provide an appropriate government-to-government consultation with affected Indian tribes and consultation with Native Hawaiian organizations when a nationwide Programmatic Agreement is being developed, adding language to the effect that “when a proposed program alternative has nationwide applicability, the Agency Official shall identify an appropriate government-to-government consultation with Indian tribes and consultation with Native Hawaiian organizations.” The Council agreed with the concept and rationale of the proposed change. It therefore added language to § 800.14(f) regarding tribal consultation for nationwide agreements, while honoring the underlying intent of meaningful consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.

Section 800.16(d)

Rule is unclear, and allows area of potential effect for a one acre wetland permit, to encompass entire development site (which could be over one hundred acres). The area of potential effects should be the one acre of wetland. Vagueness of rule leaves applicants vulnerable to high costs and long permit delays. The issue of area of potential effects and wetlands permits is one that needs to be worked out between the Council and the Corps of Engineers. The Council notes that section 106 requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of undertakings on historic properties. An undertaking is defined by the statute to include a “project (or) activity * * * requiring a Federal permit, license or approval.” The effects to be considered are those of the “project” that required the permit. Moreover, in most instances the effects of projects are felt by historic properties beyond the immediate footprint of a project. To illustrate, a historic property whose integrity would be affected by increased noise is affected even though it is not itself located on the site of the source of that noise. The Federal agency must take into account such effects. Having said this, the Council understands the need for guidance on the subject of establishing areas of potential effects regarding the Start Printed Page 77712particular concerns reflected in this comment and others. The Council will be developing such guidance.

Definition of APE is too broad, adding expense for surveys (usually borne by applicants), and unlawfully encompassing private or State lands. See answer above. Also, section 106 requires Federal agencies to take into account effects on historic properties regardless of whether they are located in private or public lands.

Section 800.16(e)

To the extent the Council seeks to prescribe a role for SHPOs, this definition should include in the alternative the comments of the SHPO. The comment is incorrect. The term “comment,” as use on the rule, means the formal comments by the Council. The SHPO is never entrusted with that responsibility. The SHPO role through the process comes from its assistance responsibilities in the section 106 process (see section 101(b) of the NHPA).

Section 800.16(I)

The definition of effect should be consistent with language used to define area of potential effect (§ 800.16(d)) and the criteria of adverse effect (§ 800.5(a)(1)). The Council agreed and, for consistency, changed the rule so that the “alterations” is used for both definitions.

Section 800.16(w)

Several comments requested the Council to revise the rule to distinguish between section 101(d)(2), NPS approved THPOs and non-101(d)(2) tribes. They strongly recommend that different terms be used for these two types of tribes in order to more clearly reflect their different authorities on tribal lands. The Council agreed and changed the rule accordingly. In summary, the Council (1) deleted the reference to non-101(d)(2) tribes from the definition of “THPOs” on this section of the rule, and (2) revised the language regarding these consulting parties under section of § 800.2(c).

Section 800.16(x)

A definition of “dependent Indian communities” for the purposes of this regulation is needed. Folks need a legal definition from the Council. The Council used the definition of Indian tribes provided by the statute. The Council will bring this issue to the attention of the Department of the Interior and work on clarification.

Section 800.16(y)

The term “undertaking” needs to be better defined within the regulation so as to clearly eliminate actions with no potential to affect historic properties. Section 800.3(a)(1) provides at the beginning of the process that Federal agencies have no further section 106 responsibilities if the undertaking is not a type of activity that has the potential to affect historic properties.

Various comments requested in different forms that the Council should clarify that Federal funding is a condition precedent to the application of the section 106 process. The Council notes that there is case law supporting that position as well as case law stating that funding is not a prerequisite. The Council has maintained the statutory definition of “undertaking,” verbatim, in the regulations. The Agency Official is responsible, in accordance with § 800.3(a), for making the determination as to whether a proposed Federal action is an undertaking. As appropriate, an agency should examine the nature of its Federal involvement taking into consideration factors such as the degree of Federal agency control or discretion; the type of Federal involvement or link to the action; and whether or not the action could move forward without Federal involvement. An agency should seek the advice of the Council when uncertain about whether or not its action falls within the definition of an undertaking.

Do not want incidental take permits (ITPs) under the Endangered Species Act to be subject to section 106 review. As stated before, the Council notes that this and other specific alternatives and exemptions should be decided after the appropriate § 800.14 process is followed and not through rulemaking itself. The Council encourages Federal agencies to submit proposed exemptions and other alternatives.

Various comments argued in various forms that Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) permits issued by States, after Office of Surface Mining (OSM) delegation of the program, are not subject to the section 106 process. The Council believes that it is the responsibility of the Federal agency, rather than the State, to comply with section 106. The Council intends to continue working with OSM to develop and finalize a solution to this issue.

The proposed rule does not apply to the siting of wireless facilities, since the construction of communications towers does not constitute a Federal undertaking. As stated before, this and several other issues mentioned by the telecommunications industry in this rulemaking process have been or are in the process of being addressed through ongoing discussions with the industry, the FCC and SHPOs. These discussions commenced before the present rulemaking process. Such ongoing discussions are referred hereinafter as “Telecommunications Working Group.”

Appendix A

Various comments stated that Council participation in consultation should be mandatory when requested by a tribe, particularly because tribes are not mandatory signatories off tribal lands. The Council disagreed. The Council needs to retain discretion, just as it has in any other Section 106 reviews. Such discretion is necessary not only to allow the Council to manage its limited resources, but also to further encourage the goal of Agency and SHPO/THPO independence in the process. We have no evidence that this discretion is not being exercised appropriately.

The Council should change its rule to allow it to comment on the most important cases, involving the SHPOs/THPOs in an advisory capacity, not a managerial role. The Council believes the rule accomplishes this. Under the rule, the Council only gets involved in some of the cases meeting Appendix A criteria. The rule requires the Council to explain how such criteria is met before entering consultation, and provides SHPOs/THPOs with an advisory role.

General Consultation

The Council's “Handbook on Treatment of Archaeological Properties” is woefully out of date and should be updated as soon as possible. Also “Preparing Agreement Documents” should be revised to reflect the changes in the new regulations. The Council should also explore establishing peer review systems in resolving disputes that involve the identification, evaluation and/or treatment of archaeological sites. The Council agrees that the mentioned documents should be updated. Regarding the establishment of peer review systems, such an option could be explored.

Overly burdensome consultation requirements. Commenter cites seven different points of notification or consultation even when there are no historic properties present, and a dozen or more if there should be historic properties, resulting in unnecessary delays for thousands of routine projects. The commenter estimates that implementation and documentation of the numerous consultation points Start Printed Page 77713requires 1/4 to 1/2 FTE on every National Forest in the Southwest. The rule provides for ways to tailor the process. The Council notes that a Programmatic Agreement under Section 800.14 should be suggested to the Forest Service. Such Programmatic Agreements have proved effective in the past in further streamlining and fitting the section 106 process to the particular needs of agency programs. The comment also raised an issue on the number of consultation points for situations where there are no historic properties affected. Consultation is necessary for an agency to learn whether historic properties are present or not, and then whether and how those present would be affected. Section 106, again, requires the effects of undertakings on historic properties be taken into account. For that to happen, there has to be a process for identifying the properties and assessing the effects on such properties. As stated before, Section 800.14 presents several options an agency can pursue to advance an alternative way of complying with Section 106 which better fits the realities of their particular programs.

Some SHPO's have attempted to implement the Council's proposed Part 800 rules by treating the regulations as a springboard for additional, mandatory compliance steps and unreasonable documentation requirements that only serve to delay the review process. Clarify that SHPO's must follow proposed part 800's regulatory deadlines. Please refer to earlier responses regarding the 30 day time limits, above.

Proposed rules discourage SHPOs/THPOs from consulting with private sector companies and individuals seeking consultation regarding their projects. Government to government consultation if invoked by Tribes may prevent historic preservation matters from receiving their full consideration. As stated before, the rule has been changed to facilitate Federal agency authorizations for applicants to initiate the section 106 process. Government-to-government relationships between the Federal Government and Tribes is based on Presidential Memoranda, Executive Order 13084, treaties, and statutes. Furthermore, the Council believes that consultation with Tribes assures full consideration regarding historic properties on tribal lands or of significance to tribes.

Numerous provisions of proposed rule attempt to confer upon SHPO consultation, agreement (i.e., concurrence) or virtual veto powers. Section 106 does not mention any role for the SHPOs, let alone a requirement that the SHPO concur in agency determinations. SHPO's responsibilities, like the Council, are to assist and to advise. Proposed rule confers unauthorized powers on SHPOs and the Council, and result in additional administrative requirements and delays. The SHPO's role is limited in the rule to consulting and advising, based in their responsibilities pursuant to section 101(b)(3) of the NHPA. When a step calls for concurrence, SHPO concurrence can end the process from further evaluation. When the SHPO does not concur, a project is not vetoed; rather, the Federal agency is moved to the next, logical step in the process. Nothing in the rule gives anyone veto power over an undertaking. The Federal agency ultimately decides by itself what to do with the undertaking, once it has complied with its Section 106 responsibilities.

Council should confirm that SHPOs have no legal authority over private parties. Neither the Council nor this rule gives SHPOs the legal authority to require any action from private parties.

Nothing in the NHPA requires that every party that finds preservation to be interesting to be given a formal role in the section 106 process, with the ability to delay or derail Federal undertakings. The Council agrees, and believes that the rule reflects that regarding who are consulting parties and how the Federal agency can control who becomes an additional consulting party.

Proposed rules provide a mechanism for a Federal agency to proceed over the objections of SHPO/THPO or without an MOA, however, the Federal agency and its regulatees would have already paid a steep price for their efforts through project delays, duplicative legal reviews and other expenses associated with earlier consultation with SHPOs, THPOs, and ACHP. Section 106 of the NHPA requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties and afford the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment. Just as with NEPA and other laws, Federal agency compliance with such obligations necessarily requires effort and time. Through various methods, such as time limits and program alternatives (which give Federal agencies the tools to further streamline and adapt the process to their needs), the Council has provided for cutting down such compliance costs.

Federal agencies often have no cultural resources expertise and therefore rely on SHPO to make findings for them. Although Council staff has urged SHPO offices not to be forced into this position, it is just too much work to get agencies to obtain the necessary expertise. This is an important program issue, but not a regulatory one. The Council and the National Park Service should work with agencies in this area.

Additional guidance may be needed to further clarify the roles of participating parties in the consultation process. The Council agrees that such guidance should be developed.

The length of the comment periods are well founded and prudent because they insures that the parties respond in a timely manner. The rule also clarifies and emphasizes opportunities for Tribes, Native American organizations, and the interested public to participate in consultation. The Council agrees.

General Negative

The regulations have strayed from the consultation and advisory process envisioned by Congress for “nationally significant historic sites.” It is evidenced by Congress' enactment of section 101(a) of the NHPA that a site does not have to be of “national” significance in order to meet National Register criteria and be considered under section 106 review (sites of State or local significance can meet the criteria as well).

Section 106 process is unnecessary because it duplicates an existing local zoning review/approval process for radio towers (a process that considers the impact that proposed towers might have on nearby historic properties). Therefore, it imposes unnecessary costs on carriers, and those costs are invariably passed on to the consumers. Congress has determined that local governments—not the Federal Government—should resolve such issues as the location, height and design of communications facilities. While certain local zoning measures may address historic preservation concerns, Federal agency undertakings are still subject to section 106. The NHPA does not relieve them of this duty. As stated before, this and several other issues mentioned by the telecommunications industry in this rulemaking process have been or are in the process of being addressed through ongoing discussions with the industry, the FCC and SHPOs. One objective of this exercise is to better coordinate Federal and local review processes. These discussions commenced before the present rulemaking process.

Instead of imposing overly-detailed proscriptive regulations that are difficult to understand and enforce, the Council should work with agencies and others to develop incentive programs that encourage innovative and effective Start Printed Page 77714protection and preservation procedures. These could encourage compliance much more efficiently than the present enforcement model. This can be done pursuant to the program alternatives under § 800.14 of the rule.

Council should suspend this rulemaking, and develop a new rule that contains: (1) Procedures that the Federal and State agencies can process and apply; (2) provisions that assign burdens and responsibilities that non-Federal entities can understand and reasonably support; and (3) an approach to preservation that equitably apportions responsibility and cost, and provides positive incentives for compliance. The Council believes the rule presents reasonable procedures that Federal agencies can process and apply. The vast majority of the thousands of section 106 reviews under the current and past rules have been conducted and concluded by Federal agencies without serious problems. The fact that disagreements sometimes arise regarding certain findings and determinations does not mean the process cannot be applied but, rather, reflects that it is being applied correctly. Disagreements and working out solutions is simply a part of a consultative process. The Council notes that, like section 106 itself, the rule only place requirements on Federal agencies. The incentive for Federal agency compliance, beyond meeting legal obligations set by the NHPA, is the furtherance of the historic preservation policies of the Federal Government, as expressed in the NHPA.

I do not think that the 1999 regulations have resulted in, or will in the foreseeable future result in, much streamlining of the process. The reduction in Council involvement has created a void. SHPOs do not carry sufficient respect to fill that authority void. I recommend that the regulations require the Council be notified as soon as either the Agency official or the SHPO expresses an opinion that an effect will be adverse; and that the Council be a signatory to all MOAs and PAs. The notification requirement is already in the rule (see § 800.6(a)(1)). The Council will not become a signatory to all MOAs, since a decision has been made to streamline the process by relying more on the Federal agency and SHPO/THPO for routine cases.

General Positive

General positive comments are summarized below, without a Council response beyond stating its agreement.

A comment asked that the Council refrain from further restricting public participation or “other consulting party” involvement in any way. It also ask, that the Council not vest any further authority in the SHPO or reduce the involvement of SHPOs, THPOs, and other consulting parties in agency decision making.

Other comments stated that: (1) the elimination of the distinction between “no historic properties” and “no effect” was a move in the right direction; (2) the rule is working well and that positive responses by certain Federal agencies had been noted; (3) the rule is very specific and provides sound guidance for federal agencies and other parties; (4) the rule clearly establishes the roles and responsibilities of the parties; (4) the rule works well and provides an efficient framework for the administration of the Act; (5) project review has been streamlined by reducing the need for Council review; (6) the rule is operating well, has appropriately defined the role of Federal agencies as the responsible party for section 106 compliance, achieves the objective of streamlining the process, and incorporates changes enacted in the 1992 amendments; (7) Federal agencies are beginning to assume their appropriate role as the lead in the process, and the Council can focus on difficult cases and problem agencies; (8) the rules are an improvement over the 1986 regs; (9) the rule offers a constructive framework for consultation among SHPO, tribes and all interested parties.

Miscellaneous

Since implementing NHPA necessarily affects the agencies' regulatees, FCC recommends that the proposed rule include a “reasonable” time period for Federal agencies to develop their own implementing procedures. Federal agencies have always had the authority to develop implementing procedures pursuant to section 110(a)(2)(E). The Council has no role in setting deadlines for Federal agencies to develop these implementing procedures.

The deadlines for response from Council and SHPOs (15 days and 30 days) are reasonable—assuming adequate personnel to handle the workload. Because SHPO's are inadequately funded, they are understaffed to meet these time frames. Therefore, a 30 day review period for the Council and a 45-day review period for SHPOs is recommended. The Council disagrees. The current deadlines adequately balance the project need for expediency and the workloads of the Council and SHPO/THPOs.

General Tribal

In requesting that the role of THPO's and tribal representatives be clarified for those situations affecting properties of religious and cultural significance off tribal land, it is suggested that section 101(d)(2) limits THPO responsibilities and authority to tribal lands and does not require a Federal agency to consult with those tribes regarding properties of religious and cultural significance. The Council disagrees. Section 101(d)(6)(B) of the NHPA requires tribal consultation regarding historic properties of religious and cultural significance. Nothing in the statute makes a distinction that would limit such consultation to tribal lands.

It is inappropriate and illegal for Council to implement 1992 amendments regarding Indian Tribes through its proposed rule. Section 106 itself was not amended, and the Secretary of the Interior is the agency charged with promulgating regulations to implement the tribe-related amendments. The comment misreads the NHPA. The rule appropriately deals with tribal requirements as they directly relate to the section 106 process. The Council is authorized to promulgate rules to govern the implementation of section 106 “in its entirety.” This authority necessarily covers all aspects that directly relate to the section 106 process. The 1992 amendments require Federal agencies to consult with tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations in carrying out their Section 106 responsibilities. While the Department of the Interior provides assistance to tribes and fosters communication among tribes, SHPOs and agencies, it does not oversee the section 106 process nor have the requisite authority. It is noted that the Department of the Interior sits on the Council and voted in favor of adopting this rule.

Several THPOs have begun to request payment of fees for Section 106 consultation and have asserted THPO powers outside of tribal lands. Council could remove uncertainty and avoid delays by clarifying that THPOs are bound by the same rules as SHPOs and THPO authority extends only over tribal lands. This is a topic being addressed by the ongoing Telecommunications Working Group. Once the Council reaches a decision on this matter, it will be disseminated.

Concerned about several THPOs and tribal representatives requesting payment for the section 106 consultation required in the regulations and believes such actions are contrary to the regulations. This issue was raised by the wireless industry, and will be Start Printed Page 77715addressed by the Telecommunications Working Group.

We would not support changes to grant expanded authority to tribes off tribal lands. We strongly support current provisions which enable tribes to participate, as appropriate. The Council agrees with this comment and did not expand the tribal role in this rule.

The proposed rule will impact us resulting in the consultation with Native Hawaiian organizations. The requirement for consultation with Native Hawaiian organizations will require expenditure of time and funds spent on EIS studies. The rule fails to specify which Hawaiian Native organizations (NHO) we would have to consult with, which may be many. The statute requires Federal agencies to conduct such consultation. The rule is not the appropriate venue for identifying specific NHOs. That is the responsibility of the Federal agency based on the potential to affect properties of significance to specific organizations.

E.O. 13084 has language that should be utilized in the section 106 process. EO 13084 addresses the development of Federal agency policies and regulations. The Council rule addresses individual projects and programs, and not these overall policies and rules developed by other agencies.

The regulations took a positive step regarding tribal input and participation. It works when the agency is truly in compliance with the regulations. Need to work on how tribes can be more involved; are legally involved in decision making without a specific agreement; and can be funded to conduct the work demanded by agencies and the regulations. The Council is developing guidance on tribal consultation.

The regulations conflict with the language and purpose of the Act by creating an artificial distinction between tribal properties depending on their location (on or off tribal lands). Tribes are provided lesser consultation rights where traditional cultural properties are located off tribal lands. The rule acknowledges tribal sovereignty on tribal lands, which necessarily distinguishes a tribe's role on and off tribal lands. The rule does not distinguish where properties are located, but only the scope of tribal involvement.

The regulations suggest that tribal governments and the interested public are at the same level of importance. This concept ignores the sovereign status of tribes and, as a result, Federal agencies are disrespecting some tribal treaties. An important statement of the tribal government role is missing. With the public on the same level as tribes, the public can gain access to documents that may compromise the confidentiality provisions of section 106. The Council disagrees. Section 800.2(c)(3) of the rule provides information for Federal agencies regarding sovereignty and the government-to-government responsibility. The public is simply notified and involved as appropriate but, unlike tribes in their land or regarding historic properties of significance to them, is not an entitled consulting party.

Legal Authority

Several comments questioned the Council's legal authority to issue the rule. The main arguments were that: (1) The Council was given advisory functions by the statute, and that the proposed rule transformed the role of the Council from purely advisory to one with substantive regulatory authority over other Federal agencies and parties; (2) the Council could only issue regulations regarding how it issued its comments (from the “reasonable opportunity to comment” provided by section 106); and (3) there was no statutory basis for a rule that dictates how an agency takes into account the effects of its undertakings or the Council's comments.

The Council believes that the rule is properly characterized as one providing a process to be followed. Nowhere does the rule impose an outcome on a Federal agency as to how it will decide whether or not to approve an undertaking, or how. The rule merely provides a process that assures that the Federal agency takes into account the effects of the undertaking on historic properties. It does not impose in any way whatsoever how such consideration will affect the final decision of the Federal agency on the undertaking. The rule does not provide anyone with a veto power over an undertaking.

Furthermore, the Council believes it has the authority to promulgate the present rule. Section 211 of the NHPA states that: “The Council is authorized to promulgate such rules and regulations as it deems necessary to govern the implementation of section 106 of [the NHPA] in its entirety.” The phrase “in its entirety” was added by the 1992 amendments to the NHPA. Directly talking to the meaning of the “in its entirety” amendment, the summary of the amendments stated that: “This makes clear that the ACHP has the authority to define not only how agencies will afford the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment, but also how agencies should take effects on historic properties into account in their planning.” Congressional Record, Senate, S 3575, March 19, 1991. This amendment was specifically introduced to address the authority issues raised earlier. Thus, it is clear that Congress has given the Council the authority to promulgate rules, such as the present one, setting forth how Federal agencies are to meet all their section 106 responsibilities to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties, as well as to provide the Council with a reasonable opportunity to comment.

Moreover, the rule is solidly based on the requirements of the statute and, as Congress intended, provides a predictable framework which fleshes out those requirements. As stated before, section 106 specifically requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. 16 U.S.C. 470f. The first general step in the process under the rule requires Federal agencies to identify the historic properties that may be affected by the undertaking. 36 CFR 800.4. It is simply impossible for an agency to take into account the effects of its undertaking on historic properties if it does not even know what those historic properties are in the first place.

The second general step in the process is for the Federal agency to assess the effects of the undertaking on the historic property. 36 CFR 800.5. Again, an agency cannot take into account effects on historic properties if it does not first assess the nature of those effects. The Council has utilized its considered expertise on historic preservation to create the criteria of adverse effect that guides the end of this step.

The third general step in the process under the challenged rule is to consult to attempt resolving adverse effects to historic properties (through what is called a Memorandum of Agreement), if it has been determined the effects are actually adverse. 36 CFR 800.6. Such an approach is explicitly sanctioned by the statute under Section 110(l) of the National Historic Preservation Act. 16 U.S.C. 470h-2(l). Specifically, Section 110(l) of the statute states that:

With respect to any undertaking subject to section 106 which adversely affects any [historic property], and for which a Federal agency has not entered into an agreement pursuant to regulations issued by the Council, the head of such agency shall document any decision made pursuant to section 106. . . . Where a section 106 memorandum of agreement has been executed with respect to an undertaking, Start Printed Page 77716such memorandum shall govern the undertaking and all its parts.

Id. (emphasis added). It bears mentioning that this section was amended by Congress after the section 106 rule that went into effect in 1999. The amendment further conformed the statute to that 1999 rule, which was used as the proposal in the present rulemaking. Specifically, section 5(a)(8) of HR 834, amended the language of section 110(l) by striking “with the Council” and inserting “pursuant to regulations issued by the Council.”

In the last general step in the process, the Council issues comments to the Federal agencies that fail to resolve adverse effects. Such a step is obviously contemplated in the requirements of section 106 that the Council be given “a reasonable opportunity to comment.” 16 U.S.C. 470f.

The rule does provide for consultation with various parties throughout the process. Such consultation requirements with State Historic Preservation Officers, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and certain federally recognized Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations are solidly anchored on statutory requirements that Federal agencies consult with such parties. See e.g. 16 U.S.C. 470a(b)(3)(I), 470a(d)(2), and 470a(d)(6)(B). The general public is also given a general role under the rule, although such role does not rise to the level of that of consulting parties. The Council believes this role for the public is reasonable and authorized. The Federal agency's consideration of how its undertaking affects historic properties is enhanced and better informed by the participation of the consulting parties and the general public, for whose enjoyment and enrichment the NHPA seeks to protect historic properties. It must be kept in mind that such public is the one that lives in the communities and areas where the historic properties are located, and therefore may have uniquely informed viewpoints as to such properties. As stated above, the rule specifically states that Federal agencies can use their own procedures for public involvement in lieu of those under subpart B of this rule, so long as they provide adequate opportunities consistent with the rule. Such procedural consistency is no more than what the NHPA requires under 16 U.S.C. 470h-2(a)(2)(E).

Appointments Clause

Some comments argued that the present rulemaking process violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. This argument is summarized as follows: (a) The section 106 rule that went into effect in 1999 (1999 rule) was developed and adopted in violation of the Appointments Clause due to the participation of the Chairman of the National Trust on Historic Preservation (the Trust) and the President of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO) (both of whom are members of the Council not appointed by the President) in the development and adoption of that 1999 rule; and (b) since the content of that 1999 rule was used as the proposed rule in the present rulemaking, the present rulemaking process is incurably tainted and unconstitutional.

The Council strongly disagrees with such arguments. As has been stated before, the Trust and NCSHPO have not participated in any way whatsoever in the deliberations, decisions, votes, or any other Council activities related to this rulemaking. On June 23, 2000, the Council membership, minus the representatives of the Trust and NCSHPO, took a new vote on the adoption of the 1999 rule. It voted 16-0 in favor of the 1999 rule. As has been stated above, that 1999 rule was the culmination of six years of work by the Council members, Council staff, public comments and public meetings.

Again without the participation of the representatives of the Trust and NCSHPO, the Council proceeded to vote unanimously in favor of proceeding with the present rulemaking process, using the text of the 1999 rule as the proposed rule. Many of these Council members (all Presidential appointees) had participated in the drafting and original, unanimous adoption of the 1999 rule on February of 1999. On June 23, 2000, they decided to use that 1999 rule as the proposed rule. On November 17, 2000, after taking into account public comment and changing the proposed rule as they deemed appropriate, these Presidentially appointed Council members (without the participation of the representatives of the Trust and NCSHPO) voted to adopt the final rule now being published.

Any prior involvement in the rule does not represent the exercise of significant authority pursuant to the laws of the United States contemplated by the Appointments Clause. The Presidential appointees considering the draft, proposed rule during the 2000 rulemaking process were at full liberty to vote against it, amend it, or adopt it. In the end, the final decision to move forward with such draft was in their power.

In the present rulemaking, any act that could arguably be deemed an exercise of significant authority has been carried out solely by the Council's Presidential appointees.

Other Legal Issues

Certain comments indicated a belief that the proposed rule violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The arguments stated that to the extent the proposed rule requires Federal agencies to conform their decisionmaking under section 106 based on the “religious and cultural significance” of properties (as determined by Tribes) it results in an excessive entanglement between the government and religion, impermissibly restricts the use of public lands on the basis of religion, and impermissibly establishes or favors religion, in violation of the Establishment Clause.

The Council strongly disagrees. The rule does not require Federal agencies to conform their decisionmaking based on the religious and cultural significance of properties. As stated before, the NHPA and the rule only clarify that properties of religious and cultural significance to Tribes “may be determined to be eligible for inclusion on the National Register.” section 101(d)(6)(A) of the NHPA. Like any other property of any kind, in order for properties with such significance to be considered in the section 106 process, they must first meet the established, objective, secular criteria of the National Register of Historic Places. The determination as to whether a property meets that criteria is made by the Federal agency in concurrence with the SHPO/THPO or, in the case of disagreement, by the Keeper of the National Register. Furthermore, once a historic property has been so identified, all that Federal agencies are required to do is to take into account the effects of their undertaking on such property. Nothing whatsoever in the rule imposes an obligation on the Federal agency to change, reject or approve an undertaking based on the religious and cultural significance of a property.

The rule and section 101(d)(6) of the NHPA only require consultation with Indian Tribes regarding those historic properties of significance to them. The Federal agency must consult with such Tribes, but is nowhere required to abide by the opinions expressed by the Tribes in such consultations. Furthermore, such consultation provisions are fully justified and reasonable. They do not provide Tribes with a “special treatment,” but rather a rational treatment. Just as it would be common sense for a person to consult, for example, with the Navy in order to seek a better understanding of the history of Start Printed Page 77717Pearl Harbor, it is more than rational to go to Tribes to seek a better understanding of historic properties to which they attach a religious and cultural significance. Due to their history and experience with such properties, such Tribes are in a specially advantageous position to provide valuable information about them. At the very least, the Council believes that these Tribal consultation provisions of the rule and of section 101(d)(6) of the NHPA are tied rationally to the fulfillment of the Federal Government's unique obligations towards Tribes. See Morton v. Mancari, 417 U.S. 535 (1974).

IV. Description of Meaning and Intent of Specific Sections

The following information clarifies the meaning and intent behind particular sections of the final rule.

Subpart A—Purposes and Participants

Section 800.1(b). This section makes clear that references in the section 106 regulations are not intended to give any additional authority to implementing guidelines, policies or procedures issued by any other Federal agency. Where such provisions are cited, they are simply to assist users in finding related guidance, which is non-binding, or requirements of related laws, which may be mandatory depending on the particular law itself.

Section 800.1(c). The purpose of this section is to emphasize the flexibility an Agency Official has in carrying out the steps of the section 106 process, while acknowledging that early initiation of the process is essential and that actions taken to meet the procedural requirements must not restrict the effective consideration of alternatives related to historic preservation issues in later stages of the process.

Section 800.2(a). The term “Agency Official” is intended to include those Federal officials who have the effective decision making authority for an undertaking. This means the ability to agree to such actions as may be necessary to comply with section 106 and to ensure that any commitments made as a result of the section 106 process are indeed carried out. This authority and the legal responsibilities under section 106 may be assumed by non-Federal officials only when there is clear authority for such an arrangement under Federal law, such as under certain programs administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. This subsection indicates that the Federal Agency must ensure that the Agency Official “takes . . . financial responsibility for section 106 compliance . . .” This phrase is not to be construed as prohibiting Federal agencies from passing certain section 106 compliance costs to applicants. Such a construction of the regulation would contravene section 110(g) of the NHPA and 16 U.S.C. 469c-2. The intent behind the reference to “financial responsibility” in the regulation is, as stated above, to ensure that the Agency Official has the effective decision making authority for an undertaking.

Section 800.2(a)(1). This reference to the Secretary's professional standards is intended to remind Federal agencies that this independent but related provision of the Act may affect their compliance with section 106.

Section 800.2(a)(2). This provision allows, but does not require, Federal agencies to designate a lead agency for section 106 compliance purposes. The lead agency carries out the duties of the Agency Official for all aspects of the undertaking. The other Federal agencies may assist the lead agency as they mutually agree. When compliance is completed, the other Federal agencies may use the outcome to document their own compliance with section 106 and must implement any provisions that apply to them. This provision does not prohibit an agency to independently pursue compliance with section 106 for its obligations under section 106, although this should be carefully coordinated with the lead agency. A lead agency can sign the Memorandum of Agreement for other agencies, so long as that is part of the agreement among the agencies for creating the lead agency arrangement. It should also be clear in the Memorandum of Agreement.

Section 800.2(a)(4). This section sets forth the general concepts of consultation. It identifies the duty of Federal agencies to consult with other partes at various steps in the section 106 process and acknowledges that consultation varies depending on a variety of factors. It also encourages agencies to coordinate section 106 consultation with that required under other Federal laws and to use existing agency processes to promote efficiency.

Section 800.2(b). The Council will generally not review the determinations and decisions reached in accordance with these regulations by the Agency Official and appropriate consulting parties and not participate in the review of most section 106 cases. However, because the statutory obligation of the Federal agency is to afford the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment on its undertaking's effects upon historic properties, the Council will oversee the section 106 process and formally become a party in individual consultations when it determines there are sufficient grounds to do so. These are set forth in Appendix A. The Council also will provide participants in the section 106 process with its advice and guidance in order to facilitate completion of the section 106 review.

Section 800.2(c). This section sets a standard for involving various consulting parties. The objective is to provide parties with an effective opportunity to participate in the section 106 process, relative to the interest they have to the historic preservation issues at hand.

Section 800.2(c)(1). This section recognizes the central role of the SHPO in working with the Agency Official on section 106 compliance in most cases. It also delineates the manner in which the SHPO may get involved in the section 106 process when a THPO has assumed SHPO functions on tribal lands.

Section 800.2(c)(2). The role of THPO was created in the 1992 amendments to the Act. This section tracks the statutory provision relating to THPO assumption of the SHPO's section 106 role on tribal lands. In such circumstances, the THPO substitutes for the SHPO and the SHPO participates in the section 106 process only as specified in 800.2(c)(1) or as a member of the public. This section also specifies that in those instances where an undertaking occurs on or affects properties on tribal lands and a tribe has not officially assumed the SHPO's section 106 responsibilities on those lands, the Agency Official still consults with the SHPO, but also consults with a representative designated by the Indian tribe. Such designation is made in accordance with tribal law and procedures. However, if the tribe has not designated such a representative, the Agency Official would consult with the tribe's chief elected official, such as the tribal chairman.

Section 800.2(c)(3). This section embodies the statutory requirement for Federal agencies to consult with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations throughout the section 106 process when they attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties that may be affected by an undertaking. It is intended to promote continuing and effective consultation with those parties throughout the section 106 process. Such consultation is intended to be conducted in a manner that is fully cognizant of the legal rights of Indian tribes and that is sensitive to their cultural traditions and practices.

Section 800.2(c)(3)(i). This subsection has two main purposes. First, it emphasizes the importance of involving Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations early and fully at all stages of the section 106 process. Start Printed Page 77718Second, Federal agencies should solicit tribal views in a manner that is sensitive to the governmental structures of the tribes, recognizing that confidentiality and communication issues may require Federal agencies to allow more time for the exchange of information. Also, this section states that the Agency Official must make a “reasonable and good faith effort” to identify interested tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. This means that the Agency Official may have to look beyond reservations and tribal lands in the project's vicinity to seek information on tribes that had been historically located in the area, but are no longer there.

Section 800.2(c)(3)(iii). This subsection emphasizes the need to consult with Indian tribes on a government-to-government basis. The Agency Official must consult with the appropriate tribal representative, who must be selected or designated by the tribe to speak on behalf of the tribe. Matters of protocol are important to Indian tribes. Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organization may be reluctant to share information about properties to which they attach religious and cultural significance. Federal agencies should recognize this and be willing to identify historic properties without compromising concerns about confidentiality. The Agency Official should also be sensitive to the internal workings of a tribe and allow the time necessary for the tribal decision making process to operate.

Section 800.2(c)(3)(iv). This subsection reminds Federal agencies of the statutory duty to consult with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations whether or not the undertaking or its effects occur on tribal land. Agencies should be particularly sensitive in identifying areas of traditional association with tribes or a Native Hawaiian organizations, where historic properties to which they attach religious and cultural significance may be found.

Section 800.2(c)(3)(v). Some Federal agencies have or may want to develop special working relationships with Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organization to provide specific arrangements for how they will adhere to the steps in the section 106 process and enhance the participation of tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. Such agreements are not mandatory; they may be negotiated at the discretion of Federal agencies. The agreements cannot diminish the rights set forth in the regulations for other parties, such as the SHPO, without that party's express consent.

Section 800.2(c)(3)(vi). The signature of tribes is required where a Memorandum of Agreement concerns tribal lands. However, if a tribe has not formally assumed the SHPO's responsibilities under section 101(d)(2) the tribe may waive its signature rights at its discretion. This will allow tribes the flexibility of allowing agreements to go forward regarding tribal land, but without condoning the agreement with their signature.

Section 800.2(c)(4). Affected local governments must be given consulting party status if they so request. Under § 800.3(f)(1), Agency Officials are required to invite such local governments to be consulting parties. This subsection provides for that status and also reminds Federal agencies that some local governments may act as the Agency Official when they have assumed section 106 legal responsibilities, such as under certain programs administered by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Section 800.2(c)(5). Applicants for Federal assistance or for a Federal permit, license or other approval are entitled to be consulting parties. Under § 800.3(f)(1), Agency Officials are required to invite them to be consulting parties. Also, Federal agencies have the legal responsibility to comply with section 106 of the NHPA. In fulfilling their responsibilities, Federal agencies sometimes choose to rely on applicants for permits, approvals or assistance to begin the 106 process. The intent was to allow applicants to contact SHPOs and other consulting parties, but agencies must be mindful of their government-to-government consultation responsibilities when dealing with Indian tribes. If a Federal agency implements its 106 responsibilities in this way, the Federal agency remains legally responsible for the determinations. Applicants that may assume responsibilities under a Memorandum of Agreement must be consulting parties in the process leading to the agreement.

Section 800.2(c)(6). This section allows for the possibility that other individuals or entities may have a demonstrated special interest in an undertaking and that Federal agencies and SHPO/THPOs should consider the involvement of such individuals or entities as consulting parties. This might include property owners directly affected by the undertaking, non-profit organizations with a direct interest in the issues or affected businesses. Under § 800.3(f)(3), upon written request and in consultation with the SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe upon whose tribal lands an undertaking occurs or affects historic properties, an Agency Official may allow certain individuals under § 800.2(c)(6) to become consulting parties.

Section 800.2(d)(1). Public involvement is a critical aspect of the 106 process. This section is intended to set forth a standard that Federal agencies must adhere to as they go through the section 106 process. The type of public involvement will depend upon various factors, including but not limited to, the nature of the undertaking, the potential impact, the historic property, and the likely interest of the public. Confidentiality concerns include those specified in section 304 of the Act and legitimate concerns about proprietary information, business plans and privacy of property owners.

Section 800.2(d)(2). This subsection is intended to set the notice standard. Notice, with sufficient information to allow meaningful comments, must be provided to the public so that the public can express its views during the various stages and decision making points of the process.

Section 800.2(d)(3). It is intended that Federal agencies have flexibility in how they involve the public, including the use of NEPA and other agency planning processes, as long as opportunities for such public involvement are adequate and consistent with subpart A of the regulations.

Subpart B—The section 106 Process

Section 800.3. This new section is intended to encourage Federal agencies to integrate the section 106 process into agency planning at its earliest stages.

Section 800.3(a). The determination of whether or not an undertaking exists is the Agency Official's determination. The Council may render advice on the existence of an undertaking, but ultimately this remains a Federal agency decision.

Section 800.3(a)(1). This section explains that if there is an undertaking, but it is not a type of activity that has the potential to affect a historic property, then the agency is finished with its section 106 obligations. There is no consultation requirement for this decision.

Section 800.3(a)(2). This is a reminder to Federal agencies that adherence to the standard 106 process in Subpart B is inappropriate where the undertaking is governed by a program alternative established pursuant to § 800.14.

Section 800.3(b). This section does not impose a mandatory requirement on Federal agencies. It emphasizes the benefit of coordinating compliance with related statutes so as to enhance Start Printed Page 77719efficiency and avoid duplication of efforts, but the decision is up to the Agency Official. Agencies are encouraged to use the information gathered for these other processes to meet section 106 needs, but the information must meet the standards in these regulations.

Section 800.3(c). This sets forth the responsibility to properly identify the appropriate SHPO or THPO that must be consulted. If the undertaking is on or affects historic properties on tribal lands, then the agency must determine what tribe is involved and whether the tribe has assumed the SHPO's responsibilities for section 106 under section 101(d)(2) of the Act. A list of such tribes is available from the National Park Service.

Section 800.3(c)(1). This section reiterates that the tribe may assume the role of the SHPO on tribal land and tracks the language of the Act in specifying how certain owners of property on tribal lands can request SHPO involvement in a section 106 case in addition to the THPO.

Section 800.3(c)(2). This section is the State counterpart to Federal lead agencies and has the same effect. It allows a group of SHPOs to agree to delegate their authority under these regulations for a specific undertaking to one SHPO.

Section 800.3(c)(3). This section reinforces the notion that the conduct of consultation may vary depending on the agency's planning process, the nature of the undertaking and the nature of its effects.

Section 800.3(c)(4). This section makes it clear that failure of an SHPO/THPO to respond within the time frames set by the regulation permit the agency to assume concurrence with the finding or to consult about the finding or determination with the Council in the SHPO/THPO's absence. It also makes clear that subsequent involvement by the SHPO/THPO is not precluded, but the SHPO/THPO cannot reopen a finding or determination that it failed to respond to earlier.

Section 800.3(d). This section specifies that, on tribal lands, the Agency Official consults with both the Indian tribe and the SHPO when the tribe has not formally assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO under section 101(d)(2) of the Act. It also allows the section 106 process to be completed even when the SHPO has decided not to participate in the process, and for the SHPO and an Indian tribe to develop tailored agreements for SHPO participation in reviewing undertakings on the tribe's lands.

Section 800.3(e). This section requires the Agency Official to decide early how and when to involve the public in the section 106 process. It does not require a formal “plan,” although that might be appropriate depending upon the scale of the undertaking and the magnitude of its effects on historic properties.

Section 800.3(f). This is a particularly important section, as it requires the Agency Official at an early stage of the section 106 process to consult with the SHPO/THPO to identify those organizations and individuals that will have the right to be consulting parties under the terms of the regulations. These include local governments, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and applicants for Federal assistance or permits, especially those who may assume a responsibility under a Memorandum of Agreement (see § 800.6(c)(2)(ii)). Others may request to be consulting parties, but that decision is up to the Agency Official.

Section 800.3(g). This section makes it clear that an Agency Official can combine individual steps in the section 106 process with the consent of the SHPO/THPO. Doing so must protect the opportunity of the public and consulting partes to participate fully in the section 106 process as envisioned in § 800.2.

Section 800.4(a). This section sets forth the consultative requirements involved in the scoping efforts at the beginning stages of the identification process. The Agency Official must consult with the SHPO/THPO in fulfilling the steps in subsections (1) through (4). This section emphasizes the need to consult with the SHPO/THPO at all steps in the scoping process. It also highlights the need to seek information from Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations with regard to properties to which they attach religious and cultural significance, while being sensitive to confidentiality concerns. Where Federal agencies are engaged in an action that is on or may affect ancestral, aboriginal or ceded lands, Federal agencies must consult with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations with regard to historic properties of traditional religious and cultural significance on such lands.

Section 800.4(b). This section sets out the steps an Agency Official must follow to identify historic properties. It is close to the section 106 process under the 1986 regulations, with increased flexibility of timing and greater involvement of Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in accordance with the 1992 amendments to the Act.

Section 800.4(b)(1). This section on level of effort required during the identification processes has been added to allow for flexibility. It sets the standard of a reasonable and good faith effort on behalf of the agency to identify properties and provides that the level of effort in the identification process depends on numerous factors including, among others listed, the nature of the undertaking and its corresponding potential effects on historic properties.

Section 800.4(b)(2). This new section is also intended to provide Federal agencies with flexibility when several alternatives are under consideration and the nature of the undertaking and its potential scope and effect has therefore not yet been completely defined. The section also allows for deferral of final identification and evaluation if provided for in an agreement with the SHPO/THPO or other circumstances. Under this phased alternative, Agency Officials are required to follow up with full identification and evaluation once project alternatives have been refined or access has been gained to previously restricted areas. Any further deferral of final identification would complicate the process and jeopardize an adequate assessment of effects and resolution of adverse effects.

Section 800.4(c). This section sets out the process for determining the National Register eligibility of properties not previously evaluated for historic significance.

Section 800.4(c)(2). This section provides that if an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization disagrees with a determination of eligibility involving a property to which it attaches religious and cultural significance, then the tribe can ask the Council to request that the Agency Official obtain a determination of eligibility. The Council retains the discretion as to whether or not it should make the request of the Agency Official. This section was intended to provide a way to ensure appropriate determinations regarding properties, located off tribal lands, to which tribes attach religious and cultural significance.

Section 800.4(d)(1). This section describes the closure point in the section 106 process where no historic properties are found or no effects on historic properties are found. Consulting parties must be specifically notified of the determination, but members of the public need not receive direct notification; the Federal agency must place its documentation in a public file prior to approving the undertaking, and provide access to the information when requested by the public. Once the consulting parties are notified, the SHPO/THPO has 30 days to object to the determination. The Council may also Start Printed Page 77720object on its own initiative within the time period. Lack of such objection within the 30 day period means that the agency need not take further steps in the Section 106 process.

Section 800.4(d)(2). This section requires that the Federal agency proceed to the adverse effect determination step where it finds that historic properties may be affected or the SHPO/THPO or Council objects to a no historic properties affected finding. The agency must notify all consulting parties.

Section 800.5(a). This section provides for Indian tribe and Native Hawaiian organization consultation where historic properties to which they attach religious and cultural significance are involved. This section also requires the Agency Official to consider the views of consulting parties and the public that have already been provided to the Federal agency.

Section 800.5(a)(1). This section codifies the practice of the Council in considering both direct and indirect effects in making an adverse effect determination. This section allows for consideration of effects on the qualifying characteristics of a historic property that may not have been part of the property's original eligibility evaluation. The last sentence in this section is intended to amplify the indirect effects concept, similar to the NEPA regulations, which calls for consideration of such effects when they are reasonably foreseeable effects.

Section 800.5(a)(2)(ii). The list of examples of adverse effects has been modified by eliminating the exceptions to the adverse effect criteria. However, if a property is restored, rehabilitated, repaired, maintained, stabilized, remediated or otherwise changed in accordance with the Secretary's standards, then it will not be considered an adverse effect.

Section 800.5(a)(2)(iii). This subsection, along with § 800.5(a)(2)(I), would encompass recovery of archeological data as an adverse effect, even if conducted in accordance with the Secretary's standards. This acknowledges the reality that destruction of a site and recovery of its information and artifacts is adverse. It is intended that in eliminating data recovery as an exception to the adverse effect criteria, Federal agencies will be more inclined to pursue other forms of mitigation, including avoidance and preservation in place, to protect archeological sites.

Section 800.5(a)(2)(iv). This section tracks the National Register criteria regarding the relation of alterations to a property's use or setting to the significance of the property.

Section 800.5(a)(2)(v). This section tracks the language of the National Register criteria as it pertains to the property's integrity.

Section 800.5(a)(2)(vi). This section acknowledges that where properties of religious and cultural significance to Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations are involved, neglect and deterioration may be recognized as qualities of those properties and thus may not necessarily constitute an adverse effect.

Section 800.5(a)(2)(vii). If a property is transferred leased or sold out of Federal ownership with proper preservation restrictions, then it will not be considered an adverse effect. Transfer between Federal agencies is not an adverse effect per se; the purpose of the transfer should be evaluated for potential adverse effects, so that they can be considered before the transfer takes place.

Section 800.5(a)(3). This section is intended to allow flexibility in Federal agency decision making processes and to recognize that phasing of adverse effect determinations, like identification and evaluation, is appropriate in certain planning and approval circumstances, such as the development of linear projects where major corridors are first assessed and then specific route alignment decisions are made subsequently.

Section 800.5(b). This section allows SHPO/THPO's the ability to suggest changes in a project or suggest conditions so that adverse effects can be avoided and thus result in a no adverse effect determination. It is also written to emphasize that a finding of no adverse effect is only a proposal when the Agency Official submits it to the SHPO/THPO for review. This provision also acknowledges that the practice of “conditional No Adverse Effect determinations” is acceptable.

Section 800.5(c). The Council will not review “no adverse effect” determinations on a routine basis. The Council will intervene and review no adverse effect determinations if it deems it appropriate based on the criteria listed in Appendix A or if the SHPO/THPO or another consulting party and the Federal agency disagree on the finding and the agency cannot resolve the disagreement. The SHPO/THPO and any consulting party wishing to disagree to the finding must do so within the 30-day review period. If Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations disagree with the finding, they can request the Council's review directly, but this must be done within the 30 day review period. If a SHPO/THPO fails to respond to an Agency Official finding within the 30 day review period, then the Agency Official can consider that to be SHPO/THPO agreement with the finding. When a finding is submitted to the Council, it will have 15 days for review; if it fails to respond within the 15 days, then the Agency Official may assume Council concurrence with the finding. When it reviews no adverse effect determinations, the Council will limit its review to whether or not the criteria have been correctly applied.

Section 800.5(d). Agencies must retain records of their findings of no adverse effect and make them available to the public. This means that the public should be given access to the information, subject to FOIA and other statutory limits on disclosure such as section 304 of the NHPA, when they so request. Failure of the agency to carry out the undertaking in accordance with the finding requires the Agency Official to reopen the section 106 process and determine whether the altered course of action constitutes an adverse effect. A finding of adverse effect requires further consultation on ways to resolve it.

Section 800.6(a)(1). When adverse effects are found, the consultation must continue among the Federal agency, SHPO/THPO and consulting parties to attempt to resolve them. The Agency Official must notify the Council when adverse effects are found and should invite the Council to participate in the consultation when the circumstances in § 800.6(a)(1)(i)(A)-(C) exist. A consulting party may also request the Council to join the consultation. The Council will decide on its participation within 15 days of receipt of a request, basing its decision on the criteria set forth in Appendix A. Whenever the Council decides to join the consultation, it must notify the Agency Official and the consulting parties. It must also advise the head of the Federal agency of its decision to participate. This is intended to keep the policy level of the Federal agency apprized of those cases that the Council has determined present issues significant enough to warrant its involvement.

Section 800.6(a)(2). This section allows for the entry of new consulting parties if the agency and the SHPO/THPO (and the Council, if participating) agree. If they do not agree, it is desirable for them to seek the Council's opinion on the involvement of the consulting party. Any party, including applicants, licensees or permittees, that may have responsibilities under a Memorandum of Agreement must be invited to participate as consulting parties in reaching the agreement.

Section 800.6(a)(3). This section specifies the Agency Official's Start Printed Page 77721obligation to provide project documentation to all consulting partes at the beginning of the consultation to resolve adverse effects. Particular note should be made of the reference to the confidentiality provisions.

Section 800.6(a)(4). The Federal agency must provide an opportunity for members of the public to express their views on an undertaking. The provision embodies the principles of flexibility, relating the agency effort to various aspects of the undertaking and its effects upon historic properties. The Federal agency must provide them with notice such that the public has enough time and information to meaningfully comment. If all relevant information was provided at earlier stages in the process in such a way that a wide audience was reached, and no new information is available at this stage in the process that would assist in the resolution of adverse effects, then a new public notice may not be warranted. However, this presumes that the public had the opportunity to make its views known on ways to resolve the adverse effects.

Section 800.6(a)(5). Although it is in the interest of the public to have as much information as possible in order to provide meaningful comments, this section acknowledges that information may be withheld in accordance with section 304 of the NHPA.

Section 800.6(b). If the Council is not a part of the consultation, then a copy of the Memorandum of Agreement must be sent to the Council so that the Council can include it in its files to have an understanding of a Federal agency's implementation of section 106. This does not provide the Council an opportunity to reopen the specific case, but may form the basis for other actions or advice related to an agency's overall performance in the section 106 process.

Section 800.6(b)(1). When resolving adverse effects without the Council, the Agency Official consults with the SHPO/THPO and other consulting parties to develop a Memorandum of Agreement. If this is achieved, the agreement is executed between the Agency Official and the SHPO/THPO and filed with required documentation with the Council. This filing is the formal conclusion of the section 106 process and must occur before the undertaking is approved. Standard treatments adopted by the Council may set expedited ways for competing memoranda of agreement in certain circumstances.

Section 800.6(b)(2). When the Council is involved, the consultation proceeds in the same manner, but the agreement of the Agency Official, the SHPO/THPO and the Council is required for a Memorandum of Agreement.

Section 800.6(c). This section details the provisions relating to Memoranda of Agreement. This document evidences an agency's compliance with section 106 and the agency is obligated to follow its terms. Failure to do so requires the Agency Official to reopen the section 106 process and bring it to suitable closure as prescribed in the regulations.

Section 800.6(c)(1). This section sets forth the rights of signatories to an agreement and identifies who is required to sign the agreement under specific circumstances. The term “signatory” has a special meaning as described in this section, which is the ability to terminate or agree to amend the Memorandum of Agreement. The term does not include others who sign the agreement as concurring parties.

Section 800.6(c)(2). Certain parties may be invited to be signatories in addition to those specified in § 800.6(c)(1). They include individuals and organizations that should, but do not have to, sign agreements. It is particularly desirable to have parties who assume obligations under the agreement become formal signatories. However, once invited signatories sign MOAs, they have the same rights to terminate or amend the MOA as the other signatories.

Section 800.6(c)(3). Other parties may be invited to concur in agreements. They do not have the rights to amend or terminate an MOA. Their signature simply shows that they are familiar with the terms of the agreement and do not object to it.

Sections 800.6(c)(4)-(9). These sections set forth specific features of a Memorandum of Agreement and the way it can be terminated or amended.

Section 800.7. This section specifies what happens when the consulting parties cannot reach agreement. Usually when consultation is terminated, the Council renders advisory comments to the head of the agency, which must be considered when the final agency decision on the undertaking is made.

Section 800.7(a)(1). This section requires that the head of the agency or an Assistant Secretary or officer with major department-wide or agency-wide responsibilities must request Council comments when the Agency Official terminates consultation. Section 110(l) of the NHPA requires heads of agencies to document their decision when an agreement has not been reached under section 106. If the agency head is responsible for documenting the decision, it is appropriate that the same individual request the Council's comments.

Section 800.7(a)(2). This section allows the Council and the Agency Official to conclude the section 106 process with a Memorandum of Agreement between them if the SHPO terminates consultation.

Section 800.7(a)(3). If a THPO terminates consultation, there can be no agreement with regard to undertakings that are on or affect properties on tribal lands and the Council will issue formal comments. This provision respects the tribe's unique sovereign status with regard to its lands.

Section 800.7(a)(4). This section governs cases where the Council terminates consultation. In that case, the Council has the duty to notify all consulting parties prior to commenting. The role given to the Federal Preservation Officer is intended to fulfill the NHPA's goal of having a central official in each agency to coordinate and facilitate the agency's involvement in the national historic preservation program.

Section 800.7(b). This section allows the Council to provide advisory comments even though it has signed a Memorandum of Agreement. It is intended to give the Council the flexibility to provide comments even where it has agreed to sign an MOA. Such comments might elaborate upon particular matters or provide suggestions to Federal agencies for future undertakings.

Section 800.7(c). This section gives the Council 45 days to provide its comments to the head of the agency for a response by the agency head. When submitting its comments, the Council will also provide the comments to the Federal Preservation Officer, among others, for information purposes.

Section 800.7(c)(4). This section specifies what it means to “document the agency head's decision” as required by section 110(l) when the Council issues its comment to the agency head.

Section 800.8. This major section guides how Federal agencies can coordinate the section 106 process with NEPA compliance. It is intended to allow compliance with section 106 to be incorporated into the NEPA documentation process while preserving the legal requirements of each statute.

Section 800.8(a)(1). This section encourages agencies to coordinate NEPA and section 106 compliance early in the planning process. It emphasizes that impacts on historic properties should be considered when an agency makes evaluations of its NEPA obligations, but makes clear that an adverse effect Start Printed Page 77722finding does not automatically trigger preparation of an EIS.

Section 800.8(a)(2). This section encourages consulting parties in the section 106 process to be prepared to consult with the Agency Official early in the NEPA process.

Section 800.8(a)(3). This section encourages agencies to include historic preservation issues in the development of various NEPA assessments and documents. This is essential for effective coordination between the two processes. It is intended to discourage agencies from postponing consideration of historic properties under NEPA until later initiation of the section 106 process.

Section 800.8(b). This section notes that a project, activity or program that falls within a NEPA categorical exclusion may still require section 106 review. An exclusion from NEPA does not necessarily mean that section 106 does not apply.

Section 800.8(c). This section offers Federal agencies an opportunity for major procedural streamlining when NEPA and section 106 both apply to a project. It allows the agency, when specific standards are met, to substitute preparation of an EA or an EIS for the specific steps of the section 106 process set out in these regulations.

Section 800.8(c)(1). This section lists the standards that must be adhered to when developing NEPA documents that are intended to incorporate 106 compliance. They are intended to ensure that the objectives of the section 106 process are being met even though the specific steps of the process are not being followed.

Section 800.8(c)(2). This section provides for Council and consulting party review of the agency's environmental document within NEPA's public comment review time frame. Consulting parties and the Council may object prior to or within this time frame to adequacy of the document.

Section 800.8(c)(3). If there is an objection to the NEPA document, the Council has 30 days to state whether or not it agrees with the objection. If the Council agrees with the objection, the Agency Official must complete the section 106 process through development of a Memorandum of Agreement or obtaining formal Council comment (§ 800.6-7). If it does not, then the Agency Official can complete its review under § 800.8.

Section 800.8(c)(4). This subsection explains how Agency Officials using NEPA coordination must finalize their section 106 compliance for those cases where an adverse effect is found. The Agency must document the proposed mitigation measures. A binding commitment with the proposed measures must be adopted. In the case of a FONSI, the binding commitment must be in the form of an MOA, drafted in accordance with § 800.6(c). Although the regulations do not send Agency Officials back to § 800.6(b) (regarding consultation towards an MOA), Agency Officials are reminded of the standards they must still follow under § 800.8(c)(1), and specifically the mitigation measures' consultation under § 800.8(c)(1)(v). In the case of an EIS, although a Memorandum of Agreement under § 800.6(c) is not required, an appropriate binding commitment must still be adopted. Finally, the subsection also clarifies the Agency Official's obligation to ensure that its approval of the undertaking is conditioned accordingly.

Section 800.8(c)(5). This section requires Federal agencies to supplement their NEPA documents or abide by §§ 800.3 through 800.6 in the event of a change in the proposed undertaking that alters the undertaking's impact on historic properties.

Section 800.9. This section delineates the methods the Council will use to oversee the operation of the section 106 process. The Council draws upon its general advisory powers and specific provisions of the NHPA to conduct these actions.

Section 800.9(a). This section emphasizes the right of the Council to provide advice at any time in the process on matters related to the section 106 process.

Section 800.9(b). A foreclosure means that an agency has gone forward with an undertaking to such an extent that the Council can not provide meaningful comments. A finding of foreclosure by the Council means that the Council has determined that the Federal agency has not fulfilled its section 106 responsibilities with regard to the undertaking. Such a finding does not trigger any specific action, but represents the opinion of the Council as the agency charged by statute with issuing the regulations that implement section 106.

Section 800.9(c). This section reiterates the requirements of section 110(k) of the Act added in 1992. It also provides a process by which the Council will comment if the Federal agency decides that circumstances may justify granting the assistance. If after considering the comments, the Federal agency does decide to grant the assistance, then the Federal agency must comply with section 106 for any historic properties that still may be affected. This does not require duplication of consultation that may have already taken place with the Council in the course of addressing 110(k), but is intended to ensure that the agency has meaningful consultation with the Council as to mitigating adverse effects if the agency decides to proceed with approving the undertaking.

Section 800.9(d). As the Council reduces its involvement in routine cases, it will be focusing its efforts more and more on agency programs and overall compliance with the section 106 process. The NHPA authorizes the Council to obtain information from Federal agencies and make recommendations on improving operation of the section 106 process. If the Council finds that an agency or a SHPO/THPO has not carried out its section 106 responsibilities properly, it may enter the section 106 process on an individual case basis to make improvement. The Council may also review agency operations and performance and make specific recommendations for improvement under section 202(a)(6) of the Act.

Section 800.10. This section provides a process for how Federal agencies must afford the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment on historic landmarks. It is largely unchanged from the process under previous regulations.

Section 800.11. This section sets forth the requirements for documentation at various steps in the section 106 process. It makes documentation requirements clearer and promotes agency use of documentation prepared for other planning requirements.

Section 800.11(a). The section allows for the phasing of documentation requirements when an agency is conducting phased identification and evaluation. The Council can advise on the resolution of disputes over adherence to documentation standards. However, the ultimate responsibility for compiling adequate documentation rests with the agency. During the consideration of any disputes over documentation, the process is not formally suspended. However, agencies should resolve significant disputes before going forward too far in the section 106 process in order to avoid subsequent delays.

Section 800.11(b). This section allows for the use of documents prepared for NEPA or other agency planning processes to fulfill this provision as long as those documents meet the standards in this section.

Section 800.11(c). This section is intended to protect the rights of private property owners with regard to proprietary information, and Indian Start Printed Page 77723tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations with regard to properties to which they attach religious and cultural significance. This section emphasizes that the regulations are subject to any other Federal statutes which protect certain kinds of information from full public disclosure. The role of the Secretary and the process of consultation with the Council are based on the statutory requirements of section 304 of the Act.

Section 800.11(d)-(f). These sections specify the documentation standards for various findings or actions in the section 106 process. They are incrementally more detailed as the historic preservation issues become more substantial or complex. Each is intended to provide basic information so that a third-party reviewer can understand the basis for an agency's finding or proposed decision.

Section 800.12. This section deals with emergency situations and generally follows the approach of previous regulations.

Section 800.12(a). This section encourages Federal agencies to develop procedures describing how the Federal agency will take into account historic properties during certain emergency operations, including imminent threats to life or property. The nature of the consultation required in developing such procedures will vary, depending upon the extent of actions covered by the procedures. The procedures must be approved by the Council if they are to substitute for Subpart B.

Section 800.12(b). If there are no agency procedures for taking historic properties into account during emergencies, then the Federal agency may either follow a previously-developed Programmatic Agreement or notify the Council, SHPO/THPO and, where appropriate, an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization concerned with potentially affected resources. If possible, the Federal agency should provide these parties 7 days to comment.

Section 800.12(c). This section permits a local government that has assumed section 106 responsibilities to use the provisions of § 800.12(a) and (b). However, if the Council or an SHPO/THPO objects, the local government must follow the normal section 106 process.

Section 800.12(d). A Federal agency may use the provisions in § 800.12 only for 30 days after an emergency or disaster has been declared, unless an extension is sought.

Section 800.13. This section deals with resources discovered after section 106 review has been completed.

Section 800.13(a). This section emphasizes the utility of developing Programmatic Agreements to deal with discoveries of historic properties which may occur during implementation of an undertaking. If there is no Programmatic Agreement to deal with discoveries, and the Agency Official determines that other historic properties are likely to be discovered, then a plan for how discoveries will be addressed must be included in a no adverse effect finding or a Memorandum of Agreement.

Section 800.13(b)(1). This section states the procedures that must be followed when construction has not yet occurred or an undertaking has not yet been approved. Because a Federal agency has more flexibility at this stage, adherence to the consultative process as set forth in § 800.6 is appropriate.

Section 800.13(b)(2). This section provides that where an archeological site has been discovered and where the Agency Official, SHPO/THPO and any appropriate Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization agree that it is of value solely for the data that it contains, the Agency Official can comply with the Archeological and Historic Preservation Act instead of the procedures in this subpart.

Section 800.13(b)(3). This section sets forth the procedures that must be followed when the undertaking has been approved and construction has commenced. Development of actions to resolve adverse effects and notification to the SHPO/THPO and the Council within 48 hours of the discovery are required. Comments from those parties are encouraged and the agency must report the actions it ended up taking to deal with the discovery.

Section 800.13(c). This section allows an agency to make an expedited field judgment regarding eligibility of properties discovered during construction.

Subpart C—Program Alternatives

Section 800.14. This section lays out a variety of alternative methods for Federal agencies to meet their section 106 obligations. They allow agencies to tailor the section 106 process to their needs.

Section 800.14(a). Alternate procedures are a major streamlining measure that allows tailoring of the section 106 process to Agency programs and decisionmaking processes. The procedures would substitute in whole or in part for the Council's section 106 regulations. As procedures, they would include formal Agency regulations, but would also include departmental or Agency procedures that do not go through the formal rulemaking process. Procedures must be developed in consultation with various parties as set forth in the regulations. The public must have an opportunity to comment on Alternate procedures. If the Council determines that they are consistent with its regulations, the alternate procedures may substitute for the Council's regulations. In reviewing alternate procedures for consistency, the Council will not require detailed adherence to every specific step of the process found under the Council's regulations. The Council, however, will look for procedures that afford historic properties consideration equivalent to that afforded by the Council's regulations and that meet the requirements of section 110(a)(2)(E) of the Act. If an Indian tribe has substituted its procedures for the Council's regulations pursuant to section 101(d)(5) of the NHPA, then the Federal agency must follow the agreement with the Council and the tribe's substitute regulations for undertakings on tribal lands.

Section 800.14(b). This section retains the concept of Programmatic Agreements. The circumstances under which a Programmatic Agreement is appropriate are specified. The section places Programmatic Agreements into two general categories: those covering agency programs and those covering complex or multiple undertakings. The section on Agency programs makes clear that the President of NCSHPO must sign a nationwide agreement when NCSHPO has participated in the consultation. If a Programmatic Agreement concerns a particular region, then the signature of the affected SHPOs/THPOs is required. An individual SHPO/THPO can terminate its participation in a regional Programmatic Agreement, but the agreement will remain in effect for the other states in the region. Only NCSHPO can terminate a nationwide Programmatic Agreement on behalf of the individual SHPOs. Language is included to recognize tribal sovereignty while providing flexibility to Federal agencies and tribes when developing Programmatic Agreements. While it does not prohibit the other parties from executing a Programmatic Agreement, the language does limit the effect of the agreement to non-tribal lands unless the tribe executes it. However, the language also authorizes multiple Indian tribes to designate a representative tribe or tribal organization to participate in consultation and sign a Programmatic Agreement on their behalf. Requirements for public involvement and notice are included. The section on complex or multiple undertakings ties Start Printed Page 77724back to § 800.6 for the process of creating such programmatic agreements.

Section 800.14(c). Exemptions are intended to remove from section 106 compliance those undertakings that have foreseeable effects on historic properties which are likely to be minimal. Section 214 of the NHPA gives the Council the authority to allow for such exemptions. This section sets forth the criteria, drawn from the statute, for exemptions and a process for obtaining (and terminating) an exemption.

Section 800.14(d). Standard treatments provide a streamlined process by which the Council can establish certain acceptable practices for dealing with a category of undertakings, effects, historic properties, or treatment options. A standard treatment may modify the application of the normal section 106 process under certain circumstances or simplify the steps or requirements of the regulations. This section sets forth the process for establishing a standard treatment and terminating it.

Section 800.14(e). Program comments are intended to give the Council the flexibility to issue comments on a Federal program or class of undertakings rather than comment on such undertakings on a case-by-case basis. This section sets forth the process for issuing such comments and withdrawing them. The Federal agency is obligated to consider, but not necessarily follow, the Council's comments. If it does not, the Council may withdraw the comment, in which case the agency continues to comply with section 106 on a case-by-case basis.

Section 800.14(f). The requirement for consultation program alternatives with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations is provided for in this section. It is an overlay on each of the Federal program alternatives set forth in § 800.14(a)-(e). It provides for government-to-government consultation with Indian tribes.

Section 800.15. Tribal, State and Local Program Alternatives. This section is presently reserved for future use. The Council will proceed with the review of tribal applications for substitution of tribal regulations for the Council's section 106 regulations on tribal lands, pursuant to section 101(d)(5) of the Act, on the basis of informal procedures. With regard to State agreements, the Council will keep in effect any currently valid State agreements until revised procedures for State agreements take effect or until the agreement is otherwise terminated.

Section 800.16. Definitions. This section includes new definitions to respond to identified needs for clarification and to reflect statutory amendments.

The term “Agency” is defined for ease of reference. It tracks the statutory definition in the NHPA.

The definition of “approval of the expenditure of funds” clarifies the intent of this statutory language as it appears in section 106 of the NHPA. This definition addresses the timing of section 106 compliance. A Federal agency must take into account the effects of its actions and provide the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment before the Agency decides to authorize funds, not just before the release of those funds. The intent of this provision is to emphasize the necessitate for compliance with section 106 early in the decision making process.

The definition of “area of potential effects” acknowledges that the determination of the area potential effects often depends on the nature and scale of the undertaking and the associated effects.

The definition of “comment” makes it clear that the term refers to the formal comments of the Council members.

The definition of “consultation” describes the nature and goals of this critical aspect of the section 106 review process.

The term “day” was defined to clarify the running of time periods.

The term “effect” is defined because, even though the “no effect” step is not in the rule, the concept of an undertaking's effect is still a part of the “historic properties affected” determination.

“Foreclosure” is a term that has always been a part of the section 106 process. The term describes the finding that is made by the Council when an Agency action precludes the Council from its reasonable opportunity to comment on an undertaking.

The term “head of the Agency” is defined in light of the 1992 amendments in section 110(l) that require that the head of an Agency document a decision where a Memorandum of Agreement has not been reached for an undertaking.

“Indian tribe” is defined exactly as in section 301(4) of the NHPA.

“Native Hawaiian organization” is defined exactly as in section 301(17) of the NHPA.

“Tribal Historic Preservation Officer” is the tribal official who has formally assumed the SHPO's responsibilities under section 101(d)(2) of the NHPA.

“Tribal lands” is defined exactly as in section 301(14) of the NHPA.

“Undertaking” is defined exactly as in section 301(7) of the statute. The Agency Official is responsible, in accordance with § 800.3(a), for making the determination as to whether a proposed Federal action is an undertaking. As appropriate, an agency should examine the nature of its Federal involvement taking into consideration factors such as the degree of Federal agency control or discretion; the type of Federal involvement or link to the action; and whether or not the action could move forward without Federal involvement. An agency should seek the advice of the Council when uncertain about whether or not its action falls within the definition of an undertaking. The 1986 regulatory definition of undertaking included new and continuing projects, activities, or programs and any of their elements not previously considered under section 106. It is intended that the new definition includes such aspects of a project, activity, or program as undertakings.

Appendix A. Criteria for Council Involvement in Reviewing Individual section 106 Cases

This appendix sets forth the criteria that will guide Council decisions to enter certain section 106 cases. As § 800.2(b)(1) states, the Council will document that the criteria have been met and notify the parties to the section 106 process as required. Council involvement in section 106 cases is not automatic once a criterion has been met. The Council retains discretion as to whether or not to enter such a case. Likewise, it is not essential that all criteria be met. The point of the criteria is to ensure that the Council has made a thoughtful decision to enter the section 106 process and to give agencies, SHPOs/THPOs and other section 106 participants a clear understanding of the kind of cases that warrant Council involvement.

V. Impact Analysis

The Regulatory Flexibility Act

The Council certifies that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Although comments on the proposed rule questioned the validity of such certification, the rule in its proposed and final versions imposes mandatory responsibilities on only Federal agencies. As set forth in section 106 of the NHPA, the duties to take into account the effect of an undertaking on historic resources and to afford the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment on that undertaking are Federal agency duties. Indirect effects on small entities, if any, created in the Start Printed Page 77725course of a Federal agency's compliance with section 106 of the NHPA, must be considered and evaluated by that Federal agency.

The Paperwork Reduction Act

The final regulations do not impose reporting or recordkeeping requirements or the collection of information as defined in the Paperwork Reduction Act.

The National Environmental Policy Act

In accordance with 36 CFR part 805, the Council initiated the NEPA compliance process for the Council's regulations implementing section 106 of the NHPA prior to publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register on September 13, 1996. On July 11, 2000, through a notice of availability on the Federal Register (65 FR 42850), the Council sought public comment on its Environmental Assessment and preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact. The Council has considered such comments, and has confirmed its finding of no significant impact on the human environment. A notice of availability of the Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact has been published in the Federal Register.

Executive Orders 12866 and 12875

The Council is exempt from compliance with Executive Order 12866 pursuant to implementing guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in a memorandum dated October 12, 1993. The Council also is exempt from the documentation requirements of Executive Order 12875 pursuant to implementing guidance issued by the same OMB office in a memorandum dated January 11, 1994. The rule does not mandate State, local, or tribal governments to participate in the section 106 process. Instead, State, local, and tribal governments may decline to participate. State Historic Preservation Officers do advise and assist Federal agencies, as appropriate, as part of their duties under section 101(b)(3)(E) of the NHPA, as a condition of their Federal grant assistance. In addition, in accordance with Executive Order 12875, the rule includes several flexible approaches to consideration of historic properties in Federal agency decision making, such as those under § 800.14 of the rule. The rule promotes flexibility and cost effective compliance by providing for alternate procedures, categorical exemptions, standard treatments, program comments, and programmatic agreements.

The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

The final rule implementing section 106 of the NHPA does not impose annual costs of $100 million or more, will not significantly or uniquely affect small governments, and is not a significant Federal intergovernmental mandate. The Council thus has no obligations under sections 202, 203, 204 and 205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act.

Executive Order 12898

The final rule implementing section 106 of the NHPA does not cause adverse human health or environmental effects, but, instead, seeks to avoid adverse effects on historic properties throughout the United States. The participation and consultation process established by this rule seeks to ensure public participation—including by minority and low-income populations and communities—by those whose cultural heritage, or whose interest in historic properties, may be affected by proposed Federal undertakings. The section 106 process is a means of access for minority and low-income populations to participate in Federal decisions or actions that may affect such resources as historically significant neighborhoods, buildings, and traditional cultural properties. The Council considers environmental justice issues in reviewing analysis of alternatives and mitigation options particularly when section 106 compliance is coordinated with NEPA compliance. Guidance and training is being developed to assist public understanding and use of this rule.

Memorandum Concerning Government-to-Government Relations With Native American Tribal Governments

The Council has fully complied with this Memorandum. A Native American/Native Hawaiian representative has served on the Council. As better detailed in the preamble to the rule adopted in 1999, the Council has consulted at length with Tribes in developing the substance of what became the proposed rule in this rulemaking. The rule enhances the opportunity for Native American involvement in the section 106 process and clarifies the obligation of Federal agencies to consult with Native Americans. The rule also enhances the Government-to-Government intentions of the memorandum.

Submission to Congress and the Comptroller General

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. The Council will submit a report containing this rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. This rule is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2). This rule will be effective January 11, 2001.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 36 CFR Part 800

End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part

For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation amends 36 CFR chapter VIII by revising part 800 to read as follows:

End Amendment Part Start Part

PART 800—PROTECTION OF HISTORIC PROPERTIES

Subpart A—Purposes and Participants
800.1
Purposes.
800.2
Participants in the Section 106 process.
Subpart B—The Section 106 Process
800.3
Initiation of the section 106 process.
800.4
Identification of historic properties.
800.5
Assessment of adverse effects.
800.6
Resolution of adverse effects.
800.7
Failure to resolve adverse effects.
800.8
Coordination with the National Environmental Policy Act.
800.9
Council review of Section 106 compliance.
800.10
Special requirements for protecting National Historic Landmarks.
800.11
Documentation standards.
800.12
Emergency situations.
800.13
Post-review discoveries.
Subpart C—Program Alternatives
800.14
Federal agency program alternatives.
800.15
Tribal, State, and local program alternatives. [Reserved]
800.16
Definitions.

Appendix A to Part 800—Criteria for Council involvement in reviewing individual section 106 cases

Start Authority

Authority: 16 U.S.C. 470s.

End Authority

Subpart A—Purposes and Participants

Purposes.

(a) Purposes of the section 106 process. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires Federal agencies to take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties and afford the Council a Start Printed Page 77726reasonable opportunity to comment on such undertakings. The procedures in this part define how Federal agencies meet these statutory responsibilities. The section 106 process seeks to accommodate historic preservation concerns with the needs of Federal undertakings through consultation among the agency official and other parties with an interest in the effects of the undertaking on historic properties, commencing at the early stages of project planning. The goal of consultation is to identify historic properties potentially affected by the undertaking, assess its effects and seek ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate any adverse effects on historic properties.

(b) Relation to other provisions of the act. Section 106 is related to other provisions of the act designed to further the national policy of historic preservation. References to those provisions are included in this part to identify circumstances where they may affect actions taken to meet section 106 requirements. Such provisions may have their own implementing regulations or guidelines and are not intended to be implemented by the procedures in this part except insofar as they relate to the section 106 process. Guidelines, policies, and procedures issued by other agencies, including the Secretary, have been cited in this part for ease of access and are not incorporated by reference.

(c) Timing. The agency official must complete the section 106 process “prior to the approval of the expenditure of any Federal funds on the undertaking or prior to the issuance of any license.” This does not prohibit agency official from conducting or authorizing nondestructive project planning activities before completing compliance with section 106, provided that such actions do not restrict the subsequent consideration of alternatives to avoid, minimize or mitigate the undertaking's adverse effects on historic properties. The agency official shall ensure that the section 106 process is initiated early in the undertaking's planning, so that a broad range of alternatives may be considered during the planning process for the undertaking.

Participants in the Section 106 process.

(a) Agency official. It is the statutory obligation of the Federal agency to fulfill the requirements of section 106 and to ensure that an agency official with jurisdiction over an undertaking takes legal and financial responsibility for section 106 compliance in accordance with subpart B of this part. The agency official has approval authority for the undertaking and can commit the Federal agency to take appropriate action for a specific undertaking as a result of section 106 compliance. For the purposes of subpart C of this part, the agency official has the authority to commit the Federal agency to any obligation it may assume in the implementation of a program alternative. The agency official may be a State, local, or tribal government official who has been delegated legal responsibility for compliance with section 106 in accordance with Federal law.

(1) Professional standards. Section 112(a)(1)(A) of the act requires each Federal agency responsible for the protection of historic resources, including archeological resources, to ensure that all actions taken by employees or contractors of the agency shall meet professional standards under regulations developed by the Secretary.

(2) Lead Federal agency. If more than one Federal agency is involved in an undertaking, some or all the agencies may designate a lead Federal agency, which shall identify the appropriate official to serve as the agency official who shall act on their behalf, fulfilling their collective responsibilities under section 106. Those Federal agencies that do not designate a lead Federal agency remain individually responsible for their compliance with this part.

(3) Use of contractors. Consistent with applicable conflict of interest laws, the agency official may use the services of applicants, consultants, or designees to prepare information, analyses and recommendations under this part. The agency official remains legally responsible for all required findings and determinations. If a document or study is prepared by a non-Federal party, the agency official is responsible for ensuring that its content meets applicable standards and guidelines.

(4) Consultation. The agency official shall involve the consulting parties described in paragraph (c) of this section in findings and determinations made during the section 106 process. The agency official should plan consultations appropriate to the scale of the undertaking and the scope of Federal involvement and coordinated with other requirements of other statutes, as applicable, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Archeological Resources Protection Act, and agency-specific legislation. The Council encourages the agency official to use to the extent possible existing agency procedures and mechanisms to fulfill the consultation requirements of this part.

(b) Council. The Council issues regulations to implement section 106, provides guidance and advice on the application of the procedures in this part, and generally oversees the operation of the section 106 process. The Council also consults with and comments to agency officials on individual undertakings and programs that affect historic properties.

(1) Council entry into the section 106 process. When the Council determines that its involvement is necessary to ensure that the purposes of section 106 and the act are met, the Council may enter the section 106 process. Criteria guiding Council decisions to enter the section 106 process are found in appendix A to this part. The Council will document that the criteria have been met and notify the parties to the section 106 process as required by this part.

(2) Council assistance. Participants in the section 106 process may seek advice, guidance and assistance from the Council on the application of this part to specific undertakings, including the resolution of disagreements, whether or not the Council is formally involved in the review of the undertaking. If questions arise regarding the conduct of the section 106 process, participants are encouraged to obtain the Council's advice on completing the process.

(c) Consulting parties. The following parties have consultative roles in the section 106 process.

(1) State historic preservation officer.

(i) The State historic preservation officer (SHPO) reflects the interests of the State and its citizens in the preservation of their cultural heritage. In accordance with section 101(b)(3) of the act, the SHPO advises and assists Federal agencies in carrying out their section 106 responsibilities and cooperates with such agencies, local governments and organizations and individuals to ensure that historic properties are taking into consideration at all levels of planning and development.

(ii) If an Indian tribe has assumed the functions of the SHPO in the section 106 process for undertakings on tribal lands, the SHPO shall participate as a consulting party if the undertaking takes place on tribal lands but affects historic properties off tribal lands, if requested in accordance with § 800.3(c)(1), or if the Indian tribe agrees to include the SHPO pursuant to § 800.3(f)(3).

(2) Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.

(i) Consultation on tribal lands. Start Printed Page 77727

(A) Tribal historic preservation officer. For a tribe that has assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO for section 106 on tribal lands under section 101(d)(2) of the act, the tribal historic preservation officer (THPO) appointed or designated in accordance with the act is the official representative for the purposes of section 106. The agency official shall consult with the THPO in lieu of the SHPO regarding undertakings occurring on or affecting historic properties on tribal lands.

(B) Tribes that have not assumed SHPO functions. When an Indian tribe has not assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO for section 106 on tribal lands under section 101(d)(2) of the act, the agency official shall consult with a representative designated by such Indian tribe in addition to the SHPO regarding undertakings occurring on or affecting historic properties on its tribal lands. Such Indian tribes have the same rights of consultation and concurrence that the THPOs are given throughout subpart B of this part, except that such consultations shall be in addition to and on the same basis as consultation with the SHPO.

(ii) Consultation on historic properties of significance to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. Section 101(d)(6)(B) of the act requires the agency official to consult with any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that attaches religious and cultural significance to historic properties that may be affected by an undertaking. This requirement applies regardless of the location of the historic property. Such Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization shall be a consulting party.

(A) The agency official shall ensure that consultation in the section 106 process provides the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization a reasonable opportunity to identify its concerns about historic properties, advise on the identification and evaluation of historic properties, including those of traditional religious and cultural importance, articulate its views on the undertaking's effects on such properties, and participate in the resolution of adverse effects. It is the responsibility of the agency official to make a reasonable and good faith effort to identify Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations that shall be consulted in the section 106 process. Consultation should commence early in the planning process, in order to identify and discuss relevant preservation issues and resolve concerns about the confidentiality of information on historic properties.

(B) The Federal Government has a unique legal relationship with Indian tribes set forth in the Constitution of the United States, treaties, statutes, and court decisions. Consultation with Indian tribes should be conducted in a sensitive manner respectful of tribal sovereignty. Nothing in this part alters, amends, repeals, interprets, or modifies tribal sovereignty, any treaty rights, or other rights of an Indian tribe, or preempts, modifies, or limits the exercise of any such rights.

(C) Consultation with an Indian tribe must recognize the government-to-government relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. The agency official shall consult with representatives designated or identified by the tribal government or the governing body of a Native Hawaiian organization. Consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations should be conducted in a manner sensitive to the concerns and needs of the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization.

(D) When Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties off tribal lands, section 101(d)(6)(B) of the act requires Federal agencies to consult with such Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in the section 106 process. Federal agencies should be aware that frequently historic properties of religious and cultural significance are located on ancestral, aboriginal, or ceded lands of Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and should consider that when complying with the procedures in this part.

(E) An Indian tribe or a Native Hawaiian organization may enter into an agreement with an agency official that specifies how they will carry out responsibilities under this part, including concerns over the confidentiality of information. An agreement may cover all aspects of tribal participation in the section 106 process, provided that no modification may be made in the roles of other parties to the section 106 process without their consent. An agreement may grant the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization additional rights to participate or concur in agency decisions in the section 106 process beyond those specified in subpart B of this part. The agency official shall provide a copy of any such agreement to the Council and the appropriate SHPOs.

(F) An Indian tribe that has not assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO for section 106 on tribal lands under section 101(d)(2) of the act may notify the agency official in writing that it is waiving its rights under § 800.6(c)(1) to execute a memorandum of agreement.

(3) Representatives of local governments. A representative of a local government with jurisdiction over the area in which the effects of an undertaking may occur is entitled to participate as a consulting party. Under other provisions of Federal law, the local government may be authorized to act as the agency official for purposes of section 106.

(4) Applicants for Federal assistance, permits, licenses, and other approvals. An applicant for Federal assistance or for a Federal permit, license, or other approval is entitled to participate as a consulting party as defined in this part. The agency official may authorize an applicant or group of applicants to initiate consultation with the SHPO/THPO and others, but remains legally responsible for all findings and determinations charged to the agency official. The agency official shall notify the SHPO/THPO when an applicant or group of applicants is so authorized. A Federal agency may authorize all applicants in a specific program pursuant to this section by providing notice to all SHPO/THPOs. Federal agencies that provide authorizations to applicants remain responsible for their government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes.

(5) Additional consulting parties. Certain individuals and organizations with a demonstrated interest in the undertaking may participate as consulting parties due to the nature of their legal or economic relation to the undertaking or affected properties, or their concern with the undertaking's effects on historic properties.

(d) The public.

(1) Nature of involvement. The views of the public are essential to informed Federal decisionmaking in the section 106 process. The agency official shall seek and consider the views of the public in a manner that reflects the nature and complexity of the undertaking and its effects on historic properties, the likely interest of the public in the effects on historic properties, confidentiality concerns of private individuals and businesses, and the relationship of the Federal involvement to the undertaking.

(2) Providing notice and information. The agency official must, except where appropriate to protect confidentiality concerns of affected parties, provide the public with information about an undertaking and its effects on historic properties and seek public comment and input. Members of the public may Start Printed Page 77728also provide views on their own initiative for the agency official to consider in decisionmaking.

(3) Use of agency procedures. The agency official may use the agency's procedures for public involvement under the National Environmental Policy Act or other program requirements in lieu of public involvement requirements in subpart B of this part, if they provide adequate opportunities for public involvement consistent with this subpart.

Subpart B—The section 106 Process

Initiation of the section 106 process.

(a) Establish undertaking. The agency official shall determine whether the proposed Federal action is an undertaking as defined in § 800.16(y) and, if so, whether it is a type of activity that has the potential to cause effects on historic properties.

(1) No potential to cause effects. If the undertaking is a type of activity that does not have the potential to cause effects on historic properties, assuming such historic properties were present, the agency official has no further obligations under section 106 or this part.

(2) Program alternatives. If the review of the undertaking is governed by a Federal agency program alternative established under § 800.14 or a programmatic agreement in existence before January 11, 2001, the agency official shall follow the program alternative.

(b) Coordinate with other reviews. The agency official should coordinate the steps of the section 106 process, as appropriate, with the overall planning schedule for the undertaking and with any reviews required under other authorities such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Archeological Resources Protection Act, and agency-specific legislation, such as section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act. Where consistent with the procedures in this subpart, the agency official may use information developed for other reviews under Federal, State, or tribal law to meet the requirements of section 106.

(c) Identify the appropriate SHPO and/or THPO. As part of its initial planning, the agency official shall determine the appropriate SHPO or SHPOs to be involved in the section 106 process. The agency official shall also determine whether the undertaking may occur on or affect historic properties on any tribal lands and, if so, whether a THPO has assumed the duties of the SHPO. The agency official shall then initiate consultation with the appropriate officer or officers.

(1) Tribal assumption of SHPO responsibilities. Where an Indian tribe has assumed the section 106 responsibilities of the SHPO on tribal lands pursuant to section 101(d)(2) of the act, consultation for undertakings occurring on tribal land or for effects on tribal land is with the THPO for the Indian tribe in lieu of the SHPO. Section 101(d)(2)(D)(iii) of the act authorizes owners of properties on tribal lands which are neither owned by a member of the tribe nor held in trust by the Secretary for the benefit of the tribe to request the SHPO to participate in the section 106 process in addition to the THPO.

(2) Undertakings involving more than one State. If more than one State is involved in an undertaking, the involved SHPOs may agree to designate a lead SHPO to act on their behalf in the section 106 process, including taking actions that would conclude the section 106 process under this subpart.

(3) Conducting consultation. The agency official should consult with the SHPO/THPO in a manner appropriate to the agency planning process for the undertaking and to the nature of the undertaking and its effects on historic properties.

(4) Failure of the SHPO/THPO to respond. If the SHPO/THPO fails to respond within 30 days of receipt of a request for review of a finding or determination, the agency official may either proceed to the next step in the process based on the finding or determination or consult with the Council in lieu of the SHPO/THPO. If the SHPO/THPO re-enters the Section 106 process, the agency official shall continue the consultation without being required to reconsider previous findings or determinations.

(d) Consultation on tribal lands. Where the Indian tribe has not assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO on tribal lands, consultation with the Indian tribe regarding undertakings occurring on such tribe's lands or effects on such tribal lands shall be in addition to and on the same basis as consultation with the SHPO. If the SHPO has withdrawn from the process, the agency official may complete the section 106 process with the Indian tribe and the Council, as appropriate. An Indian tribe may enter into an agreement with a SHPO or SHPOs specifying the SHPO's participation in the section 106 process for undertakings occurring on or affecting historic properties on tribal lands.

(e) Plan to involve the public. In consultation with the SHPO/THPO, the agency official shall plan for involving the public in the section 106 process. The agency official shall identify the appropriate points for seeking public input and for notifying the public of proposed actions, consistent with § 800.2(d).

(f) Identify other consulting parties. In consultation with the SHPO/THPO, the agency official shall identify any other parties entitled to be consulting parties and invite them to participate as such in the section 106 process. The agency official may invite others to participate as consulting parties as the section 106 process moves forward.

(1) Involving local governments and applicants. The agency official shall invite any local governments or applicants that are entitled to be consulting parties under § 800.2(c).

(2) Involving Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. The agency official shall make a reasonable and good faith effort to identify any Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations that might attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties in the area of potential effects and invite them to be consulting parties. Such Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that requests in writing to be a consulting party shall be one.

(3) Requests to be consulting parties. The agency official shall consider all written requests of individuals and organizations to participate as consulting parties and, in consultation with the SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe upon whose tribal lands an undertaking occurs or affects historic properties, determine which should be consulting parties.

(g) Expediting consultation. A consultation by the agency official with the SHPO/THPO and other consulting parties may address multiple steps in §§ 800.3 through 800.6 where the agency official and the SHPO/THPO agree it is appropriate as long as the consulting parties and the public have an adequate opportunity to express their views as provided in § 800.2(d).

Identification of historic properties.

(a) Determine scope of identification efforts. In consultation with the SHPO/THPO, the agency official shall:

(1) Determine and document the area of potential effects, as defined in § 800.16(d);

(2) Review existing information on historic properties within the area of potential effects, including any data Start Printed Page 77729concerning possible historic properties not yet identified;

(3) Seek information, as appropriate, from consulting parties, and other individuals and organizations likely to have knowledge of, or concerns with, historic properties in the area, and identify issues relating to the undertaking's potential effects on historic properties; and

(4) Gather information from any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization identified pursuant to § 800.3(f) to assist in identifying properties, including those located off tribal lands, which may be of religious and cultural significance to them and may be eligible for the National Register, recognizing that an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization may be reluctant to divulge specific information regarding the location, nature, and activities associated with such sites. The agency official should address concerns raised about confidentiality pursuant to § 800.11(c).

(b) Identify historic properties. Based on the information gathered under paragraph (a) of this section, and in consultation with the SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that might attach religious and cultural significance to properties within the area of potential effects, the agency official shall take the steps necessary to identify historic properties within the area of potential effects.

(1) Level of effort. The agency official shall make a reasonable and good faith effort to carry out appropriate identification efforts, which may include background research, consultation, oral history interviews, sample field investigation, and field survey. The agency official shall take into account past planning, research and studies, the magnitude and nature of the undertaking and the degree of Federal involvement, the nature and extent of potential effects on historic properties, and the likely nature and location of historic properties within the area of potential effects. The Secretary's standards and guidelines for identification provide guidance on this subject. The agency official should also consider other applicable professional, State, tribal, and local laws, standards, and guidelines. The agency official shall take into account any confidentiality concerns raised by Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations during the identification process.

(2) Phased identification and evaluation. Where alternatives under consideration consist of corridors or large land areas, or where access to properties is restricted, the agency official may use a phased process to conduct identification and evaluation efforts. The agency official may also defer final identification and evaluation of historic properties if it is specifically provided for in a memorandum of agreement executed pursuant to § 800.6, a programmatic agreement executed pursuant to § 800.14(b), or the documents used by an agency official to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act pursuant to § 800.8. The process should establish the likely presence of historic properties within the area of potential effects for each alternative or inaccessible area through background research, consultation and an appropriate level of field investigation, taking into account the number of alternatives under consideration, the magnitude of the undertaking and its likely effects, and the views of the SHPO/THPO and any other consulting parties. As specific aspects or locations of an alternative are refined or access is gained, the agency official shall proceed with the identification and evaluation of historic properties in accordance with paragraphs (b)(1) and (c) of this section.

(c) Evaluate historic significance.

(1) Apply National Register criteria. In consultation with the SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that attaches religious and cultural significance to identified properties and guided by the Secretary's standards and guidelines for evaluation, the agency official shall apply the National Register criteria (36 CFR part 63) to properties identified within the area of potential effects that have not been previously evaluated for National Register eligibility. The passage of time, changing perceptions of significance, or incomplete prior evaluations may require the agency official to reevaluate properties previously determined eligible or ineligible. The agency official shall acknowledge that Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations possess special expertise in assessing the eligibility of historic properties that may possess religious and cultural significance to them.

(2) Determine whether a property is eligible. If the agency official determines any of the National Register criteria are met and the SHPO/THPO agrees, the property shall be considered eligible for the National Register for section 106 purposes. If the agency official determines the criteria are not met and the SHPO/THPO agrees, the property shall be considered not eligible. If the agency official and the SHPO/THPO do not agree, or if the Council or the Secretary so request, the agency official shall obtain a determination of eligibility from the Secretary pursuant to 36 CFR part 63. If an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that attaches religious and cultural significance to a property off tribal lands does not agree, it may ask the Council to request the agency official to obtain a determination of eligibility.

(d) Results of identification and evaluation.

(1) No historic properties affected. If the agency official finds that either there are no historic properties present or there are historic properties present but the undertaking will have no effect upon them as defined in § 800.16(i), the agency official shall provide documentation of this finding, as set forth in § 800.11(d), to the SHPO/THPO. The agency official shall notify all consulting parties, including Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, and make the documentation available for public inspection prior to approving the undertaking. If the SHPO/THPO, or the Council if it has entered the section 106 process, does not object within 30 days of receipt of an adequately documented finding, the agency official's responsibilities under section 106 are fulfilled.

(2) Historic properties affected. If the agency official finds that there are historic properties which may be affected by the undertaking or the SHPO/THPO or the Council objects to the agency official's finding under paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the agency official shall notify all consulting parties, including Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations, invite their views on the effects and assess adverse effects, if any, in accordance with § 800.5.

Assessment of adverse effects.

(a) Apply criteria of adverse effect. In consultation with the SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that attaches religious and cultural significance to identified historic properties, the agency official shall apply the criteria of adverse effect to historic properties within the area of potential effects. The agency official shall consider any views concerning such effects which have been provided by consulting parties and the public.

(1) Criteria of adverse effect. An adverse effect is found when an undertaking may alter, directly or indirectly, any of the characteristics of a historic property that qualify the property for inclusion in the National Register in a manner that would diminish the integrity of the property's location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, or association. Consideration shall be given to all Start Printed Page 77730qualifying characteristics of a historic property, including those that may have been identified subsequent to the original evaluation of the property's eligibility for the National Register. Adverse effects may include reasonably foreseeable effects caused by the undertaking that may occur later in time, be farther removed in distance or be cumulative.

(2) Examples of adverse effects. Adverse effects on historic properties include, but are not limited to:

(i) Physical destruction of or damage to all or part of the property;

(ii) Alteration of a property, including restoration, rehabilitation, repair, maintenance, stabilization, hazardous material remediation, and provision of handicapped access, that is not consistent with the Secretary's standards for the treatment of historic properties (36 CFR part 68) and applicable guidelines;

(iii) Removal of the property from its historic location;

(iv) Change of the character of the property's use or of physical features within the property's setting that contribute to its historic significance;

(v) Introduction of visual, atmospheric or audible elements that diminish the integrity of the property's significant historic features;

(vi) Neglect of a property which causes its deterioration, except where such neglect and deterioration are recognized qualities of a property of religious and cultural significance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization; and

(vii) Transfer, lease, or sale of property out of Federal ownership or control without adequate and legally enforceable restrictions or conditions to ensure long-term preservation of the property's historic significance.

(3) Phased application of criteria. Where alternatives under consideration consist of corridors or large land areas, or where access to properties is restricted, the agency official may use a phased process in applying the criteria of adverse effect consistent with phased identification and evaluation efforts conducted pursuant to § 800.4(b)(2).

(b) Finding of no adverse effect. The agency official, in consultation with the SHPO/THPO, may propose a finding of no adverse effect when the undertaking's effects do not meet the criteria of paragraph (a)(1) of this section or the undertaking is modified or conditions are imposed, such as the subsequent review of plans for rehabilitation by the SHPO/THPO to ensure consistency with the Secretary's standards for the treatment of historic properties (36 CFR part 68) and applicable guidelines, to avoid adverse effects.

(c) Consulting party review. If the agency official proposes a finding of no adverse effect, the agency official shall notify all consulting parties of the finding and provide them with the documentation specified in § 800.11(e). The SHPO/THPO shall have 30 days from receipt to review the finding.

(1) Agreement with finding. Unless the Council is reviewing the finding pursuant to § 800.5(c)(3), the agency official may proceed if the SHPO/THPO agrees with the finding. The agency official shall carry out the undertaking in accordance with § 800.5(d)(1). Failure of the SHPO/THPO to respond within 30 days from receipt of the finding shall be considered agreement of the SHPO/THPO with the finding.

(2) Disagreement with finding.

(i) If the SHPO/THPO or any consulting party disagrees within the 30-day review period, it shall specify the reasons for disagreeing with the finding. The agency official shall either consult with the party to resolve the disagreement, or request the Council to review the finding pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(ii) The agency official should seek the concurrence of any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that has made known to the agency official that it attaches religious and cultural significance to a historic property subject to the finding. If such Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization disagrees with the finding, it may within the 30-day review period specify the reasons for disagreeing with the finding and request the Council to review the finding pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section.

(iii) If the Council on its own initiative so requests within the 30-day review period, the agency official shall submit the finding, along with the documentation specified in § 800.11(e), for review pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section. A Council decision to make such a request shall be guided by the criteria in appendix A to this part.

(3) Council review of findings. When a finding is submitted to the Council pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the agency official shall include the documentation specified in § 800.11(e). The Council shall review the finding and notify the agency official of its determination as to whether the adverse effect criteria have been correctly applied within 15 days of receiving the documented finding from the agency official. The Council shall specify the basis for its determination. The agency official shall proceed in accordance with the Council's determination. If the Council does not respond within 15 days of receipt of the finding, the agency official may assume concurrence with the agency official's findings and proceed accordingly.

(d) Results of assessment.

(1) No adverse effect. The agency official shall maintain a record of the finding and provide information on the finding to the public on request, consistent with the confidentiality provisions of § 800.11(c). Implementation of the undertaking in accordance with the finding as documented fulfills the agency official's responsibilities under section 106 and this part. If the agency official will not conduct the undertaking as proposed in the finding, the agency official shall reopen consultation under paragraph (a) of this section.

(2) Adverse effect. If an adverse effect is found, the agency official shall consult further to resolve the adverse effect pursuant to § 800.6.

Resolution of adverse effects.

(a) Continue consultation. The agency official shall consult with the SHPO/THPO and other consulting parties, including Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, to develop and evaluate alternatives or modifications to the undertaking that could avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects on historic properties.

(1) Notify the Council and determine Council participation. The agency official shall notify the Council of the adverse effect finding by providing the documentation specified in § 800.11(e).

(i) The notice shall invite the Council to participate in the consultation when:

(A) The agency official wants the Council to participate;

(B) The undertaking has an adverse effect upon a National Historic Landmark; or

(C) A programmatic agreement under § 800.14(b) will be prepared;

(ii) The SHPO/THPO, an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization, or any other consulting party may at any time independently request the Council to participate in the consultation.

(iii) The Council shall advise the agency official and all consulting parties whether it will participate within 15 days of receipt of notice or other request. Prior to entering the process, the Council shall provide written notice to the agency official and the consulting parties that its decision to participate meets the criteria set forth in appendix A to this part. The Council shall also advise the head of the agency of its decision to enter the process. Consultation with Council participation Start Printed Page 77731is conducted in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(iv) If the Council does not join the consultation, the agency official shall proceed with consultation in accordance with paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(2) Involve consulting parties. In addition to the consulting parties identified under § 800.3(f), the agency official, the SHPO/THPO and the Council, if participating, may agree to invite other individuals or organizations to become consulting parties. The agency official shall invite any individual or organization that will assume a specific role or responsibility in a memorandum of agreement to participate as a consulting party.

(3) Provide documentation. The agency official shall provide to all consulting parties the documentation specified in § 800.11(e), subject to the confidentiality provisions of § 800.11(c), and such other documentation as may be developed during the consultation to resolve adverse effects.

(4) Involve the public. The agency official shall make information available to the public, including the documentation specified in § 800.11(e), subject to the confidentiality provisions of § 800.11(c). The agency official shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to express their views on resolving adverse effects of the undertaking. The agency official should use appropriate mechanisms, taking into account the magnitude of the undertaking and the nature of its effects upon historic properties, the likely effects on historic properties, and the relationship of the Federal involvement to the undertaking to ensure that the public's views are considered in the consultation. The agency official should also consider the extent of notice and information concerning historic preservation issues afforded the public at earlier steps in the section 106 process to determine the appropriate level of public involvement when resolving adverse effects so that the standards of § 800.2(d) are met.

(5) Restrictions on disclosure of information. Section 304 of the act and other authorities may limit the disclosure of information under paragraphs (a)(3) and (a)(4) of this section. If an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization objects to the disclosure of information or if the agency official believes that there are other reasons to withhold information, the agency official shall comply with § 800.11(c) regarding the disclosure of such information.

(b) Resolve adverse effects.

(1) Resolution without the Council.

(i) The agency official shall consult with the SHPO/THPO and other consulting parties to seek ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate the adverse effects.

(ii) The agency official may use standard treatments established by the Council under § 800.14(d) as a basis for a memorandum of agreement.

(iii) If the Council decides to join the consultation, the agency official shall follow paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(iv) If the agency official and the SHPO/THPO agree on how the adverse effects will be resolved, they shall execute a memorandum of agreement. The agency official must submit a copy of the executed memorandum of agreement, along with the documentation specified in § 800.11(f), to the Council prior to approving the undertaking in order to meet the requirements of section 106 and this subpart.

(v) If the agency official, and the SHPO/THPO fail to agree on the terms of a memorandum of agreement, the agency official shall request the Council to join the consultation and provide the Council with the documentation set forth in § 800.11(g). If the Council decides to join the consultation, the agency official shall proceed in accordance with paragraph (b)(2) of this section. If the Council decides not to join the consultation, the Council will notify the agency and proceed to comment in accordance with § 800.7(c).

(2) Resolution with Council participation. If the Council decides to participate in the consultation, the agency official shall consult with the SHPO/THPO, the Council, and other consulting parties, including Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations under § 800.2(c)(3), to seek ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate the adverse effects. If the agency official, the SHPO/THPO, and the Council agree on how the adverse effects will be resolved, they shall execute a memorandum of agreement.

(c) Memorandum of agreement. A memorandum of agreement executed and implemented pursuant to this section evidences the agency official's compliance with section 106 and this part and shall govern the undertaking and all of its parts. The agency official shall ensure that the undertaking is carried out in accordance with the memorandum of agreement.

(1) Signatories. The signatories have sole authority to execute, amend or terminate the agreement in accordance with this subpart.

(i) The agency official and the SHPO/THPO are the signatories to a memorandum of agreement executed pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

(ii) The agency official, the SHPO/THPO, and the Council are the signatories to a memorandum of agreement executed pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(iii) The agency official and the Council are signatories to a memorandum of agreement executed pursuant to § 800.7(a)(2).

(2) Invited signatories.

(i) The agency official may invite additional parties to be signatories to a memorandum of agreement. Any such party that signs the memorandum of agreement shall have the same rights with regard to seeking amendment or termination of the memorandum of agreement as other signatories.

(ii) The agency official may invite an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that attaches religious and cultural significance to historic properties located off tribal lands to be a signatory to a memorandum of agreement concerning such properties.

(iii) The agency official should invite any party that assumes a responsibility under a memorandum of agreement to be a signatory.

(iv) The refusal of any party invited to become a signatory to a memorandum of agreement pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section does not invalidate the memorandum of agreement.

(3) Concurrence by others. The agency official may invite all consulting parties to concur in the memorandum of agreement. The signatories may agree to invite others to concur. The refusal of any party invited to concur in the memorandum of agreement does not invalidate the memorandum of agreement.

(4) Reports on implementation. Where the signatories agree it is appropriate, a memorandum of agreement shall include a provision for monitoring and reporting on its implementation.

(5) Duration. A memorandum of agreement shall include provisions for termination and for reconsideration of terms if the undertaking has not been implemented within a specified time.

(6) Discoveries. Where the signatories agree it is appropriate, a memorandum of agreement shall include provisions to deal with the subsequent discovery or identification of additional historic properties affected by the undertaking.

(7) Amendments. The signatories to a memorandum of agreement may amend it. If the Council was not a signatory to the original agreement and the signatories execute an amended agreement, the agency official shall file it with the Council. Start Printed Page 77732

(8) Termination. If any signatory determines that the terms of a memorandum of agreement cannot be or are not being carried out, the signatories shall consult to seek amendment of the agreement. If the agreement is not amended, any signatory may terminate it. The agency official shall either execute a memorandum of agreement with signatories under paragraph (c)(1) of this section or request the comments of the Council under § 800.7(a).

(9) Copies. The agency official shall provide each consulting party with a copy of any memorandum of agreement executed pursuant to this subpart.

Failure to resolve adverse effects.

(a) Termination of consultation. After consulting to resolve adverse effects pursuant to § 800.6(b)(2), the agency official, the SHPO/THPO, or the Council may determine that further consultation will not be productive and terminate consultation. Any party that terminates consultation shall notify the other consulting parties and provide them the reasons for terminating in writing.

(1) If the agency official terminates consultation, the head of the agency or an Assistant Secretary or other officer with major department-wide or agency-wide responsibilities shall request that the Council comment pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section and shall notify all consulting parties of the request.

(2) If the SHPO terminates consultation, the agency official and the Council may execute a memorandum of agreement without the SHPO's involvement.

(3) If a THPO terminates consultation regarding an undertaking occurring on or affecting historic properties on its tribal lands, the Council shall comment pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section.

(4) If the Council terminates consultation, the Council shall notify the agency official, the agency's Federal preservation officer and all consulting parties of the termination and comment under paragraph (c) of this section. The Council may consult with the agency's Federal preservation officer prior to terminating consultation to seek to resolve issues concerning the undertaking and its effects on historic properties.

(b) Comments without termination. The Council may determine that it is appropriate to provide additional advisory comments upon an undertaking for which a memorandum of agreement will be executed. The Council shall provide them to the agency official when it executes the memorandum of agreement.

(c) Comments by the Council.

(1) Preparation. The Council shall provide an opportunity for the agency official, all consulting parties, and the public to provide their views within the time frame for developing its comments. Upon request of the Council, the agency official shall provide additional existing information concerning the undertaking and assist the Council in arranging an onsite inspection and an opportunity for public participation.

(2) Timing. The Council shall transmit its comments within 45 days of receipt of a request under paragraph (a)(1) or (a)(3) of this section or § 800.8(c)(3), or termination by the Council under § 800.6(b)(1)(v) or paragraph (a)(4) of this section, unless otherwise agreed to by the agency official.

(3) Transmittal. The Council shall provide its comments to the head of the agency requesting comment with copies to the agency official, the agency's Federal preservation officer, all consulting parties, and others as appropriate.

(4) Response to Council comment. The head of the agency shall take into account the Council's comments in reaching a final decision on the undertaking. Section 110(l) of the act directs that the head of the agency shall document this decision and may not delegate his or her responsibilities pursuant to section 106. Documenting the agency head's decision shall include:

(i) Preparing a summary of the decision that contains the rationale for the decision and evidence of consideration of the Council's comments and providing it to the Council prior to approval of the undertaking;

(ii) Providing a copy of the summary to all consulting parties; and

(iii) Notifying the public and making the record available for public inspection.

Coordination With the National Environmental Policy Act.

(a) General principles.

(1) Early coordination. Federal agencies are encouraged to coordinate compliance with section 106 and the procedures in this part with any steps taken to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Agencies should consider their section 106 responsibilities as early as possible in the NEPA process, and plan their public participation, analysis, and review in such a way that they can meet the purposes and requirements of both statutes in a timely and efficient manner. The determination of whether an undertaking is a “major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment,” and therefore requires preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) under NEPA, should include consideration of the undertaking's likely effects on historic properties. A finding of adverse effect on a historic property does not necessarily require an EIS under NEPA.

(2) Consulting party roles. SHPO/THPOs, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations, other consulting parties, and organizations and individuals who may be concerned with the possible effects of an agency action on historic properties should be prepared to consult with agencies early in the NEPA process, when the purpose of and need for the proposed action as well as the widest possible range of alternatives are under consideration.

(3) Inclusion of historic preservation issues. Agency officials should ensure that preparation of an environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact (FONSI) or an EIS and record of decision (ROD) includes appropriate scoping, identification of historic properties, assessment of effects upon them, and consultation leading to resolution of any adverse effects.

(b) Actions categorically excluded under NEPA. If a project, activity or program is categorically excluded from NEPA review under an agency's NEPA procedures, the agency official shall determine if it still qualifies as an undertaking requiring review under section 106 pursuant to § 800.3(a). If so, the agency official shall proceed with section 106 review in accordance with the procedures in this subpart.

(c) Use of the NEPA process for section 106 purposes. An agency official may use the process and documentation required for the preparation of an EA/FONSI or an EIS/ROD to comply with section 106 in lieu of the procedures set forth in §§ 800.3 through 800.6 if the agency official has notified in advance the SHPO/THPO and the Council that it intends to do so and the following standards are met.

(1) Standards for developing environmental documents to comply with Section 106. During preparation of the EA or draft EIS (DEIS) the agency official shall:

(i) Identify consulting parties either pursuant to § 800.3(f) or through the NEPA scoping process with results consistent with § 800.3(f);

(ii) Identify historic properties and assess the effects of the undertaking on such properties in a manner consistent with the standards and criteria of §§ 800.4 through 800.5, provided that the scope and timing of these steps may be phased to reflect the agency official's Start Printed Page 77733consideration of project alternatives in the NEPA process and the effort is commensurate with the assessment of other environmental factors;

(iii) Consult regarding the effects of the undertaking on historic properties with the SHPO/THPO, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations that might attach religious and cultural significance to affected historic properties, other consulting parties, and the Council, where appropriate, during NEPA scoping, environmental analysis, and the preparation of NEPA documents;

(iv) Involve the public in accordance with the agency's published NEPA procedures; and (v) Develop in consultation with identified consulting parties alternatives and proposed measures that might avoid, minimize or mitigate any adverse effects of the undertaking on historic properties and describe them in the EA or DEIS.

(2) Review of environmental documents.

(i) The agency official shall submit the EA, DEIS, or EIS to the SHPO/THPO, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations that might attach religious and cultural significance to affected historic properties, and other consulting parties prior to or when making the document available for public comment. If the document being prepared is a DEIS or EIS, the agency official shall also submit it to the Council.

(ii) Prior to or within the time allowed for public comment on the document, a SHPO/THPO, an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization, another consulting party or the Council may object to the agency official that preparation of the EA, DEIS, or EIS has not met the standards set forth in paragraph (c)(1) of this section or that the substantive resolution of the effects on historic properties proposed in an EA, DEIS, or EIS is inadequate. If the agency official receives such an objection, the agency official shall refer the matter to the Council.

(3) Resolution of objections. Within 30 days of the agency official's referral of an objection under paragraph (c)(2)(ii) of this section, the Council shall notify the agency official either that it agrees with the objection, in which case the agency official shall enter into consultation in accordance with § 800.6(b)(2) or seek Council comments in accordance with § 800.7(a), or that it disagrees with the objection, in which case the agency official shall continue its compliance with this section. Failure of the Council to respond within the 30 day period shall be considered disagreement with the objection.

(4) Approval of the undertaking. If the agency official has found, during the preparation of an EA or EIS that the effects of an undertaking on historic properties are adverse, the agency official shall develop measures in the EA, DEIS, or EIS to avoid, minimize, or mitigate such effects in accordance with paragraph (c)(1)(v) of this section. The agency official's responsibilities under section 106 and the procedures in this subpart shall then be satisfied when either:

(i) A binding commitment to such proposed measures is incorporated in:

(A) The ROD, if such measures were proposed in a DEIS or EIS; or

(B) An MOA drafted in compliance with § 800.6(c); or

(ii) The Council has commented under § 800.7 and received the agency's response to such comments.

(5) Modification of the undertaking. If the undertaking is modified after approval of the FONSI or the ROD in a manner that changes the undertaking or alters its effects on historic properties, or if the agency official fails to ensure that the measures to avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse effects (as specified in either the FONSI or the ROD, or in the binding commitment adopted pursuant to paragraph (c)(4) of this section) are carried out, the agency official shall notify the Council and all consulting parties that supplemental environmental documents will be prepared in compliance with NEPA or that the procedures in §§ 800.3 through 800.6 will be followed as necessary.

Council review of section 106 compliance.

(a) Assessment of agency official compliance for individual undertakings. The Council may provide to the agency official its advisory opinion regarding the substance of any finding, determination or decision or regarding the adequacy of the agency official's compliance with the procedures under this part. The Council may provide such advice at any time at the request of any individual, agency or organization or on its own initiative. The agency official shall consider the views of the Council in reaching a decision on the matter in question.

(b) Agency foreclosure of the Council's opportunity to comment. Where an agency official has failed to complete the requirements of section 106 in accordance with the procedures in this part prior to the approval of an undertaking, the Council's opportunity to comment may be foreclosed. The Council may review a case to determine whether a foreclosure has occurred. The Council shall notify the agency official and the agency's Federal preservation officer and allow 30 days for the agency official to provide information as to whether foreclosure has occurred. If the Council determines foreclosure has occurred, the Council shall transmit the determination to the agency official and the head of the agency. The Council shall also make the determination available to the public and any parties known to be interested in the undertaking and its effects upon historic properties.

(c) Intentional adverse effects by applicants.

(1) Agency responsibility. Section 110(k) of the act prohibits a Federal agency from granting a loan, loan guarantee, permit, license or other assistance to an applicant who, with intent to avoid the requirements of section 106, has intentionally significantly adversely affected a historic property to which the grant would relate, or having legal power to prevent it, has allowed such significant adverse effect to occur, unless the agency, after consultation with the Council, determines that circumstances justify granting such assistance despite the adverse effect created or permitted by the applicant. Guidance issued by the Secretary pursuant to section 110 of the act governs its implementation.

(2) Consultation with the Council. When an agency official determines, based on the actions of an applicant, that section 110(k) is applicable and that circumstances may justify granting the assistance, the agency official shall notify the Council and provide documentation specifying the circumstances under which the adverse effects to the historic property occurred and the degree of damage to the integrity of the property. This documentation shall include any views obtained from the applicant, SHPO/THPO, an Indian tribe if the undertaking occurs on or affects historic properties on tribal lands, and other parties known to be interested in the undertaking.

(i) Within thirty days of receiving the agency official's notification, unless otherwise agreed to by the agency official, the Council shall provide the agency official with its opinion as to whether circumstances justify granting assistance to the applicant and any possible mitigation of the adverse effects.

(ii) The agency official shall consider the Council's opinion in making a decision on whether to grant assistance to the applicant, and shall notify the Council, the SHPO/THPO, and other parties known to be interested in the undertaking prior to granting the assistance. Start Printed Page 77734

(3) Compliance with Section 106. If an agency official, after consulting with the Council, determines to grant the assistance, the agency official shall comply with §§ 800.3 through 800.6 to take into account the effects of the undertaking on any historic properties.

(d) Evaluation of Section 106 operations. The Council may evaluate the operation of the section 106 process by periodic reviews of how participants have fulfilled their legal responsibilities and how effectively the outcomes reached advance the purposes of the act.

(1) Information from participants. Section 203 of the act authorizes the Council to obtain information from Federal agencies necessary to conduct evaluation of the section 106 process. The agency official shall make documentation of agency policies, operating procedures and actions taken to comply with section 106 available to the Council upon request. The Council may request available information and documentation from other participants in the section 106 process.

(2) Improving the operation of section 106. Based upon any evaluation of the section 106 process, the Council may make recommendations to participants, the heads of Federal agencies, and the Secretary of actions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. Where the Council determines that an agency official or a SHPO/THPO has failed to properly carry out the responsibilities assigned under the process in this part, the Council may participate in individual case reviews conducted under such process in addition to the SHPO/THPO for such period that it determines is necessary to improve performance or correct deficiencies. If the Council finds a pattern of failure by a Federal agency in carrying out its responsibilities under section 106, the Council may review the policies and programs of the agency related to historic preservation pursuant to section 202(a)(6) of the act and recommend methods to improve the effectiveness, coordination, and consistency of those policies and programs with section 106.

Special requirements for protecting National Historic Landmarks.

(a) Statutory requirement. Section 110(f) of the act requires that the agency official, to the maximum extent possible, undertake such planning and actions as may be necessary to minimize harm to any National Historic Landmark that may be directly and adversely affected by an undertaking. When commenting on such undertakings, the Council shall use the process set forth in §§ 800.6 through 800.7 and give special consideration to protecting National Historic Landmarks as specified in this section.

(b) Resolution of adverse effects. The agency official shall request the Council to participate in any consultation to resolve adverse effects on National Historic Landmarks conducted under § 800.6.

(c) Involvement of the Secretary. The agency official shall notify the Secretary of any consultation involving a National Historic Landmark and invite the Secretary to participate in the consultation where there may be an adverse effect. The Council may request a report from the Secretary under section 213 of the act to assist in the consultation.

(d) Report of outcome. When the Council participates in consultation under this section, it shall report the outcome of the section 106 process, providing its written comments or any memoranda of agreement to which it is a signatory, to the Secretary and the head of the agency responsible for the undertaking.

Documentation standards.

(a) Adequacy of documentation. The agency official shall ensure that a determination, finding, or agreement under the procedures in this subpart is supported by sufficient documentation to enable any reviewing parties to understand its basis. The agency official shall provide such documentation to the extent permitted by law and within available funds. When an agency official is conducting phased identification or evaluation under this subpart, the documentation standards regarding description of historic properties may be applied flexibly. If the Council, or the SHPO/THPO when the Council is not involved, determines the applicable documentation standards are not met, the Council or the SHPO/THPO, as appropriate, shall notify the agency official and specify the information needed to meet the standard. At the request of the agency official or any of the consulting parties, the Council shall review any disputes over whether documentation standards are met and provide its views to the agency official and the consulting parties.

(b) Format. The agency official may use documentation prepared to comply with other laws to fulfill the requirements of the procedures in this subpart, if that documentation meets the standards of this section.

(c) Confidentiality.

(1) Authority to withhold information. Section 304 of the act provides that the head of a Federal agency or other public official receiving grant assistance pursuant to the act, after consultation with the Secretary, shall withhold from public disclosure information about the location, character, or ownership of a historic property when disclosure may cause a significant invasion of privacy; risk harm to the historic property; or impede the use of a traditional religious site by practitioners. When the head of a Federal agency or other public official has determined that information should be withheld from the public pursuant to these criteria, the Secretary, in consultation with such Federal agency head or official, shall determine who may have access to the information for the purposes of carrying out the act.

(2) Consultation with the Council. When the information in question has been developed in the course of an agency's compliance with this part, the Secretary shall consult with the Council in reaching determinations on the withholding and release of information. The Federal agency shall provide the Council with available information, including views of the SHPO/THPO, Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, related to the confidentiality concern. The Council shall advise the Secretary and the Federal agency within 30 days of receipt of adequate documentation.

(3) Other authorities affecting confidentiality. Other Federal laws and program requirements may limit public access to information concerning an undertaking and its effects on historic properties. Where applicable, those authorities shall govern public access to information developed in the section 106 process and may authorize the agency official to protect the privacy of non-governmental applicants.

(d) Finding of no historic properties affected. Documentation shall include:

(1) A description of the undertaking, specifying the Federal involvement, and its area of potential effects, including photographs, maps, drawings, as necessary;

(2) A description of the steps taken to identify historic properties, including, as appropriate, efforts to seek information pursuant to § 800.4(b); and

(3) The basis for determining that no historic properties are present or affected.

(e) Finding of no adverse effect or adverse effect. Documentation shall include:

(1) A description of the undertaking, specifying the Federal involvement, and its area of potential effects, including photographs, maps, and drawings, as necessary;

(2) A description of the steps taken to identify historic properties; Start Printed Page 77735

(3) A description of the affected historic properties, including information on the characteristics that qualify them for the National Register;

(4) A description of the undertaking's effects on historic properties;

(5) An explanation of why the criteria of adverse effect were found applicable or inapplicable, including any conditions or future actions to avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse effects; and

(6) Copies or summaries of any views provided by consulting parties and the public.

(f) Memorandum of agreement. When a memorandum of agreement is filed with the Council, the documentation shall include, any substantive revisions or additions to the documentation provided the Council pursuant to § 800.6(a)(1), an evaluation of any measures considered to avoid or minimize the undertaking's adverse effects and a summary of the views of consulting parties and the public.

(g) Requests for comment without a memorandum of agreement. Documentation shall include:

(1) A description and evaluation of any alternatives or mitigation measures that the agency official proposes to resolve the undertaking's adverse effects;

(2) A description of any reasonable alternatives or mitigation measures that were considered but not chosen, and the reasons for their rejection;

(3) Copies or summaries of any views submitted to the agency official concerning the adverse effects of the undertaking on historic properties and alternatives to reduce or avoid those effects; and

(4) Any substantive revisions or additions to the documentation provided the Council pursuant to § 800.6(a)(1).

Emergency situations.

(a) Agency procedures. The agency official, in consultation with the appropriate SHPOs/THPOs, affected Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, and the Council, is encouraged to develop procedures for taking historic properties into account during operations which respond to a disaster or emergency declared by the President, a tribal government, or the Governor of a State or which respond to other immediate threats to life or property. If approved by the Council, the procedures shall govern the agency's historic preservation responsibilities during any disaster or emergency in lieu of §§ 800.3 through 800.6.

(b) Alternatives to agency procedures. In the event an agency official proposes an emergency undertaking as an essential and immediate response to a disaster or emergency declared by the President, a tribal government, or the Governor of a State or another immediate threat to life or property, and the agency has not developed procedures pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the agency official may comply with section 106 by:

(1) Following a programmatic agreement developed pursuant to § 800.14(b) that contains specific provisions for dealing with historic properties in emergency situations; or

(2) Notifying the Council, the appropriate SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that may attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties likely to be affected prior to the undertaking and affording them an opportunity to comment within seven days of notification. If the agency official determines that circumstances do not permit seven days for comment, the agency official shall notify the Council, the SHPO/THPO and the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and invite any comments within the time available.

(c) Local governments responsible for section 106 compliance. When a local government official serves as the agency official for section 106 compliance, paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section also apply to an imminent threat to public health or safety as a result of a natural disaster or emergency declared by a local government's chief executive officer or legislative body, provided that if the Council or SHPO/THPO objects to the proposed action within seven days, the agency official shall comply with §§ 800.3 through 800.6.

(d) Applicability. This section applies only to undertakings that will be implemented within 30 days after the disaster or emergency has been formally declared by the appropriate authority. An agency may request an extension of the period of applicability from the Council prior to the expiration of the 30 days. Immediate rescue and salvage operations conducted to preserve life or property are exempt from the provisions of section 106 and this part.

Post-review discoveries.

(a) Planning for subsequent discoveries.

(1) Using a programmatic agreement. An agency official may develop a programmatic agreement pursuant to § 800.14(b) to govern the actions to be taken when historic properties are discovered during the implementation of an undertaking.

(2) Using agreement documents. When the agency official's identification efforts in accordance with § 800.4 indicate that historic properties are likely to be discovered during implementation of an undertaking and no programmatic agreement has been developed pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the agency official shall include in any finding of no adverse effect or memorandum of agreement a process to resolve any adverse effects upon such properties. Actions in conformance with the process satisfy the agency official's responsibilities under section 106 and this part.

(b) Discoveries without prior planning. If historic properties are discovered or unanticipated effects on historic properties found after the agency official has completed the section 106 process without establishing a process under paragraph (a) of this section, the agency official shall make reasonable efforts to avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse effects to such properties and:

(1) If the agency official has not approved the undertaking or if construction on an approved undertaking has not commenced, consult to resolve adverse effects pursuant to § 800.6; or

(2) If the agency official, the SHPO/THPO and any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that might attach religious and cultural significance to the affected property agree that such property is of value solely for its scientific, prehistoric, historic or archeological data, the agency official may comply with the Archeological and Historic Preservation Act instead of the procedures in this part and provide the Council, the SHPO/THPO, and the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization with a report on the actions within a reasonable time after they are completed; or

(3) If the agency official has approved the undertaking and construction has commenced, determine actions that the agency official can take to resolve adverse effects, and notify the SHPO/THPO, any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that might attach religious and cultural significance to the affected property, and the Council within 48 hours of the discovery. The notification shall describe the agency official's assessment of National Register eligibility of the property and proposed actions to resolve the adverse effects. The SHPO/THPO, the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and the Council shall respond within 48 hours of the notification. The agency official shall take into account their recommendations regarding National Start Printed Page 77736Register eligibility and proposed actions, and then carry out appropriate actions. The agency official shall provide the SHPO/THPO, the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and the Council a report of the actions when they are completed.

(c) Eligibility of properties. The agency official, in consultation with the SHPO/THPO, may assume a newly-discovered property to be eligible for the National Register for purposes of section 106. The agency official shall specify the National Register criteria used to assume the property's eligibility so that information can be used in the resolution of adverse effects.

(d) Discoveries on tribal lands. If historic properties are discovered on tribal lands, or there are unanticipated effects on historic properties found on tribal lands, after the agency official has completed the section 106 process without establishing a process under paragraph (a) of this section and construction has commenced, the agency official shall comply with applicable tribal regulations and procedures and obtain the concurrence of the Indian tribe on the proposed action.

Subpart C—Program Alternatives

Federal agency program alternatives.

(a) Alternate procedures. An agency official may develop procedures to implement section 106 and substitute them for all or part of subpart B of this part if they are consistent with the Council's regulations pursuant to section 110(a)(2)(E) of the act.

(1) Development of procedures. The agency official shall consult with the Council, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers, or individual SHPO/THPOs, as appropriate, and Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, as specified in paragraph (f) of this section, in the development of alternate procedures, publish notice of the availability of proposed alternate procedures in the Federal Register and take other appropriate steps to seek public input during the development of alternate procedures.

(2) Council review. The agency official shall submit the proposed alternate procedures to the Council for a 60-day review period. If the Council finds the procedures to be consistent with this part, it shall notify the agency official and the agency official may adopt them as final alternate procedures.

(3) Notice. The agency official shall notify the parties with which it has consulted and publish notice of final alternate procedures in the Federal Register.

(4) Legal effect. Alternate procedures adopted pursuant to this subpart substitute for the Council's regulations for the purposes of the agency's compliance with section 106, except that where an Indian tribe has entered into an agreement with the Council to substitute tribal historic preservation regulations for the Council's regulations under section 101(d)(5) of the act, the agency shall follow those regulations in lieu of the agency's procedures regarding undertakings on tribal lands. Prior to the Council entering into such agreements, the Council will provide Federal agencies notice and opportunity to comment on the proposed substitute tribal regulations.

(b) Programmatic agreements. The Council and the agency official may negotiate a programmatic agreement to govern the implementation of a particular program or the resolution of adverse effects from certain complex project situations or multiple undertakings.

(1) Use of programmatic agreements. A programmatic agreement may be used:

(i) When effects on historic properties are similar and repetitive or are multi-State or regional in scope;

(ii) When effects on historic properties cannot be fully determined prior to approval of an undertaking;

(iii) When nonfederal parties are delegated major decisionmaking responsibilities;

(iv) Where routine management activities are undertaken at Federal installations, facilities, or other land-management units; or

(v) Where other circumstances warrant a departure from the normal section 106 process.

(2) Developing programmatic agreements for agency programs.

(i) The consultation shall involve, as appropriate, SHPO/THPOs, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO), Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations, other Federal agencies, and members of the public. If the programmatic agreement has the potential to affect historic properties on tribal lands or historic properties of religious and cultural significance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization, the agency official shall also follow paragraph (f) of this section.

(ii) Public participation. The agency official shall arrange for public participation appropriate to the subject matter and the scope of the program and in accordance with subpart A of this part. The agency official shall consider the nature of the program and its likely effects on historic properties and take steps to involve the individuals, organizations and entities likely to be interested.

(iii) Effect. The programmatic agreement shall take effect when executed by the Council, the agency official and the appropriate SHPOs/THPOs when the programmatic agreement concerns a specific region or the president of NCSHPO when NCSHPO has participated in the consultation. A programmatic agreement shall take effect on tribal lands only when the THPO, Indian tribe, or a designated representative of the tribe is a signatory to the agreement. Compliance with the procedures established by an approved programmatic agreement satisfies the agency's section 106 responsibilities for all individual undertakings of the program covered by the agreement until it expires or is terminated by the agency, the president of NCSHPO when a signatory, or the Council. Termination by an individual SHPO/THPO shall only terminate the application of a regional programmatic agreement within the jurisdiction of the SHPO/THPO. If a THPO assumes the responsibilities of a SHPO pursuant to section 101(d)(2) of the act and the SHPO is signatory to programmatic agreement, the THPO assumes the role of a signatory, including the right to terminate a regional programmatic agreement on lands under the jurisdiction of the tribe.

(iv) Notice. The agency official shall notify the parties with which it has consulted that a programmatic agreement has been executed under paragraph (b) of this section, provide appropriate public notice before it takes effect, and make any internal agency procedures implementing the agreement readily available to the Council, SHPO/THPOs, and the public.

(v) If the Council determines that the terms of a programmatic agreement are not being carried out, or if such an agreement is terminated, the agency official shall comply with subpart B of this part with regard to individual undertakings of the program covered by the agreement.

(3) Developing programmatic agreements for complex or multiple undertakings. Consultation to develop a programmatic agreement for dealing with the potential adverse effects of complex projects or multiple undertakings shall follow § 800.6. If consultation pertains to an activity involving multiple undertakings and the parties fail to reach agreement, then the agency official shall comply with the Start Printed Page 77737provisions of subpart B of this part for each individual undertaking.

(4) Prototype programmatic agreements. The Council may designate an agreement document as a prototype programmatic agreement that may be used for the same type of program or undertaking in more than one case or area. When an agency official uses such a prototype programmatic agreement, the agency official may develop and execute the agreement with the appropriate SHPO/THPO and the agreement shall become final without need for Council participation in consultation or Council signature.

(c) Exempted categories.

(1) Criteria for establishing. An agency official may propose a program or category of agency undertakings that may be exempted from review under the provisions of subpart B of this part, if the program or category meets the following criteria:

(i) The actions within the program or category would otherwise qualify as “undertakings” as defined in § 800.16;

(ii) The potential effects of the undertakings within the program or category upon historic properties are foreseeable and likely to be minimal or not adverse; and

(iii) Exemption of the program or category is consistent with the purposes of the act.

(2) Public participation. The agency official shall arrange for public participation appropriate to the subject matter and the scope of the exemption and in accordance with the standards in subpart A of this part. The agency official shall consider the nature of the exemption and its likely effects on historic properties and take steps to involve individuals, organizations and entities likely to be interested.

(3) Consultation with SHPOs/THPOs. The agency official shall notify and consider the views of the SHPOs/THPOs on the exemption.

(4) Consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. If the exempted program or category of undertakings has the potential to affect historic properties on tribal lands or historic properties of religious and cultural significance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization, the Council shall follow the requirements for the agency official set forth in paragraph (f) of this section.

(5) Council review of proposed exemptions. The Council shall review a request for an exemption that is supported by documentation describing the program or category for which the exemption is sought, demonstrating that the criteria of paragraph (c)(1) of this section have been met, describing the methods used to seek the views of the public, and summarizing any views submitted by the SHPO/THPOs, the public, and any others consulted. Unless it requests further information, the Council shall approve or reject the proposed exemption within 30 days of receipt, and thereafter notify the agency official and SHPO/THPOs of the decision. The decision shall be based on the consistency of the exemption with the purposes of the act, taking into consideration the magnitude of the exempted undertaking or program and the likelihood of impairment of historic properties in accordance with section 214 of the act.

(6) Legal consequences. Any undertaking that falls within an approved exempted program or category shall require no further review pursuant to subpart B of this part, unless the agency official or the Council determines that there are circumstances under which the normally excluded undertaking should be reviewed under subpart B of this part.

(7) Termination. The Council may terminate an exemption at the request of the agency official or when the Council determines that the exemption no longer meets the criteria of paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The Council shall notify the agency official 30 days before termination becomes effective.

(8) Notice. The agency official shall publish notice of any approved exemption in the Federal Register.

(d) Standard treatments.

(1) Establishment. The Council, on its own initiative or at the request of another party, may establish standard methods for the treatment of a category of historic properties, a category of undertakings, or a category of effects on historic properties to assist Federal agencies in satisfying the requirements of subpart B of this part. The Council shall publish notice of standard treatments in the Federal Register.

(2) Public participation. The Council shall arrange for public participation appropriate to the subject matter and the scope of the standard treatment and consistent with subpart A of this part. The Council shall consider the nature of the standard treatment and its likely effects on historic properties and the individuals, organizations and entities likely to be interested. Where an agency official has proposed a standard treatment, the Council may request the agency official to arrange for public involvement.

(3) Consultation with SHPOs/THPOs. The Council shall notify and consider the views of SHPOs/THPOs on the proposed standard treatment.

(4) Consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. If the proposed standard treatment has the potential to affect historic properties on tribal lands or historic properties of religious and cultural significance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization, the Council shall follow the requirements for the agency official set forth in paragraph (f) of this section.

(5) Termination. The Council may terminate a standard treatment by publication of a notice in the Federal Register 30 days before the termination takes effect.

(e) Program comments. An agency official may request the Council to comment on a category of undertakings in lieu of conducting individual reviews under §§ 800.4 through 800.6. The Council may provide program comments at its own initiative.

(1) Agency request. The agency official shall identify the category of undertakings, specify the likely effects on historic properties, specify the steps the agency official will take to ensure that the effects are taken into account, identify the time period for which the comment is requested and summarize any views submitted by the public.

(2) Public participation. The agency official shall arrange for public participation appropriate to the subject matter and the scope of the category and in accordance with the standards in subpart A of this part. The agency official shall consider the nature of the undertakings and their likely effects on historic properties and the individuals, organizations and entities likely to be interested.

(3) Consultation with SHPOs/THPOs. The Council shall notify and consider the views of SHPOs/THPOs on the proposed program comment.

(4) Consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. If the program comment has the potential to affect historic properties on tribal lands or historic properties of religious and cultural significance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization, the Council shall follow the requirements for the agency official set forth in paragraph (f) of this section.

(5) Council action. Unless the Council requests additional documentation, notifies the agency official that it will decline to comment, or obtains the consent of the agency official to extend the period for providing comment, the Council shall comment to the agency official within 45 days of the request.

(i) If the Council comments, the agency official shall take into account the comments of the Council in carrying out the undertakings within the category and publish notice in the Federal Start Printed Page 77738Register of the Council's comments and steps the agency will take to ensure that effects to historic properties are taken into account.

(ii) If the Council declines to comment, the agency official shall continue to comply with the requirements of §§ 800.3 through 800.6 for the individual undertakings.

(6) Withdrawal of comment. If the Council determines that the consideration of historic properties is not being carried out in a manner consistent with the program comment, the Council may withdraw the comment and the agency official shall comply with the requirements of §§ 800.3 through 800.6 for the individual undertakings.

(f) Consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations when developing program alternatives. Whenever an agency official proposes a program alternative pursuant to paragraphs (a) through (e) of this section, the agency official shall ensure that development of the program alternative includes appropriate government-to-government consultation with affected Indian tribes and consultation with affected Native Hawaiian organizations.

(1) Identifying affected Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. If any undertaking covered by a proposed program alternative has the potential to affect historic properties on tribal lands, the agency official shall identify and consult with the Indian tribes having jurisdiction over such lands. If a proposed program alternative has the potential to affect historic properties of religious and cultural significance to an Indian tribe or a Native Hawaiian organization which are located off tribal lands, the agency official shall identify those Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations that might attach religious and cultural significance to such properties and consult with them. When a proposed program alternative has nationwide applicability, the agency official shall identify an appropriate government to government consultation with Indian tribes and consult with Native Hawaiian organizations in accordance with existing Executive orders, Presidential memoranda, and applicable provisions of law.

(2) Results of consultation. The agency official shall provide summaries of the views, along with copies of any written comments, provided by affected Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations to the Council as part of the documentation for the proposed program alternative. The agency official and the Council shall take those views into account in reaching a final decision on the proposed program alternative.

Tribal, State, and local program alternatives. [Reserved]
Definitions.

(a) Act means the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, 16 U.S.C. 470-470w-6.

(b) Agency means agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 551.

(c) Approval of the expenditure of funds means any final agency decision authorizing or permitting the expenditure of Federal funds or financial assistance on an undertaking, including any agency decision that may be subject to an administrative appeal.

(d) Area of potential effects means the geographic area or areas within which an undertaking may directly or indirectly cause alterations in the character or use of historic properties, if any such properties exist. The area of potential effects is influenced by the scale and nature of an undertaking and may be different for different kinds of effects caused by the undertaking.

(e) Comment means the findings and recommendations of the Council formally provided in writing to the head of a Federal agency under section 106.

(f) Consultation means the process of seeking, discussing, and considering the views of other participants, and, where feasible, seeking agreement with them regarding matters arising in the section 106 process. The Secretary's “Standards and Guidelines for Federal Agency Preservation Programs pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act” provide further guidance on consultation.

(g) Council means the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation or a Council member or employee designated to act for the Council.

(h) Day or days means calendar days.

(i) Effect means alteration to the characteristics of a historic property qualifying it for inclusion in or eligibility for the National Register.

(j) Foreclosure means an action taken by an agency official that effectively precludes the Council from providing comments which the agency official can meaningfully consider prior to the approval of the undertaking.

(k) Head of the agency means the chief official of the Federal agency responsible for all aspects of the agency's actions. If a State, local, or tribal government has assumed or has been delegated responsibility for section 106 compliance, the head of that unit of government shall be considered the head of the agency.

(l)(1) Historic property means any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the Secretary of the Interior. This term includes artifacts, records, and remains that are related to and located within such properties. The term includes properties of traditional religious and cultural importance to an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization and that meet the National Register criteria.

(2) The term eligible for inclusion in the National Register includes both properties formally determined as such in accordance with regulations of the Secretary of the Interior and all other properties that meet the National Register criteria.

(m) Indian tribe means an Indian tribe, band, nation, or other organized group or community, including a native village, regional corporation, or village corporation, as those terms are defined in section 3 of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1602), which is recognized as eligible for the special programs and services provided by the United States to Indians because of their status as Indians.

(n) Local government means a city, county, parish, township, municipality, borough, or other general purpose political subdivision of a State.

(o) Memorandum of agreement means the document that records the terms and conditions agreed upon to resolve the adverse effects of an undertaking upon historic properties.

(p) National Historic Landmark means a historic property that the Secretary of the Interior has designated a National Historic Landmark.

(q) National Register means the National Register of Historic Places maintained by the Secretary of the Interior.

(r) National Register criteria means the criteria established by the Secretary of the Interior for use in evaluating the eligibility of properties for the National Register (36 CFR part 60).

(s)(1) Native Hawaiian organization means any organization which serves and represents the interests of Native Hawaiians; has as a primary and stated purpose the provision of services to Native Hawaiians; and has demonstrated expertise in aspects of historic preservation that are significant to Native Hawaiians.

(2) Native Hawaiian means any individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawaii.

(t) Programmatic agreement means a document that records the terms and Start Printed Page 77739conditions agreed upon to resolve the potential adverse effects of a Federal agency program, complex undertaking or other situations in accordance with § 800.14(b).

(u) Secretary means the Secretary of the Interior acting through the Director of the National Park Service except where otherwise specified.

(v) State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) means the official appointed or designated pursuant to section 101(b)(1) of the act to administer the State historic preservation program or a representative designated to act for the State historic preservation officer.

(w) Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) means the tribal official appointed by the tribe's chief governing authority or designated by a tribal ordinance or preservation program who has assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO for purposes of section 106 compliance on tribal lands in accordance with section 101(d)(2) of the act.

(x) Tribal lands means all lands within the exterior boundaries of any Indian reservation and all dependent Indian communities.

(y) Undertaking means a project, activity, or program funded in whole or in part under the direct or indirect jurisdiction of a Federal agency, including those carried out by or on behalf of a Federal agency; those carried out with Federal financial assistance; those requiring a Federal permit, license or approval; and those subject to State or local regulation administered pursuant to a delegation or approval by a Federal agency.

Appendix A to Part 800—Criteria for Council Involvement in Reviewing Individual section 106 Cases

(a) Introduction. This appendix sets forth the criteria that will be used by the Council to determine whether to enter an individual section 106 review that it normally would not be involved in.

(b) General policy. The Council may choose to exercise its authorities under the section 106 regulations to participate in an individual project pursuant to the following criteria. However, the Council will not always elect to participate even though one or more of the criteria may be met.

(c) Specific criteria. The Council is likely to enter the section 106 process at the steps specified in the regulations in this part when an undertaking:

(1) Has substantial impacts on important historic properties. This may include adverse effects on properties that possess a national level of significance or on properties that are of unusual or noteworthy importance or are a rare property type; or adverse effects to large numbers of historic properties, such as impacts to multiple properties within a historic district.

(2) Presents important questions of policy or interpretation. This may include questions about how the Council's regulations are being applied or interpreted, including possible foreclosure or anticipatory demolition situations; situations where the outcome will set a precedent affecting Council policies or program goals; or the development of programmatic agreements that alter the way the section 106 process is applied to a group or type of undertakings.

(3) Has the potential for presenting procedural problems. This may include cases with substantial public controversy that is related to historic preservation issues; with disputes among or about consulting parties which the Council's involvement could help resolve; that are involved or likely to be involved in litigation on the basis of section 106; or carried out by a Federal agency, in a State or locality, or on tribal lands where the Council has previously identified problems with section 106 compliance pursuant to § 800.9(d)(2).

(4) Presents issues of concern to Indian tribes or Native Hawaiian organizations. This may include cases where there have been concerns raised about the identification of, evaluation of or assessment of effects on historic properties to which an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization attaches religious and cultural significance; where an Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization has requested Council involvement to assist in the resolution of adverse effects; or where there are questions relating to policy, interpretation or precedent under section 106 or its relation to other authorities, such as the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

End Part Start Signature

Dated: December 4th, 2000.

John M. Fowler,

Executive Director.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 00-31253 Filed 12-11-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-10-P