Adverse Effect
A term that may apply to a property which is on or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, adverse affect refers to the diminishment of a property's integrity, with respect to its location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, or association. The term is applied by federal agency officials, in consultation with the State (or Tribal) Historic Preservation Officer, as part of the Section 106 process.

Advisory Council on Historic Places (A C H P)
Established by the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966, the A C H P is an independent Federal agency that promotes the preservation, enhancement, and productive use of the nation's historic resources. It serves as the primary advisory agency for the president and congress on historic preservation policy.

Bureau of Land Management (B L M)
An agency under the Department of the Interior (D O I) that concentrates its efforts in studying, protecting and maintaining the diversity and productivity of America's 262 million acres of public lands. The Department of Transportation is required to cooperate and consult with the D O I in developing transportation plans that impact Section 4(f) resources. This coordination is a part of the Section 4(f) evaluation process.

Conservation Easement
A legal agreement between a property owner and a qualified land conservation organization, a conservation easement restricts the type and amount of development that may take place on a property. Each easement is tailored to the particular property and the needs and interests of the individual owner.

Constructive Use
A type of indirect use in which a transportation project's proximity impacts (as opposed to direct impacts) are so severe that the protected activities, features, or attributes that qualify a resource for protection under Section 4(f) are substantially impaired. Examples include excessive noise level increases, diminished aesthetic features, ecological intrusions, and other indirect impacts to the resource's environment or utility.

Cultural Resources
Any historic (or prehistoric) district, site, building, structure, or object that is either listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Examples include such items as artifacts, records, structures and remains.

Department of the Interior (D O I)
The nation's principal conservation agency, the D O I plays an important role in conserving the nation's natural and cultural heritage. It houses many other agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Section 4(f) requires the Department of Transportation to cooperate and consult with the D O I in developing transportation plans that impact Section 4(f) resources.

Department of Natural Resources (D N R)
Maryland's natural conservation agency, the D N R plays a vital role in preserving and protecting the state's public lands, forests, fish, plant, and wildlife resources. It provides input to the Maryland State Highway Administration during the project development process to identify natural resources of concern that are taken into consideration during the Section 4(f) and N E P A processes.

Department of Transportation (D O T)
As the Federal steward of the nation's transportation system, the D O T speaks for transportation in the Federal government. It houses many agencies that provide transportation services to the American public, including the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Section 4(f) of the D O T Act of 1966 stipulates that agencies within the D O T cannot approve the use of land from a significant publicly owned public park, recreation area, wildlife or waterfowl refuge, or any significant historic site unless there is no feasible and prudent alternative to the use of land.

Refers to properties that meet the National Park Service Criteria for eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

Extraordinary Magnitude
A reference to exceedingly high costs or other objectionable factors associated with a project alternative, extraordinary magnitude characterizes the impacts to Section 4(f) or non-Section 4(f) resources as beyond the boundaries of feasible and prudent.

Feasible and Prudent
A term that is integral to the Section 4(f) process, feasible and prudent refers to the viability of an alternative that avoids the use of a Section 4(f) resource. The term "feasible" refers to the constructibility of a project whether or not it can be built using current construction methods technologies and practices. The term "prudent" refers to how reasonable the alternative is in essence, whether or not it makes sense. Given a range of options, a transportation agency must select an avoidance alternative if it is feasible and prudent. By contrast, an alternative may be rejected if it is not feasible and prudent. An alternative may be considered not feasible and prudent for any of the following reasons:

  • does not meet project purpose and need
  • excessive cost of construction
  • severe operational or safety problems
  • unacceptable impacts (social, economic or environmental)
  • serious community disruption
  • a combination of any of the above

Federal Highway Administration (F H W A)
One of several agencies in the U.S. Department of Transportation, the F H W A provides federal financial assistance to the states through the Federal Aid Highway Program, the purpose of which is to construct and improve the National Highway System, urban and rural roads, and bridges.

Housing and Urban Developement (H U D)
Founded 1965, H U D administers programs that are directed at providing a decent living environment for every American. Section 4(f) requires the Department of Transportation to cooperate and consult with H U D in developing transportation plans that impact Section 4(f) resources.

Indirect (Secondary) Effects
Impacts caused by direct effects (direct impacts) but that occur later in time and are farther in distance. (For more information, see 40 CFR 1508.8[b].)

Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA)

ISTEA was enacted to develop a national intermodal surface transportation system. Funds were authorized for the construction of highways, and for highway safety and mass transit programs. The purpose of the National Intermodal Transportation System is to connect all forms of transportation to reduce energy consumption and air pollution, while promoting economic development and supporting international commerce.

Incidental, secondary, occassional and dispersed
Minor or casual activities that may occur on publicly owned land that is open to the public but not managed as, or planned to be, a park or recreation area. An example would be property acquired as open space where people may picnic or walk their dogs, but that public officials do not consider to be significant as a park.

Land and Water Conservation Fund Act (L W C F A)
Passed by Congress in 1965, the act established the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a matching assistance program that provides grants which pay half the acquisition and development cost of outdoor recreation sites and facilities. Section 6(f) of the act prohibits the conversion of property acquired or developed with these grants to a non-recreational purpose without the approval of the Department of Interior's (D O I's) National Park Service. The D O I must ensure that replacement lands of equal value, location and usefulness are provided as a condition of such conversions. Consequently, where conversions of Section 6(f) lands are proposed for highway projects, replacement lands are required.

Late Discovery
A circumstance in which a previously unknown Section 4(f) resource is found after a project is already underway. A late discovery can occur during the construction phase of a project or during the preparation of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (F E I S).

Legal Sufficiency Review
A review that is required by the Federal Highway Administration for final environmental impact statements (F E I S s) and final Section 4(f) evaluations. The purpose of the review is to ensure that Section 4(f) and NEPA requirements have been met and are legally defensible. A legal sufficiency review is not a technical review; rather, it is a review of Section 4(f) and NEPA documentation and compliance efforts, and an attempt to make sure that these efforts correspond with the law.

Maryland Department of the Environment (M D E)
The state agency responsible for developing Maryland 's environmental policy and overseeing its regulatory process. The M D E provides input to the Maryland State Highway Administration to identify resources of concern where transportation project alternatives require state environmental authorizations.

Maryland Historical Trust (M H T)
Formed in 1961, the M H T aids the study, identification, evaluation, preservation and interpretation of Maryland's significant prehistoric and historic districts, sites, structures and cultural artifacts. Through the Office of Preservation Services, the M H T provides project review for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Department of Transportation generally uses the Section 106 process as a method by which a cultural resource's significance is determined for a federal undertaking under Section 4(f).

Memorandum of Agreement (M O A)
Official documentation specifying the terms of agreement between government agencies regarding work to be completed.

Minor Use
A term that characterizes, as relatively small, the amount of land acquired by a transportation agency when applied to parks, recreation lands, and wildlife and waterfowl refuges. For an acquisition to be considered minor use, it must meet the following specifications:

Resource Size Portion Acquired
10% of the site
10 - 100 acres 1 acre of the site
> 100 acres 1% of the site

With respect to historic sites, an acquisition is considered to be a minor use when there is a determination of "no adverse effect" (or "no effect").

Minimization involves measures developed during the planning phase of a project to reduce proposed impacts to a resource. Minimization measures could include alignment shifts, a commitment to off season construction, replacement of land or facilities, restoration or landscaping, or payment of fair market value for impacted lands.

An effort to replace land or facilities either with resources that are comparable in value and function, or with monetary compensation that can be used to enhance the remaining land. The cost of mitigation should be a reasonable public expenditure in light of the severity of the impact on the Section 4(f) resource.

 National Environmental Policy Act (N E P A)
The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (N E P A) is considered to be the basic "National Charter" for protection of the environment. N E P A requires that, to the extent possible, the policies, regulations, and laws of the Federal Government be interpreted and administered in accordance with the protection goals of the law. It also requires Federal agencies to use an interdisciplinary approach in planning and decisionmaking for actions that impact the environment. Finally, N E P A requires the preparation of an E I S on all major Federal actions significantly affecting the human environment.

National Historic Preservation Act (N H P A)
A federal law established in 1966, the N H P A requires Federal agencies to consider the effects of their undertakings on historic properties and provide the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation with an opportunity to comment on such undertakings. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act mandates consideration of a project's effect on historic resources in much the same way as Section 4(f). Because of their similarities, the relationship between Sections 4(f) and 106 is a common source of confusion. The most important connection between the two statutes is that the Section 106 process is generally the method by which a cultural resource's significance is determined for a federal undertaking under Section 4(f).

National Park Service (N P S)
An agency within the US Department of the Interior, the N P S preserves the natural and cultural resources and values of the national park system for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of current and future generations. The N P S is keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. Under the Section 6(f) of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, the N P S reviews land conversions for transportation projects that require replacement lands.

National Register of Historic Places (N R H P)
The Nation's official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Authorized under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect our historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture. The National Park Service administers the National Register, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

National Wild and Scenic River Act
A 1968 law that preserves specific rivers identified as having remarkable qualities worthy of preservation.

Official with Jurisdiction
The legal representative at the agency owning or administering the resource, unless the agency has delegated or relinquished this authority via formal agreement.

Program Open Space (P O S)
Program Open Space (P O S), developed by the Department of Natural Resources, is a nationally recognized program that provides funding for Maryland's state and local parks and conservation areas. Any conversion of land acquired or developed under a State grant from Program Open Space requires approval of the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources, the Secretary of the Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning, and the Director of the Department of Planning. It also requires replacement with land of at least equivalent area and of equal recreation or open space value.

Programmatic Evaluation
Programmatic Section 4(f) evaluations can be used in place of individual evaluations for highway projects where uses are considered minor. The primary advantage of a programmatic evaluation is that it saves time. Unlike an individual evaluation, a programmatic evaluation does not require a draft, a comment period, or circulation, because its framework and basic approach has already been circulated and agreed upon by the US Department of the Interior (D O I). Project specific details are then applied to the programmatic to determine whether or not it can be used. Programmatic evaluations are usually approved much faster than individual evaluations.

(See Feasible and Prudent.)

Public Easement
A public easement includes any interest in land that is not possessory and that, upon land that may be owned by another person, is reserved by the department or granted to the state for use by or the benefit of the public, including an access easement, survey easement, and utility easement.

Public use entails visitation for more than a select group of the public at any time during normal hours of operation.

Publicly Owned
Property that is owned/operated by a public entity. If a governmental body has a proprietary interest in the land (such as fee ownership, drainage easements or wetland easements), it can still be considered publicly owned. Land subject to a public easement in perpetuity can also be considered to be publicly owned land for the purpose which the easement exists.

Right-of-Way (R O W)
A type of easement that gives the state transportation agency the right to use property it does not own.

Section 106
Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, federal agencies must identify and evaluate cultural resources and consider the impact of undertakings they fund, license, permit, or assist on historic properties eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. The federal agencies must afford the State Historic Preservation Officer and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation the opportunity to comment on these undertakings.

Section 6(f) of The Land Water Conservation Fund Act (L W C F A)
Section 6(f) directs the Department of the Interior (National Park Service) to assure that replacement lands of equal value, location and usefulness are provided as conditions to approval of land conversions. Therefore, where a Section 6(f) land conversion is proposed for a highway project, replacement land will be necessary.

Significance means that in comparing the availability and function of the resource with the recreational, park, and refuge objectives of that community, the resource in question plays an important role in meeting those objectives. If a determination from the official with jurisdiction cannot be obtained, the Section 4(f) land will be presumed to be significant. All determinations (whether stated or presumed) are subject to review by FHWA for reasonableness.

State Highway Administration (S H A)
As part of the Maryland Department of Transportation, S H A is responsible for more than 16,000 lane miles of interstate, primary and secondary roads, and more than 2,500 bridges. S H A employees plan, design, build and maintain these roads and bridges to the highest safety and performance standards possible while paying close attention to sociological, environmental, ecological and economic concerns. As the project lead the S H A develops environmental documentation for the US Department of Transportation to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act.

State Historic Preservation Officer (S H P O)
A governor-appointed position and, typically, a member of a state historic preservation agency, the S H P O provides project review and compliance of Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The Department of Transportation generally uses the Section 106 process as a method by which a cultural resource's significance is determined for a federal undertaking under Section 4(f).

Substantially Impaired
Substantial impairment occurs only when the protected activities, features or attributes of the resource are substantially diminished

Temporary Occupancy
A temporary occupancy of land is so minimal that it does not constitute a use within the meaning of section 4(f) when the duration is temporary, the scope of work is minor, there are no anticipated permanent adverse physical impacts, and the when land will be fully restored. There must be documented agreement of the appropriate Federal, State, or local officials having jurisdiction over the resource regarding the above conditions.

Transportation Enhancement Activities (T E A s)
Transportation enhancement activities are projects that improve communities' cultural, aesthetic and environmental qualities. Eligible activities include bicycle and pedestrian pathways, historic preservation, acquisition of conservation or scenic easements, rails-to-trails projects, and the mitigation of water pollution due to highway runoff.

Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (T E A - 21)
The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (T E A -21) authorized over $200 billion to improve the Nation's transportation infrastructure, enhance economic growth and protect the environment. T E A -21 provides new opportunities to improve air and water quality, restore wetlands and natural habitat, and rejuvenate urban areas through transportation redevelopment, increased transit and sustainable alternatives to urban sprawl.

United States Army Corps of Engineers (U S A C E)
The U S A C E is generally involved in reviewing Department of Transportation projects for compliance with various federal regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act and Section 4(f).

United States Coast Guard (U S C G)
One of the agencies within the US Department of Transportation that is required to comply with Section 4(f). The U S C G provides a broad range of services, including maritime safety, maritime mobility, maritime security, national defense, and protection of natural resources.

United States Department of Agriculture (U S D A)
Founded in 1862 the U S D A provides multiple services directed at the well-being of U.S. agriculture. The Department of Transportation is required to cooperate and consult with the U S D A in developing transportation plans that impact Section 4(f) resources. This coordination is provided through the Section 4(f) evaluation process either done individually or programmatically.

Generally, "use" occurs with a D O T approved project or program (1) when land from a Section 4(f) site is acquired for a transportation project, (2) when there is an occupancy of land that is adverse in terms of the statute's preservationist purposes, or (3) when the proximity impact of the transportation project on the Section 4(f) site, without acquisition of land, are so great that the purposes for which the Section 4(f) site exists are substantially impaired.

The following types of work do not "use" land from a Section 4(f) site, provided the historic qualities of the facility will not be adversely affected: (a) modification or rehabilitation of a historic highway; and (b) maintenance or rehabilitation of a historic bridge. Such determinations should be made only after the S H P O and the A C H P have been consulted and have not objected to the finding.

Unique Problems
Unique problems are present when there are unusual factors, or when the costs or community disruption reach extraordinary magnitude.