The Permian Basin Programmatic Agreement, also known as the PBPA, is a comprehensive agreement between federal agencies, state agencies, and local governments regarding the preservation of historic properties and cultural resources in the Permian Basin region of Texas.
The agreement was first introduced in 2004 and was recently renewed in 2019 for another 10-year period. It covers a vast area of land, encompassing 57 counties in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico.
The programmatic agreement is unique because it streamlines the historic preservation process for federal projects in the Permian Basin. Instead of requiring individual reviews for each project, which can be time-consuming and costly, the PBPA allows for a more efficient and collaborative approach. This is particularly important considering the extensive oil and gas activity in the region, which can impact cultural resources.
The PBPA provides guidelines for agencies and consultants working on federal projects to identify, evaluate, and mitigate potential impacts to historic sites and artifacts. It also outlines a process for public involvement in decision-making and includes provisions for ongoing monitoring and reporting.
One of the key benefits of the PBPA is that it helps to protect the rich cultural heritage of the Permian Basin. The region has a long history of human habitation, dating back thousands of years. There are numerous archeological sites, historic buildings, and cultural landscapes that are of great significance to the local communities.
By implementing the PBPA, federal agencies can ensure that their projects are designed and executed in a way that minimizes harm to these important resources. This not only preserves the region`s cultural heritage but also helps to build trust and collaboration between government entities, local communities, and stakeholders.
Overall, the Permian Basin Programmatic Agreement is an excellent example of how federal agencies can work together with state and local partners to protect important cultural resources while promoting economic growth and development. Its streamlined approach to historic preservation is a model for other regions to follow, and its renewal in 2019 is a positive sign for the future of the Permian Basin.