Environmental + Cultural Services
Cultural resource management and environmental compliance are required for all federally-funded (as well as some state-funded) engineering work, particularly for transportation projects. Discovering that a construction project has cultural or environmental implications is a scary proposition as it often requires retaining costly subconsultants. Here at Clark Dietz, we do things differently. As one of the very few engineering firms with an on-staff Principal Investigator of architectural history and archaeology and NEPA specialist, we have the environmental and cultural services professionals to keep you on track and federally compliant.
Section 106 of the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act requires that all potential impacts to cultural resources be assessed before a project can proceed. This process applies to both architecture and archaeology resources, and includes documentation, research, recommendations, and the opportunity for public input.
- Architectural history research and survey
- Historic property reports
- Section 4(f) analysis
- National Register of Historic Places nominations
- Archaeological records checks
- Phase I reconnaissance to Phase III mitigation
- Consulting party coordination
Our work begins by investigating what impacts the proposed work will have on an area, including lines of sight, introduction of new sounds, and possible disruption of historic properties (typically 45 years and older). Our findings are then compiled into a detailed report that also shares project recommendations.
- Analyses and determination of Area of Potential Effects (APE)
- Architectural surveys, including photography and detailed written descriptions
- Historic archival research
- Historic context creation
- Historic properties
- 800.11 documentation
- Consulting party coordination
- Mitigation resources for adverse effects
To consider and preserve cultural resources within a given construction area, our on-staff archaeologist will complete a records check and, if necessary, field reconnaissance. If materials of cultural significance are discovered, the archaeologist will recommend the next course of action up to a Phase III mitigation prior to construction.
- Records checks
- Phase I: Research and fieldwork
- Phase II: Limited testing and research to determine if cultural deposits are intact
- Phase III: Mitigation, or the removal of cultural artifacts prior to construction
- Cemetery development plans
Perhaps the most critical component of the Section 106 process is facilitating the participation of interested parties. In addition to notifying the public and private parties involved, we also engage in often delicate negotiations with stakeholders to ensure important cultural artifacts and historical findings are both fundamentally unharmed and treated with care and respect.
- Consultation with area and subject experts (historians, local historical societies, Tribes)
- Consulting party meetings, including any impacted Native American tribe or cultural identity group
- Negotiations for respectful mitigation of cultural and historical adverse impact
The 1970 National Environmental Policy Act requires potential impacts to the environment be considered before a project can proceed. Much like Section 106, most engineering firms do not have a NEPA specialist on staff, typically choosing to hire subconsultants specializing in the field. The NEPA process includes early coordination and consultation with multiple federal, state, and local agencies to ensure compliance.
- Early coordination letters
- Red flag investigations
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife range-wide programmatic consultation for the Indiana bat and the Northern Long-eared bat (IPaC), including preliminary bat surveys
- Programmatic Categorical Exclusions (PCE) and Categorical Exclusions (CE)
- Section 4(f) compliance
- State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) requirements
- INDOT Community Crossing Grant requirements
- Environmental Assessments (EA)
- Environmental Impact Studies (EIS)
Our Environmental + Cultural Leader
The cultural resource process doesn’t have to be painful! As a principal investigator of both architectural history and archaeology, I can provide the guidance and expertise needed to navigate the Section 106 process for Clark Dietz and its clients.