VAPAHCS Environmental and Cultural Resource Planning - VA Palo Alto Health Care System
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VA Palo Alto Health Care System


VAPAHCS Environmental and Cultural Resource Planning

VAPAHCS is integrating the consideration, protection, and enhancement of environmental, historic, and cultural resources into its project planning process. Through this process, VAPAHCS planners and decision-makers are considering the potential environmental effects resulting from proposed projects, considering project alternatives, and managing existing resources in compliance with federal environmental laws, executive orders, and agency directives, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

This webpage serves as a tool to inform the public, tribal groups, and other local, state, and federal agencies on the status of various VAPAHCS environmental and cultural resource planning activities and public involvement opportunities. All current and future VAPAHCS environmental and cultural resource planning announcements, opportunities for public involvement, and copies of related studies and decision documents will be posted to this webpage.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

NEPA mandates that federal agencies assess proposed federal actions' environmental impacts, including impacts on historic and cultural resources. Federal agencies meet their NEPA review responsibilities by completing the NEPA processes set forth in their NEPA implementing procedures and Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) regulations, 40 C.F.R. Parts 1500-1508.

National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)

Congress enacted NHPA to preserve the cultural and historic resources of the United States. NHPA requires that federal decision-makers consider historic properties during project planning.

Essential to NHPA is the "Section 106 review," which requires federal agencies to evaluate the impacts of federally funded or permitted projects on historic properties. Agencies comply with Section 106 by following regulations issued by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) as well as their own internal guidelines. Section 106 of the NHPA requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of undertakings they carry out, assist, fund, or permit on historic properties.