In the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, Congress established a comprehensive program to preserve the historical and cultural foundations of the nation as a living part of community life. Section 106 of the Act requires federal agencies to consider the effects of projects they carry out, approve, or fund on historic properties. The Tennessee Valley Authority's Cultural Compliance group performs historic preservation reviews (called Section 106 reviews) to assess (1) whether or not historic properties are present, (2) adverse effects of projects on historic properties, and (3) how to mitigate the adverse effects. Due to concerns raised about the efficiency of historic preservation reviews, we performed an evaluation to determine if the process for performing historic preservation reviews was efficient. We determined Section 106 reviews were not consistently tracked resulting in a lack of data to determine the time and costs of the reviews. However, we were able to identify inefficiencies in the Section 106 process. Specifically, we determined the process had inefficiencies regarding (1) prioritization of projects, (2) incorporation of Cultural Compliance in planning, (3) communication between organizations, (4) workload of Cultural Compliance personnel, (5) reliance on contractors, and (6) tracking of cultural resources. We made recommendations to the Vice President, Environment, to address inefficiencies in Section 106 reviews.
Friday, August 28, 2020
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Inspection / Evaluation
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