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Maine Coastal Program
Home > Federal Consistency Review
Federal Consistency Review
The federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) establishes a federal-state partnership and the related legal framework regarding management of the nation's coastal resources. The CZMA grants Maine and other coastal states that have an approved coastal management program the authority to review federal activities, federal license or permit activities, and federally funded activities to ensure that federal actions that may affect its coastal area meet the "enforceable policies" of the State's coastal program. The process by which a state decides whether a federal action meets its enforceable policies is called federal consistency review.
The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry's Bureau of Geology, Natural Areas and Coastal Resources coordinates and provides a point of contact for federal consistency review in Maine. The Maine Guide to Federal Consistency Review lists the enforceable policies of Maine's Coastal Program and outlines the State's federal consistency review process. In Maine, standards and criteria of state environmental permitting and licensing laws and regulations serve as the enforceable policies of the Maine Coastal Program. Accordingly, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and other state agencies in Maine's networked coastal program review and make findings that serve as the basis for the state's consistency decision in much the same way that they evaluate license and permit applications under the state environmental laws and regulations.
Rules issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) govern the deadlines and other procedural aspects of the federal consistency review process.
Note: Approval of routine program changes to the Maine Coastal Program
The Maine Coastal Program (MCP) is based on state environmental statutes and associated state agency rules that concern the Program's administration and structure, provide its enforceable policies, and are sometimes referred to as its core laws. The Maine Coastal Program, as required by the CZMA, keeps these core laws up to date by periodically submitting changes to them for NOAA's review and approval.
In July 2012, the MCP submitted for NOAA's approval the following Public Laws enacted by the 125th Maine Legislature, Second Regular Session: Public Law 2011 Chapters 475, sections 1-2; 527, sections 2-7; 538, sections 4-13; 543, section 1; 546, sections 1-3; 551, sections 1-3; 566, sections 1-7; 598, sections 15 and 48; 599, sections 1-3 and 10-14; 612, section 3; 653, sections 2-3, 10-19, 21-24, and 26-27; 662, section 24; 682, sections 3-23 and 25-33; and 691, sections A-43 and C-6. The full text of these Public Laws are available here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/ros/LOM/LOMDirectory.htm This submission also contained the following additional statutory provisions of core laws which NOAA has previously approved in part and which were enacted in prior legislative sessions: Oil Storage Facilities and Ground Water Protection Law, 38 MRSA §§563, 565, 567, and 567-A; and the Uncontrolled Hazardous Substances Act, 38 MRSA §§1361, 1363 - 1366, and 1367-B- 1371. These statutes may be viewed at: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/
With the exception of changes to 12 MRSA §6172, sub- §1-A made by P.L. 2011 ch. 527, sec. 2, which the State subsequently withdrew from consideration, NOAA approved each of these laws as routine program changes by letter dated October 25, 2012. These approved routine program changes, if and as applicable, became effective as enforceable policies for federal consistency purposes on October 31, 2012 when the State published notice of NOAA's approval.
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the Maine Coastal Program's Federal Consistency Coordinator, Todd Burrowes, or call (207) 287-1496.
Last updated on February 7, 2013
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