The following gives an overview of the steps in the Section 106 process. For more detailed information, please see an overview of Section 106 and A Citizen’s Guide to Section 106 Review on the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation website.

  • Participants in the Section 106 Process: The federal agency must identify potential consulting parties, including the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO), local governments, applicants for federal assistance, interested parties, and the public. The agency must invite parties to participate in consultation and provide basic information about the undertaking to all parties. In some cases, the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) will also participate in consultation.
  • Initiating Consultation: As the first step in the Section 106 process, the federal agency must determine if a proposed federal action is an undertaking with the potential to affect historic properties and, if so, initiate consultation.
  • Defining the Area of Potential Effects (APE): The federal agency must identify areas where its project could directly, indirectly, or cumulatively affect historic properties. Defining the APE is done prior to identifying historic properties.
  • Identifying Historic Properties: The federal agency must gather information to determine which properties in the APE are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Assessing Effects on Historic Properties: The federal agency must determine the effects the project may have on any historic properties identified in the APE.
  • Resolving Adverse Effects: When there are adverse effects to historic properties, the federal agency must explore alternatives to avoid, minimize, or mitigate those effects.