AASHTO Standing Committee on Environment by decree


									AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment
Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina

                             AASHTO Standing Committee on Environment
                            Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee
                                          June 27-28, 2007
                                      Asheville, North Carolina

Attendees: Alfedo Acoff (Alabama DOT), Cindy Adams (Caltrans), Claiborne Barnwell
(Mississippi DOT), Gail D’Avino (Georgia DOT), Dennis Clark (Idaho Transportation
Department), Laura Dean (Advisory Council on Historic Preservation), Wendy Dyson (PBS&J),
Ben Hark (West Virginia DOT), Bill Hauser, Chair (New Hampshire DOT), Terry Keller (South
Dakota DOT), Christopher Koeppel (Indiana DOT), Leigh Lane (Louis Berger, Inc.), Carol
Legard (Advisory Council on Historic Preservation), N D “Skeeter” McClure (Volkert &
Associates), John Mettille (Wilbur Smith), Anne Morris (PBS&J), Laurie Mulcahy (Alaska
DOT), MaryAnn Naber (FHWA-HQ), Jim Rost (Iowa DOT), Liz Sanford Stepp (Cambridge
Systematics), Ed Szymanski (Rhode Island DOT), Teresa Townsend (Planning Communities),
Matthew Wilkerson (North Carolina DOT), Lisa Zeimer (PB), and Terry Klein (SRI

Wednesday, June 27


Bill Hauser, Chair, welcomed everyone to the Subcommittee meeting. He asked each person to
introduce themselves and briefly talk about their interests in community and cultural resource

Hauser reviewed the history and structure of the Subcommittee, and then reviewed the agenda
and goals of the Subcommittee meeting.

Follow-up Activities from the 2006 SCOE Meeting

NCHRP 25-25, Task 41: Implementation of Community & Cultural Resource
Commitments. Information on this NCHRP 25-25 task is attached to these minutes. Mettille
will lead the panel on this research task. Metille noted that an RFP on this task has been sent to
the three on-call firms that work on NCHRP 25-25 projects.

NCHRP 25-25, Task 36: Recurring Community Impacts. Information on this NCHRP 25-25
task is attached to these minutes. Metille said that ICF, Inc. was selected as the consultant for this
research task, and they have begun to work on the project.

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AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment
Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina

Brief Review of FHWA News – MaryAnn Naber (FHWA-HQ)

         Progress on the use of de minimis impact findings

Since the passage of SAFETEA-LU, 30 states have used de minimis findings. Naber noted that
the finding is most commonly used for historic properties and for Categorical Exclusions
projects. SAFETEA-LU requires FHWA to conduct a study and report to Congress on the use of
de minimis findings. FWHA will begin collecting information for the report at the end of the
fiscal year. Naber noted that the use of de minimis impact findings has been very successful.

         SAFETEA-LU implementation update

Naber is struggling with how to get information to State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPOs)
and tribes on their role in the environmental review process required under Section 6001 and
6002 of SAFETEA-LU. She is looking for ideas on outreach to the tribes and SHPOs. Naber
may also include discussions on de minimis findings as part of this outreach since there seems to
be some confusion and a lack of understanding among SHPOs on the intent of the de minimis
impact finding process. If Subcommittee members have ideas on how to conduct this outreach,
they should pass them on to her. Legard said SHPOs need to see the benefit of participation in
the early planning process stipulated in 6001 and 6002. Rost noted that SHPOs are concerned
about this early involvement. They are uncomfortable concurring on decisions made during early
planning when historic property inventories have not been done and, in their mind, they do not
have enough information to comment on the project. Naber also noted that we need to show
SHPOs the nexus between context sensitive solutions (CSS) and these early planning efforts.

Naber said the new regulation for Section 4(f) is progressing. She anticipates publication of the
final rule by the end of the year or early next year.

         Outcome of the Interstate identification process

Last year, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) exempted the Interstate
System from consideration under Section 106. This exemption does not include those elements
of the system that are already listed or determined eligible for listing on the National Register,
and those elements that are of national or exceptional significance. Naber thanked the states for
their help in identifying the elements of the Interstate System that are of national or exceptional
significance. Information on these elements of national or exceptional significance can be found
at: http://www.environment.fhwa.dot.gov/histpres/highways.asp.

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AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment
Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina

         Training initiatives, including National Highway Institute (NHI) course, advanced
         Section 106 Seminar, and resumption of regional tribal consultation workshops

NHI course No. 142049, “Beyond Compliance: Historic Preservation and Transportation Project
Delivery,” has been offered 11 times across the country. The next series of courses will be held
in Ohio, Kentucky, Maryland, Georgia, and Louisiana. Naber also discussed the advanced
Section 106 seminar pilot to be held on Friday after the SCOE meeting. The seminar is designed
to instruct environmental and cultural resource personnel from FHWA and state DOTs on
effective management of the Section 106 process; and, will cover topics such as managing
complex consultation with diverse interests, resolving conflicts in consultation, identifying
creative mitigation, and negotiating and preparing agreement documents for complex or
controversial undertakings.

Several years ago, FHWA and the ACHP conducted three tribal consultation workshops across
the country. They ran out of funding for offering additional workshops. However, they now have
teamed with the Center for Conflict Resolution, and FHWA and the ACHP will be offering the
workshop once again. The next workshop will be in Rhode Island. This workshop will involve
tribes, and state DOT and FHWA personnel that deal with tribal consultation in New England.

Naber is thinking of partnering with the Center for Environmental Excellence (CEE) on other
advanced classes. She asked if on an on-line course(s) was a possibility or maybe a webinar on
an advanced topic/issue.

FHWA has just published in the Federal Register a notice requesting research topics for the
STEP program for FY08. She requested help in identifying priority research needs. FHWA is
also looking for projects/best practices for the “exemplary human environmental initiative.”
FHWA will be giving awards to exemplary projects.

         Historic Preservation Learning Portal

Naber reported that the development of the Historic Preservation Learning Portal was a multi-
agency effort through the National Park Service. The Portal is a search engine for historic
preservation and cultural resource web sites and links. Users can do searches on topics related to
historic preservation. The Portal address is www.historicpreservation.gov.

         Other Issues/Topics

The ACHP has just posted their new guidance on archaeology. The guidance focuses on seven
key issues, through a question and answer format. The web site allows users to rate and comment
on the answers to these questions. There is also an “issue of the day” posted on the home page of
the guidance, and users can comment on this issue. The link to the guidance is

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Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina
FHWA and ACHP have also just finished a check list for developing state-wide programmatic
agreements. The list will be posted soon on FHWA’s web site.

AASHTO Section 106 Working Group – Bill Hauser

         NCHRP 25-25, Task 33: National Register Eligibility Study

This study looks at how state DOTs, SHPOs, and cultural resource management consultants
actually make decisions on National Register eligibility. Klein reported that the survey has been
completed and the results are being analyzed. A report on the survey will be released in
September. Initial results indicate that practitioners use a very different evaluation process for
archaeological sites compared to all other categories of properties. Also, practitioners have a
varied understanding of the definition and use of historic contexts.

         Section 106 Working Group: State DOT and SHPO Section 106 Survey

Hauser discussed the creation of AASHTO’s Section 106 Working Group. This group includes
representatives from AASHTO, ACHP, FHWA, state DOTS, the National Trust for Historic
Preservation, and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCSHPO).
The group came about when Congress considered changes to Section 106 of the National
Historic Preservation Act in 2006. AASHTO took the position that any changes to Section 106
might be more appropriately made through administrative changes. The Section 106 Working
group served as a way for AASHTO to discuss possible administrative options with their
partners in the Section 106 process.

Congress subsequently dropped discussions on making changes to Section 106, but the Working
Group continued to meet. In May 2007, the Working Group sent a survey to state DOTs and
SHPOs to determine if states had any concerns about the Section 106 process, and if there
needed to be any improvements/changes to the process. The survey results are under analysis,
and a report on the survey will be released soon. Follow-up work resulting from the survey will
be done jointly with NCSHPO, AASHTO, and other members of the Working Group.

Issues of Interest (including issues from Peer-to-Peer Problem Solving Market Place)

The following issues were identified by the Subcommittee members during a brainstorming

        Public involvement – informal versus formal. Legal challenges to the use of an informal
         process. Identify the state of the practice through a national survey. Would also involve
         obtaining a legal sufficiency position from FHWA.

        CSS – AASHTO Strategic Goals. Any involvement of this Subcommittee?

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AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment
Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina
        Section 4(f) de minimis. Education on intent and use. Recommend getting this issue on
         the agenda for the annual NCSHPO conference, included as part of the discussions on the
         environmental review requirements of SAFETEA-LU. FHWA will take the lead on this,
         and will also work with tribes on this issue.

        Environmental Compliance – follow-ups and tracking

        Business and residential displacements: follow-up to determine level of satisfaction.
         What is success rate of STURRA? Do states have monitoring programs on this issue? If
         so, how?

        How to deal with National Register eligibility of ranch houses?

        Progress in incorporating ADA requirements in project development, particularly for
         pedestrian facilities related to historic properties. Retrofitting/compliance.

        Determining National Register eligibility of linear resources (canals, railroad, roads, etc.)

        Noise and vibration standards or guidelines for historic properties – a compilation of
         studies. Include standards or guidelines for construction/operation (Iowa has developed
         internal guidance on construction impacts that Jim Rost can share with Subcommittee

        Interchanges projects: sphere of influence (impacts)

        What are best practices for engaging new and changing EJ populations?

        How do you measure toll-related impacts on EJ populations?

        Inventory state DOTs on historic bridge preservation and/or management plans.

Meeting was adjourned by mutual consent at 5:15 p.m.

Thursday, June 28

Hauser noted that the Subcommittee Vice-Chair position will need to be filled as Ned Hurle
(Connecticut DOT) will no longer be able to serve in this position. Hurle was also the
Subcommittee’s Research Coordinator, so someone is also needed to fill this position. Hauser
also announced that FHWA is revising their environmental Technical Advisory, and SCOE is
creating a review committee to work with FHWA. SCOE is looking for individuals to serve on
this committee.

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AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment
Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina

Hauser also asked Subcommittee members to identify issues related to community and cultural
concerns that may be considered during the next transportation bill reauthorization effort.

At the end of the previous day’s Subcommittee meeting, Rost had some questions about the
emphasis of CSS during this year’s SCOE meeting. Hauser asked Rost to share his questions
with the Subcommittee. Rost noted that he was puzzled by this continued emphasis given that in
his state, CSS is an integral part of how they do NEPA. Mettille noted that a peer exchange in
2006 looked at the status of CSS across the country and how CSS is integrated into state DOT
operations. The current emphasis is to make a business case for CSS within all state DOTs. Rost
is concerned that by elevating CSS issues now, it will become yet one more thing that they have
to track and one more priority to address. Clark’s concern is that this will be one more thing to
document, though he did indicate that CSS has empowered his DOT to work better with the
public and stakeholders. Mettille noted there is an on-going study on how to measure success in
implementing CSS, and that some of these measures may not be quantifiable but may be linked
to the satisfaction of the DOTs’ customers.

Additional Issues of Interest

The Subcommittee continued discussions on issues of interest. The following additional issues
were identified.

        Demonstration project incorporating the National Register bulletin on post-World War II
         subdivisions, developing a state or regional context for use in transportation
         undertakings. Recommend linking this issue to the ranch house issue raised earlier. The
         goal is to have a historic context that guides decisions on identifying National Register
         eligible subdivisions and those that are not eligible.

        Education of new SHPO staff and FHWA/DOT staff.

        Roundabouts – study of actual benefits versus perceived benefits (traffic calming,
         pedestrian safety, ADA, noise, air quality).

Prioritize Issues and Determine Key Issues

The Subcommittee members voted on which issues should have the highest priority. The
following two issues received the highest rating:

        Demonstration project to develop a workable, regional or state historic context for
         determining National Register eligibility/non-eligibility of Post-World War II housing.
         The historic context would be used on transportation undertakings. As noted above, the
         context would provide a framework for determining which housing types are eligible.
         Note: This is an emerging issue of a scale similar to the potential National Register

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Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina
         eligibility of the Interstate System. This issue has become a big concern in several
         states and will most likely grow as a concern across the country.

        Education of new SHPO staff and FHWA/DOT staff.

Expansion on Key Issues

Subcommittee members discussed these two top priority issues in more detail.

Staff Education:

Topics under this issue include:

        Who makes decisions?
        Understanding flexibility in the process
        Mutual understanding of roles and responsibilities
        The need to focus on the big picture

Recommend developing a 1 – 1½ day facilitated training session for SHPOs and state DOTs that
focuses on the above and related topics. The session would include the identification of an in-
house mentor and champion to train future, new staff within the agencies. Also recommend
developing a follow-up training module that can be used by the in-house mentor and champion.

Key players to address this issue: FHWA, ACHP, state DOTS, and SHPOs.

Recommend creating a team to direct and oversee development of the training. The team will
include representatives from the above key players. Also invite the National Association of
Tribal Historic Preservation Officers to participate in the development of this training.
Recommend having a CEE technical expert develop the workshop under direction of this team.

Claiborne Barnwell’s staff will serve as the state DOT representative for advancing this issue.

Post-World War II Housing

Demonstration project to develop a workable, regional or state historic context for determining
National Register eligibility/non-eligibility of post-World War II housing. This context would be
used for transportation-related activities. Possible regions to consider in developing this historic
context include Denver, Colorado or Atlanta, Georgia. Development of this historic context will
need to reference existing National Register bulletins.

This issues is appropriate as a NCHRP 25-25 research topic. Gail D’Avino and her staff will take
the lead in advancing this issue, with assistance from Alfedo Acoff’s staff. Cindy Adams will ask
if staff from Caltrans might want to participate. MaryAnn Naber will serve as a resource.

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AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment
Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina

Historic Bridge Preservation and Management Plans

Subcommittee members also wanted to include this issue along with the two top priorities. This
would involve a survey to collect information on the value/success of state DOTs historic bridge
preservation and/or management plans. Bill Hauser will take the lead on this issue with CEE.

Other Issues for Future Consideration

Subcommittee members recommended retaining the “ADA requirements and historic properties”
issue for future consideration by the Subcommittee.

General Business

Update 2001 Cultural Resource BMP Handbook: Hauser asked Subcommittee members to
look at their copies of the handbook and see if it is still useful. If best practices discussed in the
handbook are still of value, then they can be added to CEE’s historic preservation/cultural
resource web pages.

Strategic Plan/Subcommittee Goals and Strategies: Several years ago, SCOE had each
Subcommittee develop their own strategic plans, but these plans did not meld well with the
overall SCOE strategic plan. Tim Hill worked to realign the Subcommittees plans with the full
Committee plan, and recommended changes to the Subcommittee plans, including the plan for
the Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee.

Subcommittee members reviewed the Subcommittee strategic plan and made the following

    o The heading for Strategy 4.3 is missing
    o Under Strategy 5.1, add “Community Impacts” to the list of topics

Members had a question on the use of the acronym “CTAP” in the Subcommittee plan. They
were unclear as to what this refers to, and how it related to ETAP.

Hauser called on a vote for the recommend changes to the Subcommittee’s strategic plan. All
state DOT Subcommittee members voted yes. Hauser recognized Christopher Koeppel (Indiana
DOT) is an official member of the Subcommittee.

Transfer of Subcommittee Chair: Gail D’Avino will be taking over as chair of the
Subcommittee. D’Avino recommended that the vice-chair should be someone with background
in community issues. One candidate is Greg King from Caltrans.

Hauser asked for a volunteer to be the Subcommittee’s Research Coordinator. This position
does not take much time. The Research Coordinator serves as the Subcommittee’s liaison with
the TERI database program. Alfedo Acoff agreed to serve as the Research Coordinator.

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AASHTO Standing Committee on the Environment
Community and Cultural Concerns Subcommittee Meeting Minutes

June 27-28, 2007
Asheville, North Carolina

Hauser also asked for a volunteer for the FHWA Technical Advisory review committee, to work
with FHWA as they revise the Technical Advisory. Jim Rost volunteered.

Hauser thanked everyone for their participation. He has enjoyed working with the Subcommittee
members and appreciates the sharing and networking that goes on during the meetings. Everyone
thanked Hauser for his leadership and for serving as the chair. Everyone wished him well in his
future endeavors.

Meeting was adjourned by mutual consent at 11:45 a.m.

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