Programmatic Agreements (PAs) continue to be the program alternative used most frequently by federal agencies. Several reporting agencies provided successful project- specific examples (executed and ongoing), as well as data on the benefits of implementing such agreements. HIGHLIGHTS ›› GSA regional preservation programs executed two site-specific Programmatic Agreements for the Robert C. Weaver Federal Building (Washington, D.C.) and the James A. McClure Federal Building (Boise, Idaho) establishing template space management approaches to provide GSA tenants needed flexibility while promoting consistency in the long-term implementation of workspace improvements. Both of these agreements serve as models providing flexibility in mid-century federal office buildings to meet current workspace needs while preserving significant interior features and attributes. ›› CBP reported several benefits of Programmatic Agreements. The biggest benefit for the agency has been in shortening project reviews. The environmental review process for approximately 75 percent of agency projects has been reduced from an average of 45 days, which includes the regulatory 30-day review period by the SHPOs and other appropriate stakeholders, to approximately one week. While the number of projects varies each year, CBP estimates it saves approximately 1,000 staff hours (25 weeks) per year through use of its Programmatic Agreements. The majority of these saved staff hours are used by CBP to focus on projects with potential effects to historic properties or that are more complex, as well as the development and maintenance of historic preservation programs and guidance documents. ›› In 2019, TVA executed a Programmatic Agreement that governs how it fulfills Section 106 responsibilities agency-wide. The signatories include the ACHP and seven SHPOs, and invited signatories include 20 Indian tribes. The PA identifies a suite of activities that are unlikely to affect historic properties if present and excludes these activities from further review under Section 106. It also establishes a category of repetitive activities with foreseeable effects to historic properties that require further review by TVA cultural resources staff but may not require formal consultation. All other undertakings follow the regular Section 106 review process in 36 CFR §§ 800.3 through 800.7. ›› The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) is seeking to optimize its compliance with Section 106 through development of a Programmatic Agreement for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) operations, management, and permitting. Development of this Programmatic Agreement with the Florida SHPO and the ACHP has been a multi-year process that reached an important milestone in 2019 with the release of a draft PA for public comment. During the comment period, ONMS engaged with Florida Keys sanctuary user groups interested in historic properties to make them aware of the opportunity to comment. Since then, ONMS has continued to seek consultation on the draft PA from community groups and Indian tribes with an interest in FKNMS. Following review of all comments and consultations, ONMS will complete the PA through further consultation with the Florida SHPO and the ACHP.
28 | IN A SPIRIT OF STEWARDSHIP: A REPORT ON FEDERAL HISTORIC PROPERTY MANAGEMENT 2021
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