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ACHP Receives $750,000 in Funding for Innovative Information Technology
Historic Preservation Blog from -
Contributed By: Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP)
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Washington, D.C.–The Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council) today announced the allocation of more than $30 million in funding, including $750,000 for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP), to enhance permitting efficiency across the federal government. The ACHP will develop a plan for a centralized geolocation database of U.S. historic properties to allow federal agencies and project sponsors to accurately and efficiently identify and avoid impacts on historic properties.

“This investment will jump-start the ACHP’s ambitious effort to create an integrated, nationwide map of historic and cultural resources–which will inform early planning and siting decisions and will accelerate permitting for 120,000 federal undertakings every year,” ACHP Chair Sara Bronin said. “We couldn’t be more grateful for the Permitting Council’s support of the ACHP to design an interoperable and scalable system that assembles, cleans, and harmonizes GIS data from a variety of sources, so that we can both protect the places Americans cherish and advance the publicly funded projects from which we all benefit.”

Accessible and reliable historic properties data is a key to efficient federal infrastructure project reviews, including the 10,000 environmental assessments and 200 Environmental Impact Statements carried out under the National Environmental Policy Act and the 120,000 reviews carried out under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act annually. The Permitting Council investment positions the ACHP to help improve management of historic properties survey data, develop and promote common geospatial standards to facilitate data sharing between federal agencies and eventually other nonfederal users, and unlock research potential and public access.

The project would be advanced in two stages. In its first phase, the one that is funded, the ACHP will research the current data landscape, including applicable standards and policies, to develop a set of requirements for the creation of a nationwide map populated with historic properties data supplied by federal agencies. It also would identify federal agencies suitable for a pilot map. In a second phase, yet to be funded, the ACHP would build out the map and expand it to encompass all federal agencies and a wider variety of projects.

“I’m proud to support the ACHP’s efforts to make the environmental review and permitting process more timely and efficient,” said Eric Beightel, Permitting Council Executive Director. “The identification, evaluation, and consideration of historically and culturally significant resources is an essential part of all federal investments, and this investment will help make that process more effective, supporting the President’s infrastructure goals without compromising on resource protections.”

The $30 million in Permitting Council funds will enable 11 different federal agencies to build and improve critical IT tools and invest in innovative technologies to advance the efficiency of federal permitting reviews and authorizations of infrastructure projects. These investments come at a critical time to enable agencies to meet the influx of applications resulting from once-in-a-generation investments from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, CHIPs and Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act. Learn more about the Permitting Council’s funding investment at

About the ACHP: Established in 1966 by the National Historic Preservation Act, the ACHP is an independent federal agency that promotes the economic, educational, environmental, sustainability, and cultural values of historic preservation and advises the President and Congress on national historic preservation policy. It administers Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and advises on federal activities, programs, and policies that affect historic and cultural properties. See for more information.    

About the Permitting Council: Established in 2015 by Title 41 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST-41) and made permanent in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the Permitting Council is a federal agency charged with improving the transparency and predictability of the federal environmental review and authorization process for certain critical infrastructure projects. The Permitting Council coordinates federal environmental reviews and authorizations for projects that seek and qualify for FAST-41 coverage. FAST-41-covered projects are entitled to comprehensive permitting timetables and transparent, collaborative management of those timetables on the Federal Permitting Dashboard. FAST-41-covered projects may be in the renewable or conventional energy production, electricity transmission, energy storage, surface transportation, aviation, ports and waterways, water resource, broadband, pipelines, manufacturing, mining, carbon capture, semiconductors, artificial intelligence and machine learning, high-performance computing and advanced computer hardware and software, quantum information science and technology, data storage and data management, and cybersecurity sectors.


Posted: April 29, 2024
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