(a) Agency official. It is the statutory obligation of the Federal agency to fulfill the requirements of section 106 and to ensure that an agency official with jurisdiction over an undertaking takes legal and financial responsibility for section 106 compliance in accordance with subpart B of this part. The agency official has approval authority for the undertaking and can commit the Federal agency to take appropriate action for a specific undertaking as a result of section 106 compliance. For the purposes of subpart C of this part, the agency official has the authority to commit the Federal agency to any obligation it may assume in the implementation of a program alternative. The agency official may be a State, local, or tribal government official who has been delegated legal responsibility for compliance with section 106 in accordance with Federal law.
(1) Professional standards. Section 112(a)(1)(A) of the act requires each Federal agency responsible for the protection of historic resources, including archeological resources, to ensure that all actions taken by employees or contractors of the agency shall meet professional standards under regulations developed by the Secretary.
(2) Lead Federal agency. If more than one Federal agency is involved in an undertaking, some or all the agencies may designate a lead Federal agency, which shall identify the appropriate official to serve as the agency official who shall act on their behalf, fulfilling their collective responsibilities under section 106. Those Federal agencies that do not designate a lead Federal agency remain individually responsible for their compliance with this part.
(3) Use of contractors. Consistent with applicable conflict of interest laws, the agency official may use the services of applicants, consultants, or designees to prepare information, analyses and recommendations under this part. The agency official remains legally responsible for all required findings and determinations. If a document or study is prepared by a non-Federal party, the agency official is responsible for ensuring that its content meets applicable standards and guidelines.
(4) Consultation. The agency official shall involve the consulting parties described in paragraph (c) of this section in findings and determinations made during the section 106 process. The agency official should plan consultations appropriate to the scale of the undertaking and the scope of Federal involvement and coordinated with other requirements of other statutes, as applicable, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act, the Archeological Resources Protection Act, and agency-specific legislation. The Council encourages the agency official to use to the extent possible existing agency procedures and mechanisms to fulfill the consultation requirements of this part.
(b) Council. The Council issues regulations to implement section 106, provides guidance and advice on the application of the procedures in this part, and generally oversees the operation of the section 106 process. The Council also consults with and comments to agency officials on individual undertakings and programs that affect historic properties.
(1) Council entry into the section 106 process. When the Council determines that its involvement is necessary to ensure that the purposes of section 106 and the act are met, the Council may enter the section 106 process. Criteria guiding Council decisions to enter the section 106 process are found in appendix A to this part. The Council will document that the criteria have been met and notify the parties to the section 106 process as required by this part.
(2) Council assistance. Participants in the section 106 process may seek advice, guidance and assistance from the Council on the application of this part to specific undertakings, including the resolution of disagreements, whether or not the Council is formally involved in the review of the undertaking. If questions arise regarding the conduct of the section 106 process, participants are encouraged to obtain the Council's advice on completing the process.
(c) Consulting parties. The following parties have consultative roles in the section 106 process.
(1) State historic preservation officer.
(i) The State historic preservation officer (SHPO) reflects the interests of the State and its citizens in the preservation of their cultural heritage. In accordance with section 101(b)(3) of the act, the SHPO advises and assists Federal agencies in carrying out their section 106 responsibilities and cooperates with such agencies, local governments and organizations and individuals to ensure that historic properties are taking into consideration at all levels of planning and development.
(ii) If an Indian tribe has assumed the functions of the SHPO in the section 106 process for undertakings on tribal lands, the SHPO shall participate as a consulting party if the undertaking takes place on tribal lands but affects historic properties off tribal lands, if requested in accordance with § 800.3(c)(1), or if the Indian tribe agrees to include the SHPO pursuant to § 800.3(f)(3).
(2) Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations.
(i) Consultation on tribal lands.
(A) Tribal historic preservation officer. For a tribe that has assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO for section 106 on tribal lands under section 101(d)(2) of the act, the tribal historic preservation officer (THPO) appointed or designated in accordance with the act is the official representative for the purposes of section 106. The agency official shall consult with the THPO in lieu of the SHPO regarding undertakings occurring on or affecting historic properties on tribal lands.
(B) Tribes that have not assumed SHPO functions. When an Indian tribe has not assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO for section 106 on tribal lands under section 101(d)(2) of the act, the agency official shall consult with a representative designated by such Indian tribe in addition to the SHPO regarding undertakings occurring on or affecting historic properties on its tribal lands. Such Indian tribes have the same rights of consultation and concurrence that the THPOs are given throughout subpart B of this part, except that such consultations shall be in addition to and on the same basis as consultation with the SHPO.
(ii) Consultation on historic properties of significance to Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations. Section 101(d)(6)(B) of the act requires the agency official to consult with any Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization that attaches religious and cultural significance to historic properties that may be affected by an undertaking. This requirement applies regardless of the location of the historic property. Such Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization shall be a consulting party.
(A) The agency official shall ensure that consultation in the section 106 process provides the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization a reasonable opportunity to identify its concerns about historic properties, advise on the identification and evaluation of historic properties, including those of traditional religious and cultural importance, articulate its views on the undertaking's effects on such properties, and participate in the resolution of adverse effects. It is the responsibility of the agency official to make a reasonable and good faith effort to identify Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations that shall be consulted in the section 106 process. Consultation should commence early in the planning process, in order to identify and discuss relevant preservation issues and resolve concerns about the confidentiality of information on historic properties.
(B) The Federal Government has a unique legal relationship with Indian tribes set forth in the Constitution of the United States, treaties, statutes, and court decisions. Consultation with Indian tribes should be conducted in a sensitive manner respectful of tribal sovereignty. Nothing in this part alters, amends, repeals, interprets, or modifies tribal sovereignty, any treaty rights, or other rights of an Indian tribe, or preempts, modifies, or limits the exercise of any such rights.
(C) Consultation with an Indian tribe must recognize the government-to-government relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. The agency official shall consult with representatives designated or identified by the tribal government or the governing body of a Native Hawaiian organization. Consultation with Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations should be conducted in a manner sensitive to the concerns and needs of the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization.
(D) When Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations attach religious and cultural significance to historic properties off tribal lands, section 101(d)(6)(B) of the act requires Federal agencies to consult with such Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations in the section 106 process. Federal agencies should be aware that frequently historic properties of religious and cultural significance are located on ancestral, aboriginal, or ceded lands of Indian tribes and Native Hawaiian organizations and should consider that when complying with the procedures in this part.
(E) An Indian tribe or a Native Hawaiian organization may enter into an agreement with an agency official that specifies how they will carry out responsibilities under this part, including concerns over the confidentiality of information. An agreement may cover all aspects of tribal participation in the section 106 process, provided that no modification may be made in the roles of other parties to the section 106 process without their consent. An agreement may grant the Indian tribe or Native Hawaiian organization additional rights to participate or concur in agency decisions in the section 106 process beyond those specified in subpart B of this part. The agency official shall provide a copy of any such agreement to the Council and the appropriate SHPOs.
(F) An Indian tribe that has not assumed the responsibilities of the SHPO for section 106 on tribal lands under section 101(d)(2) of the act may notify the agency official in writing that it is waiving its rights under § 800.6(c)(1) to execute a memorandum of agreement.
(3) Representatives of local governments. A representative of a local government with jurisdiction over the area in which the effects of an undertaking may occur is entitled to participate as a consulting party. Under other provisions of Federal law, the local government may be authorized to act as the agency official for purposes of section 106.
(4) Applicants for Federal assistance, permits, licenses, and other approvals. An applicant for Federal assistance or for a Federal permit, license, or other approval is entitled to participate as a consulting party as defined in this part. The agency official may authorize an applicant or group of applicants to initiate consultation with the SHPO/THPO and others, but remains legally responsible for all findings and determinations charged to the agency official. The agency official shall notify the SHPO/THPO when an applicant or group of applicants is so authorized. A Federal agency may authorize all applicants in a specific program pursuant to this section by providing notice to all SHPO/THPOs. Federal agencies that provide authorizations to applicants remain responsible for their government-to-government relationships with Indian tribes.
(5) Additional consulting parties. Certain individuals and organizations with a demonstrated interest in the undertaking may participate as consulting parties due to the nature of their legal or economic relation to the undertaking or affected properties, or their concern with the undertaking's effects on historic properties.
(d) The public -
(1) Nature of involvement. The views of the public are essential to informed Federal decisionmaking in the section 106 process. The agency official shall seek and consider the views of the public in a manner that reflects the nature and complexity of the undertaking and its effects on historic properties, the likely interest of the public in the effects on historic properties, confidentiality concerns of private individuals and businesses, and the relationship of the Federal involvement to the undertaking.
(2) Providing notice and information. The agency official must, except where appropriate to protect confidentiality concerns of affected parties, provide the public with information about an undertaking and its effects on historic properties and seek public comment and input. Members of the public may also provide views on their own initiative for the agency official to consider in decisionmaking.
(3) Use of agency procedures. The agency official may use the agency's procedures for public involvement under the National Environmental Policy Act or other program requirements in lieu of public involvement requirements in subpart B of this part, if they provide adequate opportunities for public involvement consistent with this subpart.