Environmental Review: Mitigation

Avoiding, minimizing and mitigating are at the heart of the planning process established in Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended. When an adverse effect to historic properties cannot be avoided, the Section 106 participants, including the federal agencies, consulting parties, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the public identify measures to mitigate the adverse effect. The idea behind mitigation is to balance the loss (or diminishment) of the historic resources through some public benefit.

Standard mitigation measures of photographic documentation for structures and excavation for archaeological sites often provide important new information. It is important that this information is made available to the public. Other mitigation measures include community outreach and/or education to help provide more public benefit. When photographic documentation is agreed upon as a mitigation strategy for historic properties with state and local levels of significance, please use HPD’s Guidelines for Establishing a Photographic Permanent Archival Record (PAR) (pdf).

The following are examples of mitigation obtained as part of the Section 106 process, and adverse effects associated with projects reviewed by HPD:

Case Studies

Other Examples

The following are other examples of community outreach, preservation benefits or education components that are a result of the efforts begun during a Section 106 project (all Historic Contexts):