Welcome to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Guidance on Section 106 agreement documents. Section 106 agreement documents play a critical role in documenting a federal agency's commitment to carry out and conclude their responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) (54 U.S.C. § 306108). This guidance is provided to assist federal agencies, states, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, applicants, local governments, consulting parties, and the public in developing, implementing, and concluding such agreements.
While reading all the sections in order is the best way to understand the sequence of actions and decisions that should be made to support the development of effective Section 106 agreement documents, you can use the menu below to navigate to specific topics about agreement development. Email GADhelp@achp.gov with any questions or comments.
This guidance is designed for all Section 106 stakeholders. It is intended to help federal agencies, State and Tribal Historic Preservation Officers, Indian tribes, Native Hawaiian organizations, applicants, local governments, and other consulting parties develop clear, concise, and complete Memoranda of Agreement (MOAs) and Programmatic Agreements (PAs) under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). It will also assist federal agencies, and those they consult with in the Section 106 process, in drafting, implementing, monitoring, amending, and terminating these agreements. Use of this guide can help minimize disputes regarding agreed upon measures down the line and save time that is better spent finding creative ways to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse effects to historic properties.
A fundamental goal of Section 106 consultation is to ensure an agency's decision on carrying out, financially assisting, licensing, or permitting an undertaking is well informed regarding effects to historic properties and the views of others regarding those effects. This guidance is a living document that will include updates and new sample agreement document stipulations to address emerging issues and needs as they arise. The ACHP welcomes suggestions on updates to this guide. Email GADhelp@achp.gov with any questions or comments.
Use of this Guidance
This guidance replaces earlier ACHP publications designed to assist in developing agreement documents. In 1988, the ACHP issued Preparing Agreement Documents (PAD). PAD was intended to provide sample stipulations for the most common kinds of mitigation measures used to resolve adverse effects to historic properties at that time. As with this guidance, sample stipulations were provided in PAD to serve as reference tools that provide a reasonable framework for documenting commitments within agreement documents.
While some of the sample stipulations offered as part of this guidance may be used as is, the ACHP encourages those developing agreements to assess each situation and agreement individually and determine the appropriate language that may be required in a particular circumstance. These stipulations are not intended to be substitutes for creative thinking should consulting parties propose new, innovative, or even better mitigation ideas that better resolve adverse effects in the public interest. This guidance also contains examples of administrative stipulations that either must be included in agreement documents (e.g., regarding duration, amendment, and termination) or should be included in the document (e.g., regarding dispute resolution, provisions for monitoring/reporting, discoveries, emergencies, and professional qualifications and applicable standards).
Other Program Alternatives
This guidance does not cover the drafting of other key program alternatives such as alternate procedures, exemptions, standard treatments, or program comments as set out in the Section 106 regulations at 36 CFR § 800.14. The development of those program alternatives present challenges different, and often broader, than those posed by the development of MOAs and PAs. For guidance on those alternatives, click here.