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Historic Properties

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act


Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) requires that federal agencies consider the effects of their projects on historic properties. Historic properties are any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure, or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) maintained by the Secretary of the Interior. Washington Union Station is listed in the NRHP, and there are several NRHP-listed historic districts and individual properties in the neighborhoods surrounding the station.

The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation’s (ACHP) Section 106 implementing regulations in 36 CFR Part 800 ( define a four-step decision making process for compliance with Section 106. The four steps are:

  1. Initiate consultation;
  2. Identify properties that may be affected by the project, and determine if the property or properties are historic as determined by eligibility or listing on the NRHP;
  3. Assess the effects of the undertaking on historic properties; and
  4. Resolve adverse effects on historic properties by developing and evaluating alternatives that could avoid, minimize, or mitigate those effects. 

The result of consultation could be a legally binding Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) or a Programmatic Agreement (PA).

Consulting parties in the Section 106 process include the federal agency, the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO), the ACHP, grantees, representatives of local governments, and organizations, businesses, and members of the general public who have an economic, social, or cultural interest in the project.


Section 106 Review for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project

The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) initiated Section 106 consultation with the District of Columbia State Historic Preservation Officer for the Washington Union Station Expansion Project (the Project) in November 2015. FRA then worked with the SHPO to identify consulting parties, who were formally invited to participate in the Section 106 consultation process in March 2016.

The Section 106 process is being coordinated with the development of the Project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). In addition to meeting with consulting parties, FRA will provide information at public meetings held throughout the NEPA process about the Project’s potential to affect historic properties.


Assessment of Effects

The Draft Assessment of Effects (AOE) Report was appended to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and released for public review on June 4, 2020. The public comment period for the DEIS is now closed. The Draft AOE Report, included in the DEIS as Appendix D1 and D1a, can be found at the links below. The Draft AOE Report describes the effects of the Project on the identified historic buildings, sites, and districts within the area of potential effects. FRA will continue to consult with the Consulting Parties and public regarding adverse effects to historic properties, including ways to resolve adverse effects through avoidance, minimization, and mitigation measures.

•    Draft AOE Report (DEIS Appendix D1)
•    Draft AOE Appendix (DEIS Appendix D1a)

Section 106 Consultation Materials

This website will be updated with relevant materials as the Section 106 process moves forward.

Last updated: Friday, July 22, 2022