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Last Updated: Friday, February 3, 2012 11:30 AM

EXHIBIT 5.13 Construction Impacts to Cultural Resources Report Format and Content Guide

Exhibit 5.13 PDF version here

Refer to Chapter 2 Section 2-4.3 and Chapter 5 Section 5-7 for a general discussion on the use of Environmentally Sensitive Areas (ESAs), the consequences of enforcement failures, and required notifications. . Exhibit 2.7 on ESA Action Plans contains guidelines.

General Report Format

This guide provides an outline of the basic format and information requirements Caltrans uses for reporting any unplanned impacts to a cultural resource during construction. The Construction Impacts to Cultural Resources Report explains what happened and how, and outlines the measures Caltrans intends to establish to reduce or eliminate additional project impacts and to prevent similar incidences on future projects. The Caltrans Professionally Qualified Staff (PQS) in the District Environmental Branch prepares the report and the District Environmental Branch Chief (EBC) certifies it by signing it. The DEBC sends copies of this report to Headquarters Division of Construction and to the Caltrans Division of Environmental Analysis, Cultural and Community Studies Office (CCSO) Chief.

Title Page

Construction Impacts to Cultural Resources Report
  • Title page
  • Introduction
  • Legal Status
  • Resource Description
  • Status of Environmental Commitments
  • New Mitigation Measures
  • Exhibits
Don’t forget the transmittal memo!

The title page identifies the Caltrans project by:

  • In the title, identify the document as a Construction Impacts to Cultural Resources Report, and identify the highway project by name.
  • Below the title, identify the highway project by District, county, route, post miles, and expenditure authorization.
  • Provide the name, title, Professionally Qualified Staff (PQS) level, and location of the report author(s). The senior author is to sign the title page of the report.
  • Provide the name, title, and location of the District Environmental Branch Chief (EBC) for whom the report was prepared. Approval of the report is documented by the EBC's signature on the title page.
  • Month and year Report was prepared (appears at bottom of page)


  • State the district, county, route, postmile and expenditure authorization number. Refer to and attach a project location map.
  • Note the date the impacts were identified and further work in that area was halted. If the identification and work-halted dates are different, explain the reason why.
  • Provide the Resident Engineer’s or other responsible District contact’s name, office address, telephone number, and if applicable, e-mail address.
  • Provide the name, address, telephone number and affiliation of the individual who reported the incident (if different from the Resident Engineer or other responsible District contact).
  • Note which agencies Caltrans contacted (e.g. FHWA, SHPO, USFS) and the information they were provided.

Legal Status

Identify the National Register of Historic Places and CEQA historical resource status of the impacted historical resource, including the relevant eligibility criteria, period and level of significance, and/or other legal protections (e.g. NEPA/CEQA, Archaeological Resources Protection Act, California Public Resources Code for state-owned resources, etc.)

Description of the Cultural Resource

Prior to the construction impact:

  • Describe the cultural resource and its pre-impact condition. Describe the resource’s location, areal extent or boundaries, its association with other properties, if appropriate, and its appearance.
  • Discuss the cultural resource’s known or potential significance.
  • Reference and append appropriate maps and photographs to illustrate (See Exhibits section below)

After the construction impact:

  • Describe the impact to the cultural resource and how much of the resource was damaged.
  • Describe the cultural resource’s altered condition.
  • Discuss any potential changes in the resource’s significance.
  • Discuss the significance of the impacts, including the potential for jeopardizing current agreements with other agencies.

Status of Environmental Commitments

  • Discuss the protective measures identified in the Environmental Document (ED), Historic Property Survey Report (HPSR), Historical Resources Compliance Report (HRCR), Finding of Effect (FOE), Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), Plans Specifications and Estimates (PS&E), etc.
  • Discuss the reasons why the measures failed or were not implemented. Note any measures that worked.
  • Discuss preventive measures that will be implemented on future projects to prevent this type of incident from occurring again.

New Mitigation Measures

Now that impacts of this project on the cultural resource are identified, discuss:

  • What measures are being taken to reduce or eliminate additional problems
  • What measures are being taken to reduce or correct present impacts


  • Show cultural resource and impact area on the best available maps.
  • Provide photographs of impacts, if available.

Peer Review and Approval

Caltrans PQS certified at the Principal Investigator level and/or Principal Architectural Historian level, as appropriate, must peer review the draft Construction Impacts to Cultural Resources Report following the guidelines in Exhibit 2.14: Guidelines for Peer Review of Cultural Resources Reports. Peer reviewers’ names should be kept on record and comments retained in the project files. Chapter 2 Section 2-5.5 and Exhibit 2.11 Table C contain additional guidance on peer reviews and reviews for approvals.

Only Caltrans PQS at the Principal Investigator level and/or Principal Architectural Historian level may review the final Report for approval, which the EBC approves. The Caltrans PQS or consultant who prepares the Report signs, dates and includes his/her discipline, PQS level (as applicable) and District/Headquarters or affiliation. The Caltrans PQS reviewing the final Report for approval likewise signs, dates, and includes his/her PQS discipline, level and District. Finally, the EBC approves the Phase III Report by signing and dating the document. See Chapter 5 Section 5-8.8 for more detailed information.

The EBC sends copies of the report to Headquarters Division of Construction and to the CCSO Chief.