(a) Assessment of agency official compliance for individual undertakings. The Council may provide to the agency official its advisory opinion regarding the substance of any finding, determination or decision or regarding the adequacy of the agency official's compliance with the procedures under this part. The Council may provide such advice at any time at the request of any individual, agency or organization or on its own initiative. The agency official shall consider the views of the Council in reaching a decision on the matter in question.
(b) Agency foreclosure of the Council's opportunity to comment. Where an agency official has failed to complete the requirements of section 106 in accordance with the procedures in this part prior to the approval of an undertaking, the Council's opportunity to comment may be foreclosed. The Council may review a case to determine whether a foreclosure has occurred. The Council shall notify the agency official and the agency's Federal preservation officer and allow 30 days for the agency official to provide information as to whether foreclosure has occurred. If the Council determines foreclosure has occurred, the Council shall transmit the determination to the agency official and the head of the agency. The Council shall also make the determination available to the public and any parties known to be interested in the undertaking and its effects upon historic properties.
(c) Intentional adverse effects by applicants -
(1) Agency responsibility. Section 110(k) of the act prohibits a Federal agency from granting a loan, loan guarantee, permit, license or other assistance to an applicant who, with intent to avoid the requirements of section 106, has intentionally significantly adversely affected a historic property to which the grant would relate, or having legal power to prevent it, has allowed such significant adverse effect to occur, unless the agency, after consultation with the Council, determines that circumstances justify granting such assistance despite the adverse effect created or permitted by the applicant. Guidance issued by the Secretary pursuant to section 110 of the act governs its implementation.
(2) Consultation with the Council. When an agency official determines, based on the actions of an applicant, that section 110(k) is applicable and that circumstances may justify granting the assistance, the agency official shall notify the Council and provide documentation specifying the circumstances under which the adverse effects to the historic property occurred and the degree of damage to the integrity of the property. This documentation shall include any views obtained from the applicant, SHPO/THPO, an Indian tribe if the undertaking occurs on or affects historic properties on tribal lands, and other parties known to be interested in the undertaking.
(i) Within thirty days of receiving the agency official's notification, unless otherwise agreed to by the agency official, the Council shall provide the agency official with its opinion as to whether circumstances justify granting assistance to the applicant and any possible mitigation of the adverse effects.
(ii) The agency official shall consider the Council's opinion in making a decision on whether to grant assistance to the applicant, and shall notify the Council, the SHPO/THPO, and other parties known to be interested in the undertaking prior to granting the assistance.
(d) Evaluation of Section 106 operations. The Council may evaluate the operation of the section 106 process by periodic reviews of how participants have fulfilled their legal responsibilities and how effectively the outcomes reached advance the purposes of the act.
(1) Information from participants. Section 203 of the act authorizes the Council to obtain information from Federal agencies necessary to conduct evaluation of the section 106 process. The agency official shall make documentation of agency policies, operating procedures and actions taken to comply with section 106 available to the Council upon request. The Council may request available information and documentation from other participants in the section 106 process.
(2) Improving the operation of section 106. Based upon any evaluation of the section 106 process, the Council may make recommendations to participants, the heads of Federal agencies, and the Secretary of actions to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the process. Where the Council determines that an agency official or a SHPO/THPO has failed to properly carry out the responsibilities assigned under the process in this part, the Council may participate in individual case reviews conducted under such process in addition to the SHPO/THPO for such period that it determines is necessary to improve performance or correct deficiencies. If the Council finds a pattern of failure by a Federal agency in carrying out its responsibilities under section 106, the Council may review the policies and programs of the agency related to historic preservation pursuant to section 202(a)(6) of the act and recommend methods to improve the effectiveness, coordination, and consistency of those policies and programs with section 106.