Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)
Section 106 of NHPA was borne out of public outcry in the 1960s when federal agencies were undertaking large urban renewal projects and major dam construction. Communities were witnessing the loss of their historic downtowns and neighborhoods and the wide-spread destruction of archaeological sites along the nation’s waterways. In response, Congress passed the National Historic Preservation Act establishing Section 106 and State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) to ensure a local voice in Federal undertakings that may affect historic properties.
The Act states that Federal agencies must take into account the effects of their undertakings on historic properties. To do so, Federal agencies follow the Section 106 review process outlined in Federal regulation 36CFR800: Protection of Historic Properties. 36CFR800 requires Federal agencies to consult with the SHPO at various points in the review process. The role of the SHPO is to assist the Federal agency in completing the process and to reflect the interests of the State and its citizens in the preservation of their cultural heritage.