Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (Section 106) is a process that federal agencies must follow to consider the effects of transportation projects on historic, cultural, and archaeological properties. Many environmental planners, engineers, and historians need a working knowledge and understanding of the Section 106 process for their projects, but for those who are new to their positions, or those who don’t work with Section 106 every day, the regulations can be daunting.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reached out to Mead & Hunt to create an online tutorial on the fundamentals of the Section 106 process for typical roadway and bridge projects as part of its Environmental Review Toolkit. This tutorial was designed for transportation professionals at FHWA and state DOTs, but it would be a helpful tool for anyone who wants to understand the Section 106 process.
Designed as a series of lessons that build upon each other, the tutorial contains the following modules:
- Section 106 Overview – summarizes Section 106’s origin, regulations, and review process.
- Section 106 Participants: Roles and Responsibilities – identifies the participants in the Section 106 process and defines their respective roles and responsibilities in the review process.
- What is a Historic Property – discusses how the term “historic property” is defined according to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).
- Steps in the Section 106 Process – describes the four key steps in the Section 106 process and FHWA’s role in each.
- Related Statutes: The National Environmental Policy Act and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act – discusses ways of effectively coordinating Section 106 with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 4(f) of the U.S. Department of Transportation Act.
- Project Examples – provides a collection of project descriptions involving different Section 106 scenarios.
- Key Terms – provides a list of Section 106 key terms and acronyms used throughout the tutorial.
A short quiz follows several of modules asking participants about key concepts. For more information, you can check out the full tutorial here.