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Question 10 - Impact on Historic and Archeological Resources - Full EAF (Part 2)

Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF) Workbook

The proposed action may occur in or adjacent to a historic or archaeological resource.

two visitors on top of the Bluff Point light house
Bluff Point (Photo: Susan L. Shafer)

Historic resources provide an important cultural and economic focus in a community. They are often tourism destinations and community anchors that support other artistic, cultural, educational, recreational, and entertainment resources. Historic resources tell the stories of each community's pattern of growth and development, and they help create a sense of place and uniqueness that differentiates one community from another. They are important economic and educational assets, and are critical components of community pride and local character.

Archeological sites hold important information about the state's pre-European contact and historic populations. They help document cultures, traditions, and historic human interaction with the environment. In many cases archeological data is the only information available about the area's early peoples and places. It is important to understand the delicate, nonrenewable nature of archeological sites. The fundamental value of archeology lies in the information that sites and artifacts offer about the way humans have lived in the past. Once archeological material has been removed from the ground and not properly preserved, whether through excavation or as a result of looting, development, erosion, or other processes, the site is destroyed forever, and its information lost.

The terms "archeological" and "historic" are specifically included in the definition of the "environment" in Part 617.2(l) as physical conditions potentially affected by a project.

To answer this question

Review Part 1 questions E.3.e., E.3.f., and E.3.g.

Ask the following questions to see if you need to further evaluate the sub-questions in this section:

  • Does the project site contain, or is it contiguous with a building, historic district, or archaeological site on or nominated for the National or State Register of Historic Places?
  • Does the project site contain, or is it contiguous with, an area designated as sensitive for archaeological sites.
  • Does the project site contain, or is it contiguous with, a known archaeological site, even though it may not be included on the NY SHPO inventory?

If the answer to all of these questions is no, check "no" to Question 10 and move on to Question 11. However, if the answer to any of these questions is yes, check "yes" to question 10 and answer sub-questions (a) through (e)

Identifying potential impacts

The reviewing agency should evaluate the following sub-questions and decide if there will be any impact. If there will be an impact, the reviewing agency must then evaluate the magnitude of that impact, and decide if the impact will be small or moderate to large. This will depend on the overall scale and context of the proposed project as described in the Introduction to Part 2. The reviewing agency should be reasonable when conducting this review.

  • If the proposed project exceeds a numeric threshold in a question, it is presumed to be a moderate to large impact.
  • If the proposed project does not exceed a numeric threshold in a question, the reviewing agency should consider the scale and context of the project in determining if an impact may be small or moderate to large.
  • These sub-questions are not meant to be exhaustive. The reviewing agency should use the "Other impacts:" sub-question to include any additional elements they feel need to be analyzed for potential impacts.

a. The proposed action may occur wholly or partially within, or substantially contiguous to, any buildings, archaeological site or district which is listed on or has been nominated by the NYS Board of Historic Preservation for inclusion on the State or National Register of Historic Places.

Properties listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places and properties determined eligible for the Registers receive some protection from the effects of federal or state agency sponsored, licensed or assisted projects. There are no restrictions placed on private owners of registered properties. Private property owners may sell, alter or dispose of their property as they wish.

The following criteria are used to evaluate properties for listing on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:

  • that are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
  • that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or
  • method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or
  • that represent a significant distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.

Applicable Part 1 Information

E.3.e.

Analysis

  • Is the proposed project location in a historic district?
  • Is the proposed project next to, or contiguous with any buildings or sites listed on the National or State Register of Historic Places?
  • Are there any buildings or sites near the project location that have been nominated for listing on the National or State Register of Historic Places?
  • For what reason was the site placed on the Register?
    • History?
    • Architecture?
    • Archeology?
    • Engineering?
    • Cultural?
  • Will the proposed project alter or affect any of the criteria used to evaluate and place the building or site on the Register?
    • Will it affect the physical integrity of the building or site?
    • Will it restrict any existing public access to the building or site?
    • Will it obstruct the view of the building or site?

Will there be an impact?

If there are no buildings, archeological sites, or historic districts listed or nominated to be listed on the State or National Register of Historic Places on or contiguous to the proposed project site, then there will be no related impacts. Check 'No, or small impact may occur."

Small Impact:

A small impact could occur if:

  • There is no historic or archaeological resource on the site, but there may be a small impact to community character because of concerns over consistency with existing architectural and aesthetic resources.
  • There are historic or archaeological resources on the site, but the project design is such that no disturbances or major changes to historic structures will occur. For example, the location where archaeological resources exist will be avoided, or the historic structure on the property will be maintained and restored.
  • Minor disturbances to the resources will occur or minor changes to the aesthetic or scenic quality of the area but these do not destroy the historic resource or drastically change the character of the area.
  • Work at a location that is locally designated and historic preservation permits are issued that indicate identified work as being in compliance with relevant local historic preservation code.
Moderate to Large Impact:

Moderate to large impacts may occur if:

  • Historic structures are planned to be demolished or relocated as part of the development plan.
  • Historic structures are to be remodeled in a way that destroys or damages its historic value.
  • The project introduces an architectural design that is not consistent with an existing designated historic district and that is not consistent with the long-term vision the community has for its aesthetic character as identified in an adopted comprehensive plan.
  • The project changes the character or view of important aesthetic resources.

b. The proposed action may occur wholly or partially within, or substantially contiguous to, an area designated as sensitive for archaeological sites on the NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) archaeological site inventory.

The National Register of Historic Places defines an archeological site as "the place or places where the remnants of a past culture survive in a physical context that allows for the interpretation of these remains" (National Register Bulletin 36, "Guidelines for Evaluating and Registering Historical Archeological Sites and Districts"). One of the primary criteria used for evaluating listing a property on the National Register of Historic Places is that "...they have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important to prehistory or history."

The presence of a significant cultural resource within a proposed project may affect development by requiring relocation or modification of design plans to avoid damage to culturally significant areas. The sequence of studying archaeological resources is:

  • Phase I Reconnaissance
    • Phase IA (literature and document review and sensitivity assessment)
    • Phase IB (field investigations)
    • A Phase I study produces a final report that identifies sensitive areas and standing structures within a project area and tests that project for traces of the past.
    • The Phase I report presents a summary of all the findings and recommendations either of no adverse impact, or continuation to the next phase of investigation (Phase II Site Evaluation).
  • Phase II Site Evaluation
    • Involves additional research and excavation to collect the data necessary for evaluating a site's data potential and research significance.
    • Obtains detailed data on the boundaries, age, function, integrity, and significance in support of a recommendation for National Register eligibility.
  • Phase III Data Recovery
    • Usually recommended in response to a determination of adverse effect.
    • A detailed data recovery plan is developed with guidance from and approval of SHPO

Applicable Part 1 Information

E.3.f.

Analysis

  • Are there any areas designated as sensitive archaeological sites within or contiguous with the proposed project location?
  • Have there been any phase I, II, or III studies done on the site?
  • Will there be any disturbance of the archaeological resource?
    • Will it affect the physical integrity of the site?
    • Will it restrict any existing public access to the site?
    • Will it obstruct the view of the site?
    • Will it alter any access to the site for purposes of scientific, historic, or archeological research?
  • Does the proposed project include any avoidance or mitigation measures?

Will there be an impact?

If there are no areas designated as sensitive for archeological sites on or contiguous to the proposed project site, then there will be no related impacts. Check 'No, or small impact may occur."

Small Impact:

An example of a small impact could occur if:

  • There are archaeological resources known to occur in the vicinity of the project that are already included in a sensitive area designated by the SHPO, but a site-specific inventory shows that no artifacts at the specific site that will be disturbed.
  • There are archaeological resources known to occur in the vicinity of the project that are already included in a sensitive area designated by the SHPO, and site specific inventory and recover of artifacts has already been completed.
Moderate to Large Impact:

A moderate to large impact could occur if:

  • Archeological resources are present on the actual site and the site is included in a sensitive area designated by the SHPO, but the project is such that the artifacts will be destroyed, covered, or built on in a manner which makes it impossible to study or recover artifacts in the future.

c. The proposed action may occur wholly or partially within, or substantially contiguous to, an archaeological site not included on the NY SHPO inventory.

Not all archeological sites are listed in the SHPO inventory. There may be local knowledge of a resource, or historic records that exist but have not been thoroughly investigated. Local comprehensive or open space plans may identify areas that are suspected to contain archeological resources, but are not confirmed. Some local communities have extensive historic inventories completed that will yield direct information or clues as to where archaeological sites may be located.

Applicable Part 1 Information

E.3.g.

Analysis

  • Are there any areas on the site with known, but not inventoried, archaeological resources?
  • Are there records or maps that describe or show historic locations of human habitation that are now no longer self-evident?
  • What is the source of the identification?
  • Have there been any archeological studies done on the site?
  • Will there be any disturbance of the archaeological resource?
    • Will it affect the physical integrity of the site?
    • Will it restrict any existing public access to the site?
    • Will it obstruct the view of the site?
    • Will it alter any access to the site for purposes of scientific, historic, or archaeological research?
  • Does the proposed project include any avoidance or mitigation measures?

Will there be an impact?

If there is no evidence that there are any un-inventoried archeological sites on or contiguous to the proposed project site, then there will be no related impacts. Check 'No, or small impact may occur."

Small Impact:

An example of a small impact could occur if:

  • There are archaeological resources known to occur in the vicinity of the project, but a site-specific inventory shows that there are no artifacts at the specific site that will be disturbed.
  • There are archaeological resources known to occur in the vicinity of the project and site specific inventory and recovery of artifacts has already been completed.
Moderate to Large Impact:

A moderate to large impact could occur if:

  • Local historical information indicates that archeological resources may be present on the actual site but there is no study or inventory completed. The proposed project is one where potential artifacts could be destroyed, covered, or built on in a manner which makes it impossible to recover artifacts in the future.

d. Other impacts:

There may be other impacts identified by the reviewing agency that are not addressed by the above questions. If so, they should be identified and briefly described here.

Some proposed actions may have beneficial impacts on the environment. The reviewing agency can use the 'other' category for that purpose, too.

e. If any of the above (a-d) are answered "Yes", continue with the following questions to help support conclusions in Part 3:

i. The proposed action may result in the destruction or alteration of all or part of the site or property.
ii. The proposed action may result in the alteration of the property's setting or integrity.
iii. The proposed action may result in the introduction of visual elements which are out of character with the site or property, or may alter its setting.

Once a historic or archeological resource is altered or destroyed, it is impossible to replace. All of these sub-questions (i to iii) assume there will be some impact to the resource being evaluated. It is up to the reviewing agency to determine whether or not it will be a small impact, or a moderate to large impact.

Applicable Part 1 Information

C.2., C.3., E.1.a., E.1.b., E.3.e., E.3.f., E.3.g., and E.3.h.

Analysis

Analysis of question e. is based on the answers to (i), (ii), and (iii).

Will there be an impact?

If the answer to all of the (i) to (iii) questions is no, there will be no related impacts. Check 'No, or small impact may occur." If any of the answers to the (i) to (iii) questions are yes, then the reviewing agency will need to evaluate the potential magnitude of any associated impact in Part 3.

Back to Part 2 (FEAF) Identification of Potential Project Impacts || Continue to Part 2 (FEAF) Question 11 Impact on Open Space and Recreation


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