The Ottery Group is first and foremost a firm specializing in compliance with historic preservation laws and regulations. Our staff is experienced in the full range of historic preservation specialties, including archeology and architectural history. Principal staff meet the Secretary of the Interior’s professional qualifications (36 CFR 61) in their respective disciplines.
- Section 106 Implementation/NEPA Implementation
- Architectural Evaluations of Historic Structures (HABS/HAER Documentation)
- National Register of Historic Places Nominations
- Comprehensive Cultural Resource Surveys (Archaeological and Historical Studies)
- Historic Preservation Planning
- Impact Planning/Mitigation Planning and Management for Impacts to Historical & Archaeological Resources
- Historic Resource Management on Contaminated Properties
The Ottery Group has initiated consultation with State Historic Preservation Officers on behalf of clients for various types of Federally-licensed or permitted undertakings, as required for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. As a consulting firm with experience in the full range of cultural resource investigations and with a historic preservation staff of qualified archeologists and architectural historians, The Ottery Group has been an invaluable resource to Federal licensees involved in pipeline construction (FERC), telecommunications towers and rooftop facilities (FCC), applicants for Section 404 permits (Army Corps of Engineers), and for other types of projects under a variety of Federal agency regulations. The Ottery Group has prepared cultural resource documentation for proposed undertakings throughout the Eastern United States and Caribbean territories. For undertakings that are considered to have an adverse effects on significant historic properties, The Ottery Group has represented clients at public hearings, prepared mitigation plans, developed Memorandum of Agreement documents (MoAs), and prepared technical reports to comply with specific stipulations required under the terms of an MoA.
Here is a flow chart depicting the typical process involved with Section 106 compliance.
In addition, The Ottery Group regularly prepares documentation as required under various Federal agency regulations for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The Ottery Group has prepared categorical exclusions, Environmental Assessments (EAs), and portions of Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) documenting potential impacts to historic resources for a variety of undertakings. As a full-service environmental firm, we also have staff with expertise in a variety of natural resource specialties, and can provide technical expertise in the full range of NEPA criteria required by most Federal agencies.
Historic standing structures are important components of our national identity and mutual experience. The Ottery Group strives to advance our understanding of the past through a research-oriented approach, considering the modern needs of development as well as the requirements for understanding and conserving important cultural resources.
The Ottery Group has prepared studies meeting the documentation requirements of the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) as well as the documentation of historic properties for various state-level inventories.
The National Register of Historic Places is 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 historic and archeological resources. Properties listed in the National Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture.
National Register properties are distinguished by having been documented and evaluated according to uniform standards. These criteria recognize the accomplishments of all peoples who have contributed to the history and heritage of the United States and are designed to help state and local governments, Federal agencies, and others identify important historic and archeological properties worthy of preservation and of consideration in planning and development decisions.
The Ottery Group has conducted archival reviews, literature searches, and other types of research associated with preparing National Register Nomination forms.
Cultural resource investigations for federally licensed or funded projects are generally required by Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, while cultural resource investigations for other types of development projects are typically required under state and local counterpart regulations. The Ottery Group provides a range of cultural resource management services for development projects. The Ottery Group’s professional staff provides expert technical services to reconcile the conservation of cultural resources with the needs of federal, state, and local undertakings. The Ottery Group has the technical expertise and experience to implement compliance-related projects to document archeological sites and historic standing structures as required by the National Historic Preservation Act as well as state and local counterpart regulations. The Ottery Group staff has conducted numerous cultural resource investigations for public and private clients throughout the eastern United States.
For many agencies, planning is the critical step in the management and treatment of cultural resources. The Ottery Group has worked with a variety of federal, state, and local agencies and institutions to develop preservation plans which provide for the effective management of cultural resources. We have provided these organizations with clear guidance on the procedures to take when cultural resources are affected by their activities. We see preservation planning as the future of cultural resources management, and we are proud of our work in planning.
Our approach to historic preservation planning is built on four key steps: (1) identify the laws and regulations governing the planning process, (2) determine the types of resources present in the area of consideration, (3) determine the types of agency or organization activities which might affect these resources, and (4) develop strategies for avoiding impacts to these resources, while allowing agency activities to proceed. Our clients have found that planning is good business, allowing them to fulfill their legal and regulatory obligations to cultural resources while keeping their projects on schedule and their overall cultural resource management costs low.
Where alternatives to avoid adversely affecting historic and cultural properties are determined by the consulting parties not to be prudent and feasible, agencies or their regulatees are generally required to develop measures to minimize the potentially adverse effect. State laws generally provide for similar measures for other types of undertakings. Measures to mitigate adverse effects to National Register listed or eligible properties are developed in consultation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and the SHPO. Where a property has significance based on Native American religious and cultural rites and practices, consultation with representatives of the affected Native Americans is generally necessary to determine appropriate measures to protect and preserve Native American religious or cultural sites. Such measures may include:
- Limiting the magnitude or extent of the proposed undertaking or identified alternatives;
- Modifying the proposed undertaking through redesign, reorientation to the project site, and other similar changes;
- Rectifying the potentially adverse effects by rehabilitation, repairing, or restoring the affect resources;
- Compensating for the potentially adverse effects; for example, through the recovery and preservation of scientific, prehistoric, historic, and archaeological data; and,
- Minimizing the potentially adverse effects over time through preservation and maintenance activities throughout the life of the undertaking.
The Ottery Group has represented clients throughout the consultation process and has prepared mitigation plans for a variety of undertakings that have resulted in an acceptable balance between the preservation goals of the SHPO as well as the desire for clients to limit the time and cost associated with implementing mitigation plans.
The Ottery Group staff has regularly been consulted on issues related to historic preservation prior to the remediation of contamination within historic buildings or on historic properties. As a full-service environmental consulting firm, The Ottery Group is uniquely suited to provide technical services that require well-rounded expertise in multiple disciplines. Typical projects include providing technical assistance during lead abatement or asbestos removal projects or preparing adaptive re-use plans for historic buildings on contaminated properties that are being redeveloped under various brownfields initiatives. Staff performing on-site activities meet the OSHA-required 40-hour hazardous site worker health and safety training with annual re-certification.