USACE Publishes Proposed Rule on Protection of Historic Properties

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works released a proposed rule to remove Appendix C from the United States Army Corps of Engineers Regulatory Program’s permitting regulations. The Corps will instead follow Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act implementing regulations, at 36 C.F.R. § 800 (800 regulations), when processing permit applications.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation oversees federal agency compliance with the NHPA and issues regulations defining how agencies meet their statutory responsibilities under Section 106 of the NHPA to consider the effect of an undertaking on any historic property. The ACHP regulation, also found in the 800 regulations, has been updated since initial promulgation to account for NHPA amendments. The removal of Appendix C and exclusive use of the 800 regulations will enable the Corps to deliver consistency across its districts and ensure implementation of regulations reflective of the NHPA changes.

“This effort fulfills an early commitment to state and tribal historic preservation officers to modernize our permitting regulations to improve alignment with the National Historic Preservation Act and provide clarity and consistency for applicants,” said Michael Connor, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. “It coincides with updating our tribal consultation practices to address concerns regarding tribal and cultural resources.”

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This proposed rule is part of the modernize Civil Works initiative and comes after the OASA(CW) received comments related to issues with Appendix C, specifically those regarding consistency and clarity with the Corps Regulatory Program’s implementation of the NHPA.

The proposed rule has been published in the Federal Register to gather comments over a 60-day period. Webinars will also be conducted to provide an overview of the proposed rule and to gather additional input. Details on the webinars and how to provide feedback can be found here.

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works establishes policy direction and provides supervision of the Department of the Army functions relating to all aspects of the Civil Works Program of the United States Army Corps of Engineers. For more information, please contact Lauren Leuck at lauren.d.leuck.civ@army.mil or (703) 839-0383.