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Federal Project Review

Section 106 Introduction


Section 106 Quick Links

The primary duty of the Historic Structures Review Section and the Archaeology Section is to process reviews of certain types of projects that have federal involvement, in order to insure that the work does not significantly and unnecessarily alter, damage, or destroy both above and below-ground historic and/or cultural resources in Indiana. Questions regarding the review process as it pertains to buildings, structures, objects, and districts should be directed to the Historic Structures Review Section of DHPA. Questions about the review of archaeological sites should be directed to the Archaeology Section, which performs a similar review for work potentially affecting below-ground resources.

Federal Section 106 Review

Frequently Asked Questions

What Federal actions trigger Section 106 review?

  • Federal financial assistance such as grants or loans
  • Federal construction and demolition projects
  • Management of Federal land or real property, including military bases, parks, forests, post offices, and courthouses
  • Issuance of a Federal permit, license, or other approval

What properties are considered under Section 106?

  • Buildings, sites, districts, structures, and objects that are listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

What kinds of effects must Federal agencies consider?

  • A wide range of project impacts, from outright demolition to visual and audible intrusions, that alter the characteristics that qualify historic properties for inclusion in or eligibility for the National Register in a manner that would diminish the integrity of the property.

How can I get involved in the Section 106 process?

  • By law, U.S. citizens have a voice when Federal actions will affect properties that qualify for the National Register of Historic Places, the Nation’s official list of historic properties. Write to the Federal agency responsible for the proposed project and request to become a consulting party; be sure to explain why your participation would be valuable to a successful resolution. Consulting parties should convey their concerns, in writing, and provide supporting documentation to the Federal agency and its consultants responsible for the proposed project.

    Protecting Historic Properties: A Citizen’s Guide to Section 106 Review is designed to help you understand the Section 106 process and make your voice heard. The publication is available at no charge, except shipping and handling, from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. To order, send a check for 50 cents per brochure to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 809, Washington, DC 20004.

Tribal Consultation/Tribal Historic Preservation Officers

  • Tribal Historic Preservation Officers are officially designated by a federally-recognized Indian tribe to direct a program approved by the National Park Service, and the THPO must have assumed some or all of the functions of State Historic Preservation Officers on Tribal lands. This program was made possible by the provisions of Section 101(d)(2) of the National Historic Preservation Act. As a formal participant in the national historic preservation program, a tribe may assume official responsibility for a number of functions aimed at the preservation of significant historic properties. To learn more, see


A review under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act encourages, but does not mandate preservation. Sometimes there is no way for a needed project to proceed without harming historic properties. Section 106 review does, however, ensure that preservation values are factored into Federal agency planning and decisions. Because of Section 106, Federal agencies must assume responsibility for the consequences of their actions and be publicly accountable for their decisions.


Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended (16 U.S.C. §470f) and the federal regulations that implement Section 106 (36 C.F.R. Part 800) require that whenever any federal agency proposes to conduct, fund, license, grant a permit for, or otherwise approve an undertaking (a program, project, or activity) that by its nature has the potential to affect historic properties, the federal agency must conduct a review of the proposed project's effects in conjunction with the State Historic Preservation Officer and, under certain circumstances, with another federal agency, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (the Council), and other interested individuals or organizations, called consulting parties. If there are historic properties that will be affected, then the federal agency must take into account the undertaking's effects on historic properties before approving the undertaking and give the Council a reasonable opportunity to comment on the federal agency's findings. Section 106 is not a permitting process; rather, it is a process of good faith consultation and comment.


An historic property is one that is either listed in or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Determining whether or not a particular property is historic is part of the Section 106 review process. The necessity for conducting the Section 106 review is based on the existence of a federal connection to the undertaking and the hypothetical potential of the undertaking to affect historic properties, if any such properties exist within the area of potential effects (APE). For Section 106 to apply, it is not necessary that it be known at the outset whether or not there are historic properties within the APE.

By state law in Indiana, the director of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). The director of the DNR Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology is the Deputy SHPO. Most of the day-to-day work of the Indiana SHPO is performed by the staff of the DNR DHPA. Within the DHPA, the Archaeology Section and the Historic Structures Review Section share the Section 106 review work.