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The Official Web Site of the State of South Carolina

Mitigation

Adverse effects to historic properties may be unavoidable to complete a project. The SHPO encourages federal and state agencies to think creatively when mitigating adverse effects and to consider the public benefit when designing mitigation. Mitigation can include a combination of components, such as data recovery, documentation, publications, exhibits, brochures, public field days, site tours, public lectures, websites, documentary videos, historical markers, signage, and/or educational materials for use in schools. 

Examples of mitigation in South Carolina include:

Hilton Head Airport, Beaufort County:  Beaufort County, under the oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), undertook a project to improve safety at the Hilton Head Island Airport by extending the runway and runway safety zone. Before work began, Beaufort County and the FAA sponsored an archaeological survey of the project area. Archaeologists found evidence a portion of the Freedman's community of Mitchelville (Site 38BU2301) that was eligible for the National Register. To mitigate adverse effects, Beaufort County completed archaeological data recovery, created an exhibit and video documentary - Finding Freedom's Home: Archaeology at Mitchelville, and created a website

Coosaw Rivers Estates Tract, Ladys Island, Beaufort County:  US Army Corps of Engineers and SC DHEC-OCRM permitting for a proposed residential development at the Coosaw River Estates tract required archaeological and historical investigations. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) developed to resolve adverse effects included a public education component brochure (PDF) for the tract that detailed the information gathered from historic documents with the artifacts recovered from archaeological excavations.

St. Matthews Railroad Cut, Calhoun County:  The SC Department of Transportation proposed improvements to U.S. Highway 601 through St. Matthews. As part of the improvements, the DOT proposed to place concrete and structural block on the c. 1840 South Carolina Railroad Company cut. Consultation determined that the railroad cut, which was excavated and created by the railroad’s slaves, was eligible for listing in the National Register. Mitigation for this highway project included large-format photography of the cut, the development of a historic context (PDF) on slavery and railroad construction, and a brochure (PDF) that describes the railroad cut and industrial slavery.

Inland Rice Fields, Charleston County:  The SC Department of Transportation and Charleston County’s RoadWise program identified several historic inland rice fields during road planning in Charleston County. These inland rice fields date back to the early eighteenth century and reflect the beginnings of South Carolina’s profitable rice plantations. Mitigation for impacts to these inland rice fields include professional photography, the development of a historic context/Multiple Property Submission (PDF) for inland rice fields, lectures at local libraries and historical sites, an informative website, and the production of several YouTube videos on the inland rice fields (Show 24, RoadWise Preserves History: Inland Rice Fields: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3Part 4).

Dovedale Plantation, Darlington County:  The SC Department of Transportation widened US Highway 52 through a portion of Darlington County. The highway widening project encroached on some of the historic landscaping of Dove Dale, a plantation listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As mitigation for the adverse effects to Dovedale's landscape, the DOT funded a preservation plan (PDF) for the property. This plan documents the existing conditions of the house and landscape and identifies maintenance and treatment procedures.

Padgett House, Edgefield County:  As part of the mitigation efforts for adverse effects to the National Register eligible Padgett House resulting from the US Highway 25 widening project in Edgefield County, SC Department of Transportation created the Drive US 25 brochure (PDF). This brochure highlights 18 key historic sites on or near US 25 in Edgefield County. Hard copies of this brochure were given to Edgefield County for distribution via various government offices and civic organizations that focus on promoting local history and heritage tourism. 

Florence National Cemetery, Florence County:  The Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration (NCA) planned an expansion of the Florence National Cemetery. Both the Cemetery and the nearby Florence Stockade are listed in the National Register. The NCA conducted an archaeological survey of the expansion area that found significant deposits related to The Stockade. Mitigation of the archaeological site included extensive data recovery, a brochure (PDF) on the Stockade and archaeology, a Teaching with Historic Places lesson plan (PDF), and the reburial of human remains.

Battery White, Georgetown County:  This important Civil War earthwork was affected by the expansion of the Belle Isle Yacht Club. The Club needed a land disturbance permit from SC DHEC-OCRM. To mitigate effects to Battery White, Belle Isle Yacht Club developed an online exhibit on the history of the battery, donated a preservation easement for the battery to the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, and permitted public access to the battery.

Southern Appalachian Farmstead, Oconee County:  The Russell Farmstead is located within the boundaries of the Sumter National Forest in the Andrew Pickens Ranger District. The Oconee Heritage Center applied to the U.S. Forest Service for a permit to establish a living history site on land that encompasses the Russell Farmstead and the site of a historic Cherokee town. On the recommendation of the SHPO, Oconee Heritage Center developed and implemented a Historic Properties Management Plan (PDF, 8.8 MB) to manage the historic properties on the site and avoid adverse effects.

Gonzales Gardens Apartments, Richland County:  Built in the 1930s with federal funding, this complex was one of the first public housing projects in Columbia. It was eligible for the National Register of Historic Places as an example of racial segregation in architecture and in the development of public housing in the Columbia. The Columbia Housing Authority (CHA) secured HUD funding for a new $60 million mixed income complex. To mitigate the adverse effect of demolition, the CHA documented the buildings, created a website, undertook an oral history project, will install a state historical marker, will rehabilitate the original administration building as a community center and place history exhibits in the building.

Saluda Hydroelectric Project:  South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for a new license to operate its hydroelectric plant on Lake Murray. As part of the Section 106 consultation process, SCE&G worked with the SHPO, FERC, Catawba Indian Nation, and other interested parties to identify historic properties in the project area. Consultation led to a year-long excavation of the Tree House Site, one of the oldest human occupations in the Southeast, a permanent exhibit at Saluda Shoals Park, and an online booklet on the history of Lake Murray Dam and the Tree House Site ("Documenting 13,000 Years of Human Occupation Along the Saluda River"). 

SCE&G also produced online booklets for two earlier hydroelectric projects at Stevens Creek ("Stevens Creek Hydroelectric Project: Significant Historic and Archaeological Resources") and Neal Shoals ("Neal Shoals Hydroelectric Project: Significant Historic and Archaeological Resources") (multiple counties). Archaeological investigations conducted within the FERC relicensing project area of these two SCE&G facilities resulted in the recording of numerous prehistoric and historic sites which provide valuable information about past lifeways.

Catawba Wateree Hydroelectric Project:  Duke Energy applied to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for a new license to operate the Catawba Wateree project in North Carolina and South Carolina. As part of the Section 106 process, Duke Energy consulted with the SHPOs, THPOs, and other interested parties to include actions in the Comprehensive Relicensing Agreement to mitigate potential effects to historic properties in the project area, including signage, website, management plans, funding for archaeological data recovery, and educational materials.

Additional Resources

Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Success Stories

List of Data Recovery Reports Completed as Mitigation (PDF)