New bill would update historic preservation assessments

News AASHTO Journal February 10, 2004
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U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) filed an amendment to the transportation reauthorization bill that would incorporate a breakthrough agreement among historic preservation groups and state transportation departments to update historic preservation assessments.

In remarks before the Senate describing the proposed amendment, Voinovich praised Ohio Department of Transportation Director Gordon Proctor and Ohio DOT staff members Tim Hill and Michele Holdgreve for their aid in crafting the approach.

The proposed amendment will allow the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to make a finding of "de minimus" impact if a transportation project would not have an adverse effect upon a historic resource. The finding would require concurrence from state and tribal historic preservation officials and other agencies. In addition, the U.S. DOT Secretary is required to clarify the factors to be considered in applying the "prudent and feasible" test for transportation project alternatives.

"This legislation strikes a reasonable balance so that we're preserving our irreplaceable heritage, while also allowing highway development projects that are important to our economic growth to move ahead," said Voinovich.

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