Op-Ed: Postal service is not above the law
The U.S. Postal Service is losing money fast.
The beleaguered agency has already lost $2.1 billion in fiscal year 2023 and will likely burn through $60 billion to $70 billion before the end of the decade. In a rush to reduce expenses, America’s mail carrier is shuttering hundreds of post offices and postal facilities across the country.
Closing a post office is not as simple as turning the lights off and listing the building for sale. Ending operations at retail locations requires a regulatory consultation process, with stringent requirements for historical sites. Unfortunately, the agency is sidelining this process and increasing long-term costs in the process. The postal service must follow the law and pursue sensible and cost-effective closures.
Before altering or disposing of its historic properties, the postal service is bound to follow the National Historic Preservation Act. Under Section 106 of this landmark legislation, federal agencies must consult with stakeholders such as the State Historic Preservation Officer and Advisory Council on Historic Preservation before moving forward with an “undertaking” that could affect a National Register (or Register-eligible) building.