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Section 106 Submission Process & Site Check Policies

If you are being directed by a federal or state agency to consult with the Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC)/State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) as part of an application for a federal grant, license or permit, the following information outlines policies and procedures to guide applicants through the Section 106 Review and Compliance process.

All projects submitted to the Kentucky SHPO for review must include a completed Cover Sheet for Section 106 Review and Compliance. This form and associated Cover Sheet Instructions were recently developed to ensure that adequate information is included with each application to allow agency staff to efficiently complete project reviews. This streamlined approach helps reduce the number of requests that KHC staff must often make for additional information. Failure to fill out the cover sheet in its entirety and include it with hard-copy submissions may require a request for additional information and potentially delay a project review.

PLEASE NOTE: Prior to submitting a project to the SHPO for Section 106 Review, a preliminary site check must first be conducted to assess historic structures and/or archaeological resources that have been previously identified within a given project area. Per federal law 36 CFR Part 800.4(a)(2), a review must be completed to assess historic properties within a project or undertaking's area of potential effects.

Previously, KHC Site Protection staff often assisted applicants by compiling some of this information on their behalf; however, due to staff constraints, this is no longer possible. This information must now be provided directly by the applicant, who is now responsible for performing or requesting a Preliminary Site Check for historic structures through KHC's Site Identification Program, or for archaeological resources, through the University of Kentucky Office of State Archaeology. Projects that do not involve ground disturbance will not be required to complete an archaeological site check.

How to Request or Complete a Preliminary Site Check

A site check of historic structures can be performed by the applicant free of charge by physically accessing the paper records at the KHC office in Frankfort. To do so, please contact the KHC Data Manager at KHC-sitedata@ky.gov or 502-564-7005, ext. 4564, to arrange a time to visit the Site Identification Library. Alternatively, an online request for a Site Identification Site Check may be submitted for this service to be performed on the applicant's behalf, for a fee per each request.

Use this link for direct access to the KHC Site Identification Site Check page

Office of State Archaeology (OSA) records are not open to the public. However, a qualified professional archaeologist can access the paper records free of charge and complete a search on the applicant's behalf by visiting the OSA archives in Lexington. Alternatively, an applicant can submit an online request for OSA staff to complete a preliminary site check for a fee.

Preliminary Site Check fees are charged solely for generating a unique report on the applicant's behalf that identifies known historic structures or archaeological sites that may be impacted by a proposed project. The fees do not represent payment for Section 106 Review, and the preliminary site check results do not constitute consultation with or "clearance" from the SHPO for a project to proceed.

For questions, email Craig Potts, KHC Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer, or call 502-564-7005, ext. 4557.

Preliminary Site Check FAQs

Why am I being asked to perform a preliminary site check?

Previously, KHC Site Protection staff completed preliminary site checks on behalf of applicants as part of their Section 106 review, though they were not obligated to do so, and it increased the time needed to complete the review. We have now developed ways to streamline this process to allow for more timely responses, including a means for applicants to complete their own preliminary site checks. The most efficient approach is via an online request for a Site Identification Site Check. These online requests are fulfilled utilizing a Geographic Information Systems database. A preliminary site check fee is charged solely for generating a unique report on your behalf that identifies known historic buildings or structures that are located within or near your project area.

Is there any way I can get the information included in the preliminary site check without using the online option?

Yes. You can complete your own preliminary site check by accessing the paper files free of charge at the KHC/SHPO office in Frankfort. To do so, please contact the Data Manager (502-564-7005, ext. 118, or KHC-sitedata@ky.gov) to arrange a time to visit KHC's Site Identification Library. We cannot accommodate in-person preliminary site checks without an appointment. Please note these paper files are currently being digitized, which may limit the availability of some records.

Will the new preliminary site check affect my timeline for Section 106 review?

This process does not increase the time it takes to prepare a Section 106 submission. Within 2-3 business days of submitting an online request and payment for a preliminary site check, the Site Identification Program will send an e-mailed, PDF version of a report which provides the address of any previously surveyed historic resources within your project area and a small area around it, the resource type (house, barn, cemetery, etc.), and the National Register status of the resource. If you choose to make an appointment to visit the KHC/SHPO office to complete a preliminary site check on your own, review of paper records for most types of individual projects can be completed in one visit. However, due to ongoing digitization efforts, please email KHC's Survey Coordinator Amanda Graham Kincaid or call 502-564-005, ext. 4569, with questions regarding availability. Either method will allow you to provide more complete information with your project's initial submission to our office, greatly reducing the likelihood that staff would need to request more information to complete your Section 106 review. 

Does the site check count as consultation with KHC/SHPO for the purposes of Section 106?

No. In the Section 106 process, identifying historic properties that could be directly or indirectly affected by a project is ultimately the responsibility of the funding/permitting agency or its delegate. The preliminary site check provides information that assists the agency/delegate in fulfilling this responsibility and should be carried out in advance of the Section 106 review process. The results of the site check along with other information you collect such as photographs, the history/use of the project area, comments on local significance, etc., will become part of a larger packet you send to KHC/SHPO. This submission is what initiates Section 106 consultation and triggers comment on your project.

Am I paying a fee for my Section 106 review?

No. The fee for the preliminary site check requested online is only for research and a report completed on your behalf by the Site Identification Program. Section 106 review conducted by Site Protection staff consists of examining a project's scope of work, looking at/assessing historic resources identified by the federal agency or its delegate within an area of potential effect, and considering what kinds of effects may result from proposed work. This is done to fulfill the KHC/SHPO's role as a consulting party in the Section 106 process; there is never a fee associated with this review.

The results of my preliminary site check indicate there are no sites in my project area. Does that mean my project will have no effect on historic properties? 

Not necessarily. If your online request or your own research of paper records returns no results in or around your project area, it is likely your project area has not been previously surveyed for historic properties. If you can see anything over 50 years of age in or around your project area, it will be especially important to account for these buildings/structures in your Section 106 submission to KHC/SHPO. 

Are there undertakings that do not require a preliminary site check?

Some undertakings (e.g. federal loan refinancing that does not support major rehabilitation, small equipment purchases like radios, etc.) do not have the potential to impact historic properties and would not usually require the kind of information provided in a preliminary site check. Please note, a preliminary site check is not required to submit projects to the KHC/SHPO for Section 106 review and comment; the Site Protection Program will review all submissions received by our office. However, when an undertaking does have potential to impact historic properties (e.g. demolition, new construction, building renovation, etc.), and a preliminary site check has not been completed, staff may need to request additional information to facilitate review. This can increase your Section 106 timeline.

Are preliminary site checks solely designed for Section 106 review?

No. The Site Identification Program offers this service to a variety of interested citizens and groups looking for research assistance, information to use in planning, etc.

For Information:

Nick Laracuente
Site Protection Program Manager
(502) 892-3614