National Heritage Area

(814) 677-3152

217 Elm Street

Oil City, PA 16301-1412

Authorizing Legislation

Public Law 108-447 Division J Title VI 118 Stat. 2809


(a) Establishment. — There is hereby established the Oil Region National Heritage Area.
(b) Boundaries. — The boundaries of the Heritage Area shall include all of those lands depicted on a map entitled “Oil Region National Heritage Area”, numbered OIRE/20,000 and dated October 2000. The map shall be on file in the appropriate offices of the National Park Service. <<NOTE: Federal Register, publication.>> The Secretary of the Interior shall publish in the Federal Register, as soon as practical after the date of the enactment of this Act, a detailed description and map of the boundaries established under this subsection.
(c) Management Entity. — The management entity for the Heritage Area shall be the Oil Heritage Region, Inc., the locally based private, nonprofit management corporation which shall oversee the development of a management plan in accordance with section 605(b).

SEC. 604. <<NOTE: 16 USC 461 note.>> COMPACT.

To carry out the purposes of this title, the Secretary shall enter into a compact with the management entity. The compact shall include information relating to the objectives and management of the area, including a discussion of the goals and objectives of the Heritage Area, including an explanation of the proposed approach to conservation and interpretation and a general outline of the protection measures committed to by the Secretary and management entity.


(a) Authorities of the Management Entity.–The management entity may use funds made available under this title for purposes of preparing, updating, and implementing the management plan developed under subsection.
(b) Such purposes may include–
(1) making grants to, and entering into cooperative agreements with, States and their political subdivisions, private organizations, or any other person;
(2) hiring and compensating staff; and
(3) undertaking initiatives that advance the purposes of the Heritage Area.
(b) Management Plan.–The management entity shall develop a management plan for the Heritage Area that-
(1) presents comprehensive strategies and recommendations for conservation, funding, management, and development of the Heritage Area; [[Page 118 STAT. 3370]]
(2) takes into consideration existing State, county, and local plans and involves residents, public agencies, and private organizations working in the Heritage Area;
(3) includes a description of actions that units of government and private organizations have agreed to take to protect the resources of the Heritage Area;
(4) specifies the existing and potential sources of funding to protect, manage, and develop the Heritage Area;
(5) includes an inventory of the resources contained in the Heritage Area, including a list of any property in the Heritage Area that is related to the themes of the Heritage Area and that should be preserved, restored, managed, developed, or maintained because of its natural, cultural, historic, recreational, or scenic significance;
(6) describes a program for implementation of the management plan by the management entity, including plans for restoration and construction, and specific commitments for that implementation that have been made by the management entity and any other persons for the first 5 years of implementation;
(7) lists any revisions to the boundaries of the Heritage Area proposed by the management entity and requested by the affected local government; and
(8) includes an interpretation plan for the Heritage Area.
(c) Deadline; Termination of Funding.-
(1) Deadline.–The management entity shall submit the management plan to the Secretary within 2 years after the funds are made available for this title.
(2) Termination of funding.–If a management plan is not submitted to the Secretary in accordance with this subsection, the management entity shall not qualify for Federal assistance under this title.
(d) Duties of Management Entity.–The management entity shall-
(1) give priority to implementing actions set forth in the compact and management plan;
(2) assist units of government, regional planning organizations, and nonprofit organizations in-
(A) establishing and maintaining interpretive exhibits in the Heritage Area;
(B) developing recreational resources in the Heritage Area;
(C) increasing public awareness of and appreciation for the natural, historical, and architectural resources and sites in the Heritage Area;
(D) the restoration of any historic building relating to the themes of the Heritage Area;
(E) ensuring that clear signs identifying access points and sites of interest are put in place throughout the Heritage Area; and
(F) carrying out other actions that the management entity determines to be advisable to fulfill the purposes of this title;
(3) encourage by appropriate means economic viability in the Heritage Area consistent with the goals of the management plan;
(4) consider the interests of diverse governmental, business, and nonprofit groups within the Heritage Area; and [[Page 118 STAT. 3371]]
(5) for any year in which Federal funds have been provided to implement the management plan under subsection (b)-
(A) conduct public meetings at least annually regarding the implementation of the management plan;
(B) <<NOTE: Reports.>> submit an annual report to the Secretary setting forth accomplishments, expenses and income, and each person to which any grant was made by the management entity in the year for which the report is made; and
(C) require, for all agreements entered into by the management entity authorizing expenditure of Federal funds by any other person, that the person making the expenditure make available to the management entity for audit all records pertaining to the expenditure of such funds.
(e) Prohibition on the Acquisition of Real Property.–The management entity may not use Federal funds received under this title to acquire real property or an interest in real property.


(a) Technical and Financial Assistance.–
(1) In general.–
(A) Overall assistance.–The Secretary may, upon the request of the management entity, and subject to the availability of appropriations, provide technical and financial assistance to the management entity to carry out its duties under this title, including updating and implementing a management plan that is submitted under section 605(b) and approved by the Secretary and, prior to such approval, providing assistance for initiatives.
(B) Other assistance.–If the Secretary has the resources available to provide technical assistance to the management entity to carry out its duties under this title (including updating and implementing a management plan that is submitted under section 605(b) and approved by the Secretary and, prior to such approval, providing assistance for initiatives), upon the request of the management entity the Secretary shall provide such assistance on a reimbursable basis. This subparagraph does not preclude the Secretary from providing nonreimbursable assistance under subparagraph (A).
(2) Priority.–In assisting the management entity, the Secretary shall give priority to actions that assist in the-
(A) implementation of the management plan;
(B) provision of educational assistance and advice regarding land and water management techniques to conserve the significant natural resources of the region;
(C) development and application of techniques promoting the preservation of cultural and historic properties;
(D) preservation, restoration, and reuse of publicly and privately owned historic buildings;
(E) design and fabrication of a wide range of interpretive materials based on the management plan, including guide brochures, visitor displays, audio- visual and interactive exhibits, and educational curriculum materials for public education; and
(F) implementation of initiatives prior to approval of the management plan. [[Page 118 STAT. 3372]]
(3) Documentation of structures.–The Secretary, acting through the Historic American Building Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record, shall conduct studies necessary to document the industrial, engineering, building, and architectural history of the Heritage Area.
(b) Approval <<NOTE: Deadline.>> and Disapproval of Management Plans.–The Secretary, in consultation with the Governor of Pennsylvania, shall approve or disapprove a management plan submitted under this title not later than 90 days after receiving such plan. In approving the plan, the Secretary shall take into consideration the following criteria:
(1) The extent to which the management plan adequately preserves and protects the natural, cultural, and historical resources of the Heritage Area.
(2) The level of public participation in the development of the management plan.
(3) The extent to which the board of directors of the management entity is representative of the local government and a wide range of interested organizations and citizens.
(c) Action Following Disapproval.–If the Secretary disapproves a management plan, the Secretary shall advise the management entity in writing of the reasons for the disapproval and shall make recommendations for revisions in the management plan. <<NOTE: Deadline.>> The Secretary shall approve or disapprove a proposed revision within 90 days after the date it is submitted.
(d) Approving Changes.–The Secretary shall review and approve amendments to the management plan under section 605(b) that make substantial changes. Funds appropriated under this title may not be expended to implement such changes until the Secretary approves the amendments.
(e) Effect of Inaction.–If the Secretary does not approve or disapprove a management plan, revision, or change within 90 days after it is submitted to the Secretary, then such management plan, revision, or change shall be deemed to have been approved by the Secretary.


(1) Any Federal entity conducting or supporting activities directly affecting the Heritage Area shall-
consult with the Secretary and the management entity with respect to such activities;
(2) cooperate with the Secretary and the management entity in carrying out their duties under this title and, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate such activities with the carrying out of such duties; and
(3) to the maximum extent practicable, conduct or support such activities in a manner that the management entity determines shall not have an adverse effect on the Heritage Area.

SEC. 608. <<NOTE: 16 USC 461 note.>> SUNSET.

The Secretary may not make any grant or provide any assistance under this title after the expiration of the 15-year period beginning on the date that funds are first made available for this title. [[Page 118 STAT. 3373]]


(a) Notification and Consent of Property Owners Required.–No privately owned property shall be preserved, conserved, or promoted by the management plan for the Heritage Area until the owner of that private property has been notified in writing by the management entity and has given written consent for such preservation, conservation, or promotion to the management entity.
(b) Landowner Withdraw.–Any owner of private property included within the boundary of the Heritage Area shall have their property immediately removed from the boundary by submitting a written request to the management entity.


(a) Access to Private Property.–Nothing in this title shall be construed to–
(1) require any private property owner to allow public access (including Federal, State, or local government access) to such private property; or
(2) modify any provision of Federal, State, or local law with regard to public access to or use of private property.
(b) Liability.–Designation of the Heritage Area shall not be considered to create any liability, or to have any effect on any liability under any other law, of any private property owner with respect to any persons injured on such private property.
(c) Recognition of Authority To Control Land Use.–Nothing in this title shall be construed to modify the authority of Federal, State, or local governments to regulate land use.
(d) Participation of Private Property Owners in Heritage Area.– Nothing in this title shall be construed to require the owner of any private property located within the boundaries of the Heritage Area to participate in or be associated with the Heritage Area.
(e) Effect of Establishment.–The boundaries designated for the Heritage Area represent the area within which Federal funds appropriated for the purpose of this title may be expended. The establishment of the Heritage Area and its boundaries shall not be construed to provide any nonexisting regulatory authority on land use within the Heritage Area or its viewshed by the Secretary, the National Park Service, or the management entity.


Nothing in this title shall preclude the management entity from using Federal funds available under Acts other than this title for the purposes for which those funds were authorized.


(a) In General.–There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this title–
(1) not more than $1,000,000 for any fiscal year; and
(2) not more than a total of $10,000,000.
(b) 50 Percent Match.–Financial assistance provided under this title may not be used to pay more than 50 percent of the total cost of any activity carried out with that assistance.
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