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Environmental Review

COVID-19 Updates for SHPO

April 30, 2020 Updated June 3, 2020. Electronic Environmental Review Submittal Procedures.

In order to facilitate continued reviews during Governor Walz's "Stay Safe MN" order, the Minnesota SHPO's ERP is accepting electronic submittal of review materials as a temporary measure, until further notice.

While most of our more straightforward, uncomplicated federal and state reviews are being responded to within 30 calendar days, many of the larger and more complex federal and state reviews are taking 45-60 days at this time while SHPO staff are all working remotely.

The procedures for submitting electronic review requests for review and comment pursuant to Section 106 or Minn. Stat. 138 are provided below.

  • We recommend that agencies prioritize and identify which projects will need review during this time.
  • Electronic submissions must either come from the responsible federal/state agency or delegated agent authorized by the state/federal agency.
  • Submissions must include either a cover letter with relevant project information and agency findings/determinations, or a completed Request for Project Review Form. Submissions must also include adequate documentation meeting the standards appropriate to the agency findings/determinations and applicable regulation.
  • Utilize standard Portable Document Format (PDF) for all materials submitted to SHPO.
  • Please submit materials to ENVReviewSHPO@state.mn.us with cover letter and attachments, preferably in a single PDF. Please include valid return email address for recipient of SHPO response letter.
  • It is recommended that submitters utilize "Request Delivery Receipt" to ensure delivery to SHPO inbox is successful. Alternatively, feel free to request a response acknowledging date of receipt and an email will be sent to you by an ERP staff member.
  • Attachment sizes up to 20 MB total per email can be accepted. If PDF attachment is larger than 20 MB the submitter will need to provide a valid FTP link so that SHPO staff can safely download files.
  • All email submissions must be followed by a hard copy submission to SHPO either during the "Stay Safe MN" order, as state mail service (USPS) will continue and mail will be delivered to SHPO during this time, or send hard copy after the order is lifted. Be sure to note on the hard copy that an electronic copy previously was submitted during the "Stay Safe MN" order.
  • SHPO staff will reach out to submitters via email or telephone if additional information is needed to complete the review.
  • At the end of SHPO review, comment letters will be issued and sent to submitters via email.
  • As indicated above, the SHPO review period for submissions received during this time will likely take longer than the 30-days allowed in statute.

You may contact the ERP staff member managing your review if you have questions about submitting a project for review at this time or for the status of your submission. Here is the current agency/staff breakdown:

  • Leslie Coburn
    • FDIC
    • FERC - natural gas pipelines
    • HUD - rehabs
    • IHS/HHS
    • IRRRB - rehabs
    • USDA-FSA
    • USDA-RD
    • USDA-RUS - electrical lines
  • Kelly Gragg-Johnson
    • ARMY
    • CBP
    • DEED - Border to Border Broadband Projects
    • DNR
    • FAA
    • FCC
    • FWS
    • MPCA/MDH (EPA funded)
    • NAVY
    • USDA-RUS - sewer/water
    • VA
    • All other 138 reviews (State, County, City)
  • Sarah Beimers
    • EPA
    • FEMA
    • FERC - hydroelectric
    • FHWA
    • GSA
    • HUD - new Construction
    • NPS
    • USACE
    • USDA-FS

If you do not see your agency listed, please contact Sarah Beimers.


March 27, 2020. Following the guidance of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) in response to the current COVID-19 National Emergency, and considering Governor Walz's recent "Stay At Home" Executive Order, the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) has determined it is necessary to toll the period of time allowed for the SHPO to review and comment on Section 106 findings and determinations made by federal agencies. Tolling is a legal term which means "pausing or delaying the running of the period of time set forth by statute" which for Section 106 compliance is 36 CFR Part 800.

The Minnesota SHPO has conferred with the ACHP and will invoke tolling beginning Monday, March 23, 2020. This means that the 30-day regulatory clock that would allow agencies to proceed with their undertaking following non-response does not apply, and SHPO will be allowed to comment beyond the 30 days for submittals received starting Monday, March 23rd.

Environmental Review Program Staff

The Environmental Review Program Team will be working remotely and are available via email and phone but will not have access to submissions sent by mail received between March 30th through April 10th. Staff will have several constraints facilitating project reviews during this time and will be available to answer any questions about your current review or submitting a new project for review.

Current and New Project Submissions

For project submittals after March 27th, the SHPO will temporarily accept electronic submittals from agencies and a new shared email address is being established at this time. Updated information regarding electronic submittals will be posted on our website as soon as it becomes available. Reviews will continue to be processed on a "first come first serve" basis and we ask that agencies prioritize their review submissions during this time.

Minnesota Field Archaeology Act and Minnesota Historic Sites Act

The SHPO's ability to review and comment on projects pursuant to our responsibilities under Minn. Stat. 138 will also be limited and will follow the above guidance.

We will continue to notify our agency partners and stakeholders if this guidance changes. Please contact our office with any questions you may have.

Sincerely,
Amy Spong
Director & Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer
Minnesota Department of Administration

Learn more about the federal and state laws that protect historic and archaeological properties, as well as the project review process in Minnesota.

To use SHPO files, please email DataRequestSHPO@state.mn.us.

Federal and State Legislation Related to Historic Preservation

A variety of laws direct federal and state agencies to be mindful of historic properties as they carry out their work.

Project Review Process

Learn about the federal 106 process and state laws that require agencies to consider how their projects may affect historic properties.

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