Background on SRS Cold War Historic Preservation


The National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended through 2000, requires that all Federal agencies consider the impacts to historic properties in all their undertakings, such as accelerated clean up. DOE-SR has been consulting with the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) on NHPA. SHPO is the implementing agency for NHPA in South Carolina.

Compliance with NHPA is usually done in three steps: 1) inventory resources; 2) evaluate for National Register eligibility; and 3) avoid or mitigate effects to historic properties.

DOE-SR inventoried 732 facilities, all of which were constructed between 1950 and 1989. Two hundred and thirty-two SRS structures are considered historic. Eleven properties are also individually eligible. These are: C Reactor, K Reactor, L Reactor, P Reactor, R Reactor, F Canyon, H Canyon, SRTC Main Technical Laboratory (773-A), Physics Laboratory (777-10A), Mockup Building (717-F), and Chemical Semiworks Building (678-T).

As part of the accelerated clean up, DOE-SR has developed an SRS Cold War History Programmatic Agreement (PA) to meet the requirements of NHPA, as defined in the Protection of Historic Properties regulations (36 CFR 800).

Regulation 36 CFR Part 800 (Protection of Historic Properties) specifies who has legal standing to be involved with Federal agencies as they address activities that will affect their historic properties and identify mitigation. DOE-SR has involved the following Consulting Parties.


Savannah River Operations Office

  • The Savannah River Site Office (SRSO) of the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
  • The DOE Headquarters (ME-75) Federal Preservation Office (FPO)
  • South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office
  • The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)


  • The SRS Citizens Advisory Board (CAB)
  • Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness (CNTA)
  • The City of Aiken
  • The City of Augusta
  • The City of New Ellenton

The PA requires that a management plan be developed for the future management of SRS historic properties and to deal with mitigation alternatives.

Actions Completed

In 2002, DOE sent a draft inventory list and portions of a draft study, to SHPO for review.

DOE-SR proposed that SHPO and SR enter into a PA for all SRS Cold War resources.

Also in 2002, DOE-SR completed the inventory and evaluation of SRS Cold War history and its Cold War era properties. Two major themes were developed:
The Sites' Cold War production mission; and
the role within the Atomic Energy Commission's program to develop peaceful uses for atomic energy.
DOE-SR proposed that the SRS Cold War National Register district encompass the SRS's 310 square miles within Aiken, Barnwell, and Allendale counties. SHPO has accepted that district. The SRS historic district recognizes the national, state, and local significance of the Site and the first generation of buildings constructed at the Savannah River Plant.

As part of the inventory and evaluation, DOE-SR provided an inventory of 732 SRS structures to SHPO, for their review.

In early 2003, as a part of accelerated clean up, a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was finalized with SHPO to deal with historic structures in D-, M-, and T-Areas. SHPO considers this MOA an interim measure until the PA was completed.

In June 2003, DOE sent a preliminary draft PA to SHPO for review.

On July 8 and July 10, 2003, two public workshops were held on Historic Preservation of Cold War Resources, in Columbia and North Augusta. DOE received fifty-three comments from twenty-one different individuals or organizations. The public comment period closed on July 23, 2003.

In September 2003, as part of the accelerated clean up of 709-F, an amendment to the MOA was approved by SHPO, as an interim measure.

In November 2003, copies of the first full Draft PA and a draft management plan were sent to the Consulting Parties for a 30 day review.

In December 2003, a meeting at the Aiken Federal Building was held, to discuss issues and concerns of the second Draft PA with the Consulting Parties.

In early 2004, the second revised Draft PA was sent to all Consulting Parties, for their review. This Draft incorporated comments from earlier meetings.

In February 2004, as an interim measure for the accelerated clean up of four structures, SHPO signed an MOA to deal with mitigation for 703-A, 708-A, 704-F and 723-F.

In March 2004, the third revised Draft PA was sent to all the Consulting Parties for their signature or concurrence.

In May 2004, DOE-SR met with all the Consulting Parties to finalize the Draft PA.

On June 17, 2004, the PA was completed.

In August 2004, SR completed consolidation and amendment of previous Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) for historically eligible candidate buildings and allowed for D&D of planned buildings. The packaging of the two previous MOAs and an amendment bridges the time between the signing of the Programmatic Agreement and the Cultural Resources Management Plan (CRMP). The CRMP was completed on December 9, 2004.

Laws, Regulations, Orders, Policy and Guidance

National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended through 2000

National Register of Historic Places (36 CFR Part 60)

Determination of Eligibility for Inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (36 CFR Part 63)

The Secretary of Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties (36 CFR 68)

National Historic Landmark Program (36 CFR Part 65)

Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archeological Collections (36 CFR Part 79)

Protection of Historic and Cultural Properties (36 CFR Part 800), as amended through 2004

Executive Order 11593: Protection and Enhancement of the Cultural Environment (1971)

Executive Order 13287: Preserve America (2003)

U.S. Department of Energy, Environmental Guidelines for Development of Cultural Resource Management Plans - Update, DOE G-450.1-3, 9-22-04

U.S. Department of Energy, Cultural Resources Management Information Brief, National Historic Preservation Act, Office of Environmental Policy and Guidance, DOE/EH-412-0002r (revised August 2002)

U.S. Department of Energy, Cultural Resources Management Information Brief, Historic Preservation and the DOE Historian, Office of Environmental Guidance, EH-232-0006/1193 (November 1993)

U.S. Department of Energy, Cultural Resources Management Information Brief, Management of Cultural Resources at Department of Energy Facilities, Office of Environmental Guidance, EH-232-0005/9-93 (August 1993)

U.S. Department of Energy Policy 141.1, Management of Cultural Resources, 5-2-01