Programmatic Agreement (PA) refers to an agreement that is put in place between federal agencies, tribes, and the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) concerning the implementation of a specific program, project, or undertaking that may impact historical properties of cultural significance.

In the United States, the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966 established the National Register of Historic Places, which is a database of historical properties and resources that have been deemed significant due to their association with important events, people, or architectural styles.

When a federal agency undertakes a program or project that may impact such properties, it is required under Section 106 of the NHPA to consult with the SHPO and other parties to identify and assess the potential impacts.

In cases where the agency is undertaking a large number of projects that are likely to have similar impacts, a PA is often put in place to streamline the consultation process. The PA outlines the procedures that will be followed for each project, including how the agency will identify and assess potential impacts, how it will involve stakeholders, and how it will address any adverse effects.

The PA is negotiated between the agency, SHPO, and tribes, and is subject to public review and comment before it is finalized. Once approved, the PA allows the agency to carry out its projects in a more efficient and streamlined manner, while ensuring that historic properties of cultural significance are properly identified and protected.

For example, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) recently entered into a PA with the SHPO and tribes to address the potential impacts of its transportation projects on historic properties. The PA includes provisions for how CDOT will evaluate the impacts of its projects, how it will involve stakeholders, and how it will mitigate any adverse effects.

In conclusion, the programmatic agreement nhpa is an important tool for federal agencies, tribes, and SHPOs to ensure that historic properties of cultural significance are properly identified and protected when undertaking large-scale programs or projects. It streamlines the consultation process and allows for more efficient project implementation while maintaining important protections for our nation`s historical resources.