Please be aware that the Alabama Historical commission does not approve or “clear” projects. Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, our role is to advise federal agencies with respect to cultural resources. The federal agency responsible for an undertaking determines whether a project will move forward. The Council's regulations provide that the SHPO has thirty (30) days from the receipt of adequate documentation to respond to a request for project review. Keep in mind that the SHPO may have to request additional information, so the first response you receive might not be a determination of no adverse effect. Each time information is submitted to our office, the 30-day review clock starts over.
AHC responds to all digital submissions with a project tracking number at the time that it is entered into our review system. If you have not received a response within two (2) business days, please contact for more information.
A survey is required only when the project area has a high potential for the presence of archaeological or historic resources. A survey is done to locate any historic properties that maybe within or near your project area. The project’s potential impacts to the resource(s) found are then determined. The archaeological survey and the report must meet the guidelines in AHC’s Policy for Archaeological Survey and Testing in Alabama. If an architectural survey is required, the survey and report must meet Alabama’s Architectural Guidelines.
If a historic structure or archaeological site is discovered on your project site, we will work with the federal agency and others involved to determine whether the resource is significant. Further field work may be required. If it is significant, we will work together to avoid, minimize, or mitigate the project’s impacts to the resource. The AHC does not “stop” projects.
If we ask that a cultural resources survey be performed, you will need to hire a qualified professional who meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards. We do not keep a list of “approved” consultants.
No. Because we review the survey reports we cannot perform the survey. This would be a conflict of interest.
In the case of federally funded projects, the responsible federal agency pays for the survey and for any additional investigations that ultimately might be necessary. Cultural resource costs associated with federally permitted projects are the responsibility of the developer or applicant.