National Synthesis of Project-Level Programmatic Agreements for Expediting Section 106 Consultation in Project Delivery
Historic Preservation/Cultural Resources
Community & Cultural Concerns
Under 1 year
Research Idea Scope
The streamlining value of statewide program-level Section 106 programmatic agreements (PAs) is well established and studied at the national level. What is less known is the value of project-level Section 106 PAs to expedite the delivery of individual, complex transportation projects, typically those for which environmental impact statements (EISs) are being prepared for NEPA purposes. Typically such project-level PAs transform elements of the Section 106 process into post-Section 106 commitments (e.g. deferring archaeological surveys until after a preferred alternative is selected), thus allowing Section 106 to be administratively completed earlier in project development. However, the full range of how project-level Section 106 PAs are being used by state DOTs and FHWA presently is unknown, including “extreme” examples that may push the limits of what’s allowed by 36 CFR 800.
Urgency and Payoff
Increasing demands to complete environmental analyses on major transportation projects continues, especially in the context of the “One Federal Decision” policy of the USDOT. The use of project-level PAs is one way to satisfy accelerated project delivery schedules and knowledge of the range of successful project-level PA practices will assist state DOTs in implementing such practices.
Antony F. Opperman Virginia Department of Transportation 804-371-6749