[Docket No. 030604145-4038-02]
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has revised the federal consistency regulations under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (CZMA). For nearly 30 years, the CZMA has met the needs of coastal States, Great Lake States and United States Trust Territories and Commonwealths (collectively referred to as “coastal States” or “States”), Federal agencies, industry and the public to balance the protection of coastal resources with coastal development, including energy development. The CZMA requires the States to consider the national interest as stated in the CZMA objectives and give priority consideration to coastal-dependent uses and processes for facilities related to national defense, energy, fisheries, recreation, ports and transportation, when adopting and amending their Coastal Management Programs (CMPs), and when making coastal management decisions. This final rule continues to provide the balance between State-Federal-private interests embodied in the CZMA, while making improvements to the federal consistency regulations by clarifying some sections and providing greater transparency and predictability to the implementation of federal consistency. This final rule fully maintains the authority and ability of coastal States to review proposed federal actions that would have a reasonably foreseeable effect on any land or water use or natural resource of a State’s coastal zone, as provided for in the CZMA and NOAA’s regulations, as revised in 2000.
These rules shall become effective on Feb. 6, 2006. All appeals to the Secretary under 15 CFR part 930, subpart H, filed on or after Feb. 6 shall be processed in accordance with the procedures and time frames adopted in subpart H of this final rule. For appeals to the Secretary under 15 CFR part 930, subpart H, any procedural or threshold issues that occurred prior to Feb. 6 shall be governed by the regulations in 15 CFR part 930, subpart D, E, and/or F that were in effect at the time the procedural or threshold issue occurred. Additional information on federal consistency can be located at OCRM’s federal consistency Web page: http://www.ocrm.nos.noaa.gov/czm/federal_consistency.html.