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Cultural Resource Protection: Mitigating Adverse Effects

Mitigating adverse effects

When project planners cannot avoid adversely affecting historic buildings or property, the SHPO will work with the agency and/or property owner to mitigate these adverse effects. The process involves developing and signing a Memorandum of Agreement that identifies the adverse effects and details how they will be mitigated. Mitigation can include recording the property both architecturally and historically in accordance with the Heritage Documentation Programs (HABS/HAER/HALS) of the National Park Service ("recordation") and additional activities that further historic-preservation efforts in the project community. Mitigation for archaeological projects may involve professional excavation that will collect information about the people who once occupied the site. All mitigation efforts should be in proportion to the scale of the overall project. 

Recordations required under a Memorandum of Agreement must be done by professionals who meet the National Park Service's Professional Qualifications Standards (36 CFR Part 61) in the fields of History or Architectural History. This office maintains an interest list of consultants who meet these qualifications.

Archaeological surveys and excavations required by a Memorandum of Agreement must be done by professionals who meet the National Park Service's Professional Qualifications Standards in the field of Archaeology.

Click here for executed Memoranda of Agreements that resulted from adverse effects under Section 106 and Section 707.

Click here for information regarding previous recordations of historic properties.

A common misconception about our Cultural Resource Protection programs is that the IL SHPO can "stop" a project. In fact, both the state and federal laws authorize the state or federal agency to make the final historic-preservation decisions. The IL SHPO's role is to assure that any adverse effects on cultural resources are recognized and accommodated through mitigation before a project begins. This process also assures that the state or federal agency's activity and its impact on cultural resources are subject to public discussion.