Agency Procedures For Mitigating Damage To Cultural Heritage In United States Federal And State Administrative Law
Free (open access)
259 - 274
C. O. Sanz Salla
Protecting historic buildings is an essential part of protecting our cultural heritage, a key pillar in the sustainable development of our urban environment. Our historic environment binds us and adds cohesion to our society. United States law offers different levels of protection to historic properties at Federal, State and Local government levels. At the federal level, the most important tool is the National Historic Preservation Act, which creates voluntary mechanisms to identify Historic properties, foster their recovery and preservation, and protect them against adverse effects by projects where there is federal agency funding. The section of NHPA which deals with federal projects has proved to be an important, and, above all, litigious element of US Historic Preservation Law. Section 106 of the law obliges government agencies to consider the adverse effects of their actions on Historic properties, and to avoid damage, or mitigate it where some damage is unavoidable. It has been described as an obscure part of an obscure statute, which has been crucial in the protection of thousands of historic properties. In State law, similar regulation is to be found in environmental impact assessment legislation, with a good example for study being California’s Environmental Quality Act. This paper gives an overview of the procedures and protection offered by this area of United States Law, with references to case law where relevant. Keywords: cultural heritage, historic building preservation, national historic protection act, urban planning, environment, Administrative Law, sustainable development, United States Law, California Law.
cultural heritage, historic building preservation, national historic protection act, urban planning, environment, Administrative Law, sustainable development, United States Law, California Law.