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Update on progress of State Historic Preservation Division

MEDIA RELEASE

The Senate Committees on Water Land and Housing and Hawaiian Affairs held a joint informational briefing Nov. 1 with their House counterparts to receive an update on the State Historic Preservation Division’s (SHPD) progress in meeting requirements issued by the National Park Service in 2010, in order to maintain future federal funding for SHPD activities.

During the briefing, Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Director William Aila Jr. provided remarks to the Legislature regarding SHPD’s capability of meeting NPS specified requirements. SHPD will provide an update to the Legislature during the 2012 Legislative Session.

The State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD) falls under provision of the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DNLR) and “works to preserve and sustain reminders of earlier times which link the past to the present.”

To assist in the accomplishment of this goal, the division has three branches, which include history and culture, archaeology, and architecture.

In 2010, the United States Department of the Interior National Park Service (NPS) designated the SHPD as a “high risk grantee.”

This designation was based on report of NPS’s 2009 audit findings that the state had not met its obligation under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

NPS determined that Hawaii had significant operational problems in several mandated activities, including Survey & Inventory, Review & Compliance, National Register of Historic Places, Certified Local Government administration, and Historic Preservation Planning.

To correct the problems identified in the report, NPS compiled a series of corrective actions that span a 2-year time period. Failure to meet all requirements specified in the corrective action plan will result in the removal of the State’s approval status, termination of all active grants, and ineligibility for any new grants until approved program status has been regained.

The loss of Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant and funds and Hawaii’s approved program status would negatively impact the State’s economy.

Without an approved State Historic Preservation Program, matching grant agreements between the NPS and Hawaii in excess of $1.1 million could be jeopardized

Uncertainty in how government agencies operating in Hawaii comply with Federal and state laws could cause serious delays in economic stimulus and other Federally-funded construction projects
Federal assistance provided through the SHPD could be restricted or unavailable to the citizens and property owners of Hawaii
Delay could occur in properties nominated to the National Register of Historic Places, which would adversely affect their eligibility for Federal and state historic preservation tax incentivizes, and/ or for historic preservation grant programs

There could be irreparable harm to locally and nationally significant historic properties of importance to the people of Hawaii and the nation.

— Find out more:
NPS report on Hawaii State Historic Preservation Division Operations: hawaii.gov/dlnr/hpd/hpgrtg.htm
www.hawaiisenatemajority.com

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