Statutes, Regulations, & Rules

This section contains information relating to the laws and documents governing historic preservation that pertain to the mission of the Texas Historical Commission (THC).

Federal Statutes and Regulations

  • National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as Amended (NHPA) (54 USC 300101 et seq.): The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) was enacted to ensure that the federal government consult with state and local parties to ensure that federally funded, licensed, or permitted projects avoid, minimize, and mitigate any negative impacts to cultural and historic resources. NHPA is a consultation process with no pre-determined outcomes.
  • Protection of Historic Properties (36 CFR Part 800): Regulations created by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for reviews under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. See additional information on the National Historic Preservation Act and Section 106 review on our website.
  • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as Amended (NEPA) (42 USC 4321 et seq.): Similar to the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is a process with no pre-determined results to weigh the impacts to the environment of any federal action. Through Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements, the federal entity or its applicant must study impacts to the environment, including to cultural resources. Completion of a study under NEPA does not fulfill and agency’s obligations under the NHPA.
  • Native American Graves and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) (25 USC 3001 et seq., 43 CFR Part 10): The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) includes provisions for intentional and inadvertent discoveries of Native American cultural items on federal and tribal lands. Cultural items include, but are not limited to, Native American human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and items of cultural patrimony.
  • Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, as Amended (ARPA) (16 USC 470aa et seq.): Strengthened protections of archeological sites on public and Indian lands, including obligation of land-managing agencies and criminal penalties for unauthorized excavations or trafficking of cultural materials.
  • Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Archeological Collections (36 CFR Part 79): These regulations establish the definitions, standards, procedures, and guidelines to be followed related to any cultural materials recovered from federal lands.
  • Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation (48 FR 44716): These comprehensive standards and guidelines outline steps for preservation planning, as well as identification, evaluation, registration, documentation, and treatment of historic and archeological resources.
  • National Register of Historic Places (36 CFR Part 60): Administered by the National Park Service through each state’s Historic Preservation Office, the National Register is the nation’s official list of places identified as worthy of preservation.
  • Certified Local Government Regulations (36 CFR 61.6): The Certified Local Government (CLG) Program is a local, state and federal government partnership for historic preservation designed to help cities and counties develop high standards of preservation. The Texas Historical Commission administers the program at the state level and the National Park Service is the responsible federal agency.

State Statutes and Rules

Statutes and Regulations Concerning Local Governments

  • Chapter 211 of Local Government Code (LGC) outlines the municipal zoning authority. Sec. 211.0165 of the LGC establishes the voting requirements for designation of a historic landmark.
  • Section 214.00111 of the LGC provides additional authority to preserve a substandard building as a historic property.
  • Section 315.006 of the LGC concerns liability for adversely affecting historic structure or property.
  • Chapter 318 of the LGC establishes rules for County Historical Commissions.
  • Chapter 331 of the LGC governs municipal and county authority to acquire and maintain parks, museums, and historic sites.
  • Government Code Title 10, Subtitle Z, Chapter 3000 regulates local building codes and standards, including certain exceptions for historic properties.
  • Tax Code Sec. 11.24 permits a partial or full property tax exemption.
  • Tax Code Sec. 151.3501 establishes an exemption for sales tax on labor for restoration of a property listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Education Code Sec. 11.1541 permits the donation of surplus historic school property.

Standards and Guidelines