1. What does the Programmatic Agreement on historic preservation entail?
DOE staff worked with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers to complete a prototype Programmatic Agreement (PA). By way of background, the PA will allow flexibility between the States while recognizing that many States have already instituted effective consultation protocols that can be applied to DOE's programs. Through this PA, DOE has taken a categorical approach to activities to streamline reviews, reduce the heavy burden placed on SHPOs, and expedite the obligation of Recovery Act funds. The PA also recognizes the sovereignty of Tribal governments while allowing them the option to participate in this comprehensive approach. The Programmatic Agreements will be in effect for a three-year period, through completion of ARRA funding.
Specifically, the PA: 1. Defines the SEP, WAP and EECBG activities that the parties agree are exempt from historic preservation review. DOE would not need to further consult with SHPOs for these activities. 2. Utilizes existing historic preservation agreements and protocols in place for other federal agency programs (e.g., other community development block grant programs) to expedite consultations. 3. Establishes a prototype agreement that can be expeditiously adopted by State Energy Offices to bring their programs into compliance. 4. Includes a reporting mechanism to allow DOE adequate oversight and monitoring to address its historic preservation obligations.
Please see the letter to Secretary Chu from the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation outlining the PA.
2. Must state grantees of ARRA funds enter into a Prototype Programmatic Agreement (PA) as specified in the DOE guidance document of February 11, 2010 if the state grantee has already entered into a programmatic agreement with its state historic preservation officer (SHPO) to fulfill the requirements of the NHPA? Although Part 2 of DOE's guidance document carves out an exemption for existing PAs that satisfy the requirements of Section III of the Prototype PA, it appears to require that the grantee and SHPO demonstrate this through the execution of a Prototype PA.
The execution of a Programmatic Agreement is required to satisfy DOE's legal requirements for historic preservation. DOE has developed the prototype programmatic agreement to comprehensively cover its State Energy (SEP), Weatherization Assistance (WAP) and Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Programs. By definition, the grantee and the SHPO could not have entered into a Programmatic Agreement if they are the only parties to the agreement. Such agreement is an interagency agreement. In the event that the SHPO and the recipient have entered into an interagency agreement, it is possible to incorporate the terms of the interagency agreement for defined activities into the programmatic agreement executed by the recipient, the SHPO and DOE if it meets all legal requirements. If the interagency agreement only covers parts of these programs, it is helpful, but does not fully address the breadth of DOE programs. DOE would utilize the Programmatic Agreement to ensure full coverage of its programs. Any inquiries related to historic preservation may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.