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Environment Matters Audio Podcast

Environment Matters
EPA Region 3
Topic: Historic Preservation
Size: : 5,980k
Time: 02:33

Date: January 12, 2012

Terry Gallagher: In some of my most recent projects, we’ve encountered, for example, archeology that has Native American origins.

[Opening music]

Lena Kim: Hi, I’m Lena Kim of EPA’s mid-Atlantic regional office, and welcome to Environment Matters, our series of podcasts. Speaking with us today is Terry Gallagher, an environmental engineer who manages our historic preservation responsibilities. This important work is spelled out in the National Historic Preservation Act.

Terry Gallagher: This statute comes into play at EPA when we are in an oversight role at a Superfund cleanup project, or when we issue a federal permit, or even when we grant federal monies to state or local governments to implement their own environmental projects. On some of our cleanup sites we often encounter archeology. Since many of our states are some of the original colonies, these artifacts often date back to Native American time periods.

Lena Kim: Terry and EPA do not work alone to harmonize today’s environmental protection with historic preservation. Native American remains and artifacts are not the only historic resources we’re required to protect.

Terry Gallagher: EPA is fortunate to have the support of a national archeology expert. We also work with the state historic preservation officers, local historic societies and of course other interested members of the public in trying to determine how we are going to resolve the adverse effects to historic resources that happen as a result of some cleanup activities that we are required to undertake. We frequently encounter potentially historic properties such as sites, buildings, structures and objects while doing our environmental protection work. This, of course, includes things like artifacts, records and remains.

Lena Kim: This challenging collaboration is not for everyone. EPA relies on Terry and her counterparts at our regional offices to find the right balance for each affected project. 

Terry Gallagher: I feel very fortunate to be able to work in this rather unique area where I am able to fulfill EPA’s mission of protecting human health and the environment while also working toward the preservation of our nation’s great historic resources.

[Closing music]

Lena Kim: Thanks, Terry. A unique job, indeed. For comprehensive information about historic preservation under the National Historic Preservation Act, please go to the website of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation at www.achp.gov. And thanks for joining us on Environment Matters.

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