TIPS FOR REQUESTING SHPO COMMENTS
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) assists federal agencies and others carrying out federal undertakings to meet their responsibilities under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This Review and Compliance Manual provides detailed information about the documentation needed for determinations of eligibility and for determinations of effect. The SHPO receives thousands of requests for project review each year, and the SHPO must complete each review within the timeframe set forth in federal regulations. The SHPO's review period begins upon its receipt of an agency's request. Following are a few tips that will insure that your request gets to the appropriate SHPO staff reviewer as quickly as possible and greatly reduces the SHPO's need to request clarification or additional information.
- Address your requests to:
- State Historic Preservation Office
- Oklahoma Historical Society
- 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive
- Oklahoma City, OK 73105
Include a cover letter with your project materials that:
For review requests which include multiple properties or locations:
- Contains your agency's/organization's name and return address.
- Clearly identifies the federal agency which has direct or indirect jurisdiction over the project or that has the authority to license or permit the undertaking; identifies the exact federal funding, licensing, or permitting program under which your request is submitted. If you are not submitting this request on the letterhead of a federal agency, explain why you are authorized to act on behalf of the federal agency involved; and include a statement, either in a reference line or in the first paragraph of the letter, that the request is made under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act.
- Includes the SHPO's file number if you are providing additional information which the SHPO has requested or if you are submitting other materials related to the project.
- States the location of the project, including street address (if available) or legal description (quarter, section, township, and range); city or vicinity; and county (inclusion of county name is critical). Note: A post office box number or a rural route and box number does not provide the information needed to locate a project area on a map.
- Includes a statement regarding standing structures:
- If there are no standing structures within the project area, state this fact.
- If there are standing structures within the project area which are less than forty-five (45) years old, simply list each one, its street address (if available) or legal description, and the date (or year) of construction. Note: The "Historic Preservation Resource Identification Form," photographs, and maps ARE NOT needed for properties less than forty-five (45) years old.
- If there are standing structures within the project area which are forty-five years old or older, state this in your letter and attach or enclose the SHPO's "Historic Preservation Resource Identification Form" and photographs for each structure as outlined in this manual.
Keep in mind that:
- A separate cover letter for each property or location is not needed, and, in fact, is strongly discouraged.
- Group your documentation for multiple locations or properties by county and provide a separate cover letter for each county (extremely helpful).
- Make certain that every location for which the SHPO's comments are needed is listed in the cover letter.
- Be careful to attach the related photographs, maps, and other materials to the respective "Historic Preservation Resource Identification Form." Note: Because the SHPO's staff time is extremely limited, packages of several uncollated forms, photographs, and maps will be returned to you.
Also remember to contact the Oklahoma Archeological Survey:
- The SHPO's written response will be addressed to the person who signed the cover letter unless there is another officially designated contact.
- You are responsible for sending copies of SHPO's comment letters to others you wish to have it.
- Submitting your request to the SHPO by FAX or express mail does not make it a special priority for review. In fact, faxed transmittals can actually slow the review of your project because it takes additional SHPO staff time to organize the materials; also, maps and other documents may not be legible when faxed.
- The SHPO has thirty (30) days from its receipt of most requests to respond.
- If you have not received the SHPO's response after sufficient time has passed to account for the SHPO's thirty-day review plus a reasonable amount of time for the mail to and from the SHPO, you should call the SHPO to make certain your request was received.
The SHPO and the Oklahoma Archeological Survey (OAS) operate under a cooperative agreement (approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service) for purposes of the Section 106 review process. The OAS evaluates projects for impacts on archeological resources. Your requests for review under Section 106 should be submitted to:
- Oklahoma Archeological Survey
- University of Oklahoma
- 111 East Chesapeake, Building #134
- Norman, OK 73019-5111
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