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Governor's Executive Order 21-02 (formerly 05-05)

For more information contact:

Holly Borth
Preservation Design Reviewer
(360) 890-0174

Governor Jay Inslee has signed Executive Order 21-02. The revised cultural resource Executive Order immediately replaced Executive Order 05-05 effective 4/7/2021. The Washington State Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP) understands that you may have questions. A training video is in production. Until then, we hope that this Q&A will answer some of your questions.

So You Need A Letter for the Department of Commerce?

We are here to help you! Start by downloading our Project Review Sheet, and completing it to the best of your abilities. Once it is ready for us to review, send it to our inbox. If you don’t hear back from us, always feel free to reach out to or for an update on the status of your review.  Please note that the EZ Determination of Eligibility (DOE) process through Wisaard should only be completed by project proponents that are not trained in cultural resources regulations and review requirements such as members of the public and community service organizations.  

Washington Governor Chris Gregoire signed Executive Order 0505 (GEO 05-05) into action in November of 2005.  As a part of state agency biennial capital budget planning process, GEO 05-05 requires all state agencies implementing or assisting capital projects using funds appropriated in the State's biennial Capital Budget to consider how future proposed projects may impact significant cultural and historic places. To do so, agencies are required to notify the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP), the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs (GOIA), and concerned tribes and afford them an opportunity to review and provide comments about potential project impacts.  The goal behind the Order is to have the State be proactive in protecting our rich history for future generations and to use tax payer money wisely by avoiding unnecessary damage and loss of significant sites, structures, and buildings. 

The following categories of State funded capital projects require GEO 05-05 review:

  • Any Capital Construction Projects
  • Land Acquisition projects for the purpose of capital construction.

The Review Process

There are two options to take to fulfill the GEO 0505 review process: an initial face-to-face meeting, or utilization of our EZ-forms.  We prefer to review projects that are in the planning stage and as early in the budget planning process to avoid deadline crunches.  By doing this DAHP staff will be able to determine which projects will not require review under GEO 0505 and which projects will.  Our experience indicates that the majority of projects do not require any further action following an initial review. 

To start the review process, we suggest you contact DAHP staff at (360) 586-3065 to set up a 0505 project review meeting.  If you are not able to have a “face-to-face” meeting, please use our EZ Forms as discussed below.

At this “face-to-face” meeting, bring a list of capital projects planned for implementation during current biennia.   These meetings are kept informal and conversational.  We do not expect, or even encourage, creation of any new materials, forms, or presentations for this initial review process.   However, during these meetings questions may arise about your projects, and supporting documents (i.e. photos, feasibility studies, etc.) that may help answer these questions.

At these meetings DAHP staff would like to review the following information:

  • Project Description
  • Location
  • Proposed ground disturbance, if any
  • Does the project involve buildings or structures that are 45 years of age? 
  • Photographs of the building(s) or site
  • Information about your contact with interested tribes

We will also need to know if there is any federal involvement in the project: i.e. federal funding, permits, or licenses.  Please note that if there is federal connection, then the Section 106 consultation process of the National Historic Preservation Act will likely apply.  For these projects, consultation with our office is typically conducted by the responsible federal agency.

After going through the project list with DAHP staff, you should come away from the meeting with the following tangible results:

  • A list of your projects that do not require further DAHP review; or
  • A list of projects that need additional clarification or information; or
  • A list of projects that have been identified as of concern and that will require additional dialogue to resolve impacts to cultural resources and;
  • Agreement about needed “next steps” to continue or complete the review process.

If you cannot meet with DAHP staff, we have developed an EZ form that allows you to correspond with us on an ongoing basis.  The EZ form was designed specifically to make it easy and quick for you.

Biennial Capital Budget Requests 

Every state agency that maintains property submits a capital budget request to OFM preceding each biennium. This process requires obtaining a letter from DAHP. It is highly recommended for planning purposes that the requesting agency consults with DAHP through the pre-design and design phases in order to avoid adverse impacts to archaeology and historic resources.

In order to obtain an "exemption" letter** from DAHP during the biennial capital budget request period to OFM, please include the following in your correspondence:

  • Cover letter on official letterhead from the requesting agency indicating the nature of the request. Letters from consultants will not be accepted.
  • Spreadsheet or list of proposed capital budget request projects. Include information such as whether or not ground disturbance is proposed with the associated project, what buildings will be impacted, and the original construction date of the impacted buildings. Please also include a brief description of each proposed project. 
  • The list may include both major projects and minor works projects. They should be included under the same cover in order to expedite review time.
  • To expedite the review process, you can check to see if buildings being impacted have been inventoried or are listed in the National Register by checking WISAARD, our online database of historic properties.
  • Requests should be made at least 30 days in advance of your deadline for submitting your capital budget request in order to ensure adequate amount of time for DAHP to review and respond. 
  • For larger agencies, we also recommend a brief meeting with our agency to outline the capital budget request in order to identify any potential critical issues.
  • Email a digital copy of all correspondence for biennial capital budget requests to:
Holly Borth
Preservation Design Reviewer 
(360) 586-3533
**Note that projects that are not "exempt" from GEO 05-05 will require further DAHP review and consultation. See "The Review Process" above for more information.

GEO 05-05 Guidance Documents