Successful Approaches in Preparing Convincing Effect Determinations

Focus Area

Historic Preservation/Cultural Resources


Community & Cultural Concerns






Under 1 year

Research Idea Scope

Federal regulation makes a distinction between undertakings that adversely affect historic properties and those that do not (i.e., no-effect and no-adverse-effect findings). The basis for this distinction is whether a federal action will alter or diminish those properties that make a property eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. In other words, not every alteration or change constitutes an adverse effect from a Section 106 perspective. Making that argument, however, requires both a detailed understanding of regulatory definitions and skill in arguing the case. This research would identify and document examples of “making the case” for no-effect and especially no-adverse effect determinations, both of which are the most favorable Section 106 findings for DOTs with direct positive applications in both NEPA and 4(f) analyses.

Urgency and Payoff

Avoiding adverse effects, and being able to skillfully argue that case, is the most beneficial position for advancing project development and delivery. It also avoids protracted negotiations with consulting parties who may have other motivations for delaying conclusion of Section 106. Of equal importance is the direct benefit of avoiding adverse effects in project development viz. NEPA and Section 4(f)analyses.

Suggested By

Antony Opperman Virginia Department of Transportation 804-371-6749

[email protected]