The ACHP is an independent agency based in Washington, D.C., established by the NHPA. Its mission is to “promote the preservation, enhancement, and sustainable use of our nation’s diverse historic resources, and advise[s] the President and the Congress on national historic preservation policy.”

A photograph of a multi-level brick building, known as the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

The ACHP professional staff works from an office located inside the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

The ACHP comprises representatives from several Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, national preservation organizations, and Tribes, as well as individuals from the preservation community and general public appointed by the President. The ACHP has a small professional staff that oversees the Federal historic preservation program, makes policy recommendations, and carries out most of its day-to-day interactions regarding Federal projects. Read more about the ACHP here.

Through a partnership with FHWA, the ACHP maintains a senior staff member as the designated liaison and primary point of contact for FHWA programs and projects. See ACHP resources specific to FHWA, including tools and guidance, model Programmatic Agreements, points of contact, and FHWA Section 106 Success Stories.

The NHPA granted statutory authority to the ACHP to promulgate and oversee regulations governing how Federal agencies address their responsibilities under Section 106. Read more at Protection of Historic Properties in the Section 106 regulations.

The regulations provide for limited participation by the ACHP in routine consultation (e.g., when there would be no adverse effects to historic properties). However, in certain situations, the ACHP must be invited to participate in consultation under Section 106. These include when there may be adverse effects to National Historic Landmark (NHL) properties, or in cases of dispute regarding eligibility or effects. In addition, the regulations set out certain criteria for cases where the ACHP must be invited to participate in consultation, including:

  • Substantial impacts on important historic properties
  • Important questions of policy or interpretation
  • Potential for procedural problems
  • Issues of concern for Tribes or NHOs.

The ACHP’s Criteria for Council involvement in reviewing individual Section 106 cases can be downloaded and found in Appendix A of the Section 106 regulations.

Even when the ACHP is not participating in formal consultation, it is available to resolve disputes and provide advice and information. It is often advisable to invite the ACHP’s early participation in complex or controversial projects, as the agency may ultimately enter such consultation at its discretion.

For questions or feedback on this subject matter content, please contact David Clarke.