What is the "Section 106" historic landscape review and can I be involved?
The same type of federal funding and approvals that trigger NEPA also trigger a separate federal law, called the "Section 106" process because it is based on Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Under Section 106, the FAA must identify areas in and around the possible tree removal zones to determine whether the houses and associated landscaping are eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. In this case, the review process will probably focus upon residential subdivisions and landscapes around the airport that were platted and developed between 1909 and the early 1960's (the review focuses on any property older than fifty years). Removal of trees that were originally a part of an historical planned development, or that may be newer but reflect the continuation of a deliberate landscaping plan, could be determined to be a harmful effect to historic properties. In that case,a separate law requires FAA and LRAA to avoid tree removal or, at a minimum, minimize the removal through other actions (e.g., trimming instead of removal).
Any individual, organization, or business who is concerned about the project's impact on historic properties (whether you own an affected property or business or not) can be involved in Section 106 as a "consulting party." The Kentucky State Historic Preservation Officer is a required consulting party, and Metro Louisville will likely be a consulting party. Plea For The Trees will distribute information at the right time on who to ask for consulting party status and how to ask. This entitles you to directly receive all reports and information relating to identification of historic landscapes and neighborhoods, the types of impacts that are predicted, and ways to mitigate impacts. Involvement in Section 106 is different than the NEPA process. In NEPA, you can get a copy of the EA and submit written comments or comment at a hearing, but that's it. Section 106 involves dialogue and consultation (usually accomplished through a series of meetings) that seek as a goal agreement between all parties on ways to preserve historic landscapes and properties as the project goes forward.
The Section 106 process is required by federal law and is completely independent of, and does not involve or trigger, designation as a local historic district or landmark under Louisville Metro’s ordinance.
More information on Section 106 Historic Properties:
Olmsted Conservancy Board comments on Cultural Resource Evaluation
Latest consulting party comments on draft of Cultural Resource Evaluation
Dr. David Ames report on the draft Cultural Resources Evaluation authored by LRAA's consultant, and Dr. Ames opinion on determinations of eligibility in the above-referenced consultation and undertaking.
Section 106 Consultation Meeting Notes
Plea For The Trees comments on draft of Cultural Resource Evaluation
Other consulting party comments on draft of Cultural Resource Evaluation:
Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office sends letter to FAA regarding Section 106.
Leslie Barras Letter to FAA requesting consulting party status.
Leslie Barras Letter to Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (addresses historic properties and avigation easement issues in Audubon Park, similar to issues to be faced by neighborhoods surrounding Bowman Field. See: Barras Letter 09-21-12