What is an ARPA Permit?
An ARPA permit allows qualified individuals to conduct archaeological resource surveys on federal property. Qualified individuals have the appropriate education/experience and capability to perform professionally acceptable archaeological resources studies and develop reports documenting their findings.
ARPA Permit Application Form
Why is an ARPA Permit Required?
Federal agencies that manage land are responsible for the care and protection of archaeological resources on federal lands. All archaeological resources surveys undertaken on federal lands must be conducted under a Permit. The Portland District's authority for issuing a Permit is contained in the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979.
When do I need a Permit?
Any individual seeking to construct a dock or facility on federal land must provide an archaeological resources report prior to the Corps approving the construction plan. This report will be used to determine if the proposed development may impact archaeological resources. Most individuals are not qualified to develop an archaeological resources report and will need to seek the assistance of a professional archeologist. Permits are issued to either applicants who will have the qualified individuals actually perform the surveys, or directly to qualified individuals working on behalf of the applicant who is seeking to construct a dock or facility.
Who determines whether someone is a qualified individual?
The Portland District's Cultural Resources Staff will review the application to determine whether the person who will be conducting the archaeological excavations meets the requirements in 32 C.F.R. Â§ 229.8(a)(1). Specifically, "the applicant is appropriately qualified, as evidenced by training, education, and/or experience, and possesses demonstrable competence in archaeological theory and methods, and in collecting, handling, analyzing, evaluating, and reporting archaeological data, relative to the type and scope of the work proposed." Minimally, the applicant archaeologist must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Qualification Standards in the sub-fields appropriate to the work proposed in the permit application.
How do I apply for an ARPA Permit?
First, determine who will be conducting the archaeological investigation. Second, either the applicant or the qualified individuals will complete the downloadable and fillable "Portland District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Application for a Federal Permit Under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act." Third, submit a research design summarizing the proposed project, methods, and location of the proposed testing. Fourth, submit the completed and signed application with a Statement of Qualifications, and resumes or curricula vitae for Principal Investigators and Supervisory Field Personnel (Crew Chiefs). Electronic submittals are accepted but the signature of the prospective permit administrator must be included (pdf format is acceptable). Finally, submit a copy of the curation agreement.
How long does it take to get an ARPA Permit?
It will take approximately 60 days to receive your ARPA permit once you have submitted a complete application. The reason for the 60-day review period is the requirement that the federal government provide Native American Tribes an opportunity to comment on proposed archaeological surveys. Additionally, once submitted, it may take a few weeks for our review of your application to begin because there may be existing projects we are engaged in completing.
What happens when I have my permit?
Once a permit has been issued the professional archaeologist, working on behalf of the applicant, may proceed with their archaeological survey. This survey will result in a determination of effect (e.g., the construction of a dock at this location will not impact an archaeological site.). This determination will influence whether or not a proposed dock is approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Any archaeological material collected by the professional archaeologists is the property of the federal government and must be returned, and any archaeological material remains not collected are protected under both criminal and civil penalties also found in the ARPA.
What do I do with the Archaeological Resources Report that documents findings?
The report must be submitted to the Portland District's Cultural Resources Staff for review and acceptance. If the report is deficient, the Cultural Resources Staff will document the deficiencies and request they be addressed by the report's author prior to acceptance. Once accepted by the Portland District, the information contained in the report will be used to complete consultation with the State Historic Preservation Officer and Native American Tribes. Upon completion of that consultation, and provided all other requirements are met, the proposal to construct a dock or facility may be approved. Renewal permits for existing structures do not require archaeological documentation at present.
What if I only need a pedestrian archaeological survey (no subsurface testing)?
In the case of a pedestrian survey that does not require subsurface testing, please contact our office with the proposed location and timing of the survey. Corps personnel monitor activities located on project lands and notification allows us to know when and where to expect people on our properties. Please provide a copy of the findings report to our office.
Who do I contact for more information?
For more information, contact the Real Estate Division at 503-808-4672.
Comments may be mailed to:
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District
Real Estate Division
P.O. Box 2946
Portland, OR 97208