The Secretary of the Department of the Interior, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and individual federal agencies, state agencies, and tribal offices have specific responsibilities under the NHPA.
The Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service
(NPS), maintains the National Register of Historic Places
and oversees the establishment and operations of state, tribal and certified local government programs under the NHPA. The NPS, on behalf of the Secretary, has established guidelines governing federal agency responsibilities and standards for the preservation of federally owned properties. It also provides technical assistance, operates a comprehensive educational and training program, and administers grants and loans.
The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation
(ACHP), an independent federal agency based in Washington, D.C., oversees Section 106 of the NHPA. This program requires federal agencies to take into consideration the effects of their undertakings, such as the licensing of cell tower or the permitting of a gas exploration project, on properties listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. ACHP also provides advice and assistance to the President, the U.S. Congress, federal agencies, states, tribes, and local governments on historic preservation.
State Historic Preservation Officers
, Tribal Historic Preservation Officers
and Certified Local Governments
work in partnership with the federal government in implementing the NHPA. The State Historic Preservation Officer, or SHPO, plays a central role in the administration of NHPA programs and, as a result, serves as the primary point of contract for individuals seeking assistance. The SHPO is responsible for reviewing and processing applications for nominations of historic and cultural properties for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. It also assists federal agencies in meeting their obligations under Section 106 and provides direct assistance to local governments through the National Park Service's Certified Local Government Program. Local governments, upon certification by a SHPO, may participate in NHPA programs and are entitled to at least 10% of a state's allocation from the Historic Preservation Fund. A Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, or THPO, is a federally recognized tribe that has officially assumed the responsibilities of a SHPO with respect to "tribal lands."