FEDERAL CONSISTENCY

Federal Consistency provides states and territories with an important tool for managing coastal uses and resources and for facilitating cooperation and coordination with federal agencies.  Federal Consistency is the Coastal Zone Management Act requirement whereby federal agency activities that have reasonably foreseeable effects on any land or water use or natural resource of the coastal zone must be consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of a coastal state’s federally approved coastal management program. The review to establish consistency with the Guam Coastal Management Program (GCMP) enforceable policies as stated in the Executive Order 78-37, is conducted and as specified in the Code of Federal Regulations, 15 CFR 930.

Under GCMP, federal activities that affect any land use, water use or natural resource of the coastal zone must comply with the following enforceable policies identified in the Procedures Guide for Achieving Federal Consistency with the Guam Coastal Management Program.

 

Development Policies

  • Shore Area Development
  • Urban Development
  • Rural Development
  • Major Facility Siting
  • Hazardous Areas
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Erosion & Siltation

Resource Policies

  • Air Quality
  • Water Quality
  • Fragile Areas
  • Living Marine Source
  • Visual Quality
  • Recreation Areas
  • Public Access
  • Agricultural Lands

Activities and development affecting coastal resources which involve the federal government are evaluated through a process called “federal consistency”. This process allows the public, local governments, and state agencies an opportunity to review Federal actions likely to affect Guam’s coastal resources or uses.

There are three categories of activities, which trigger a federal consistency review:

1. activities undertaken by a Federal agency,

2. activities which require Federal approval and

3. activities which use federal funding.

 

If a project falls into one of these categories AND is either in the coastal zone or its impacts coastal uses or resources, then the federal consistency process is triggered.  Each of the categories has different federal consistency requirements; therefore each category is discussed separately below.

 

Activities Undertaken by a Federal Agency

A federal activity is any development or function performed by or for a federal agency. Examples include adopting a management plan for a wildlife sanctuary, constructing nearshore facilities and dredging new channels. The federal agency determines if coastal effects are reasonably foreseeable.

In these cases, the Federal agency reviews the activity for consistency with the enforceable policies and prepares a “federal consistency determination”. The determination describes the activity and whether the activity impacts coastal resources. If the activity impacts coastal resources, a statement must be provided that the activity is consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies. GCMP has up to 60 days to concur with or object to, in writing, with the determination.

 

Activities Which Require Federal Approval

A federal approval is any authorization, certification, approval, license, permit or other form of permission which any federal agency is empowered to issue to an applicant. Examples include U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 404 and Section 10 permits. A federal agency cannot provide approval unless GCMP concurs that the project is consistent with the Guam Coastal Management Program. Unlike activities undertaken by federal agencies, activities requiring federal approval must be fully consistent, with the enforceable policies.

In these cases, the applicant for federal approval reviews the activity for compliance with the enforceable policies and prepares a “federal consistency certification”. The certification describes the activity and whether the activity impacts coastal resources. If the activity impacts coastal resources, a statement must be provided that the activity is consistent with the enforceable policies.  The CZM Consistency Certification shall state “The proposed activity complies with the enforceable policies of Guam’s approved management program and will be conducted in a manner consistent with such program.”  GCMP has six months from the receipt of the certification to approve or deny it.  If GCMP does not act within the six months, the activity is approved and presumed consistent.

 

Activities Which Use Federal Funding

Federal grant or loan applicants who seek funding for all or part of an activity that affects the coastal zone must meet federal consistency requirements. Federal agencies cannot approve grants or loans for activities, which are inconsistent with the Coastal Zone Management Program.

In these cases, the applicant for federal funding reviews the activity for consistency with the enforceable policies and prepares a “federal consistency certification”. The certification describes the activity and whether the activity impacts coastal resources. If the activity impacts coastal resources, a statement must be provided that the activity is consistent with the enforceable policies. The CZM Consistency Certification shall state “The proposed activity complies with the enforceable policies of Guam’s approved management program and will be conducted in a manner consistent with such program.”  The applicant submits their certification to GCMP.  GCMP has six months from the receipt of the certification to approve or deny it.  If GCMP does not act within the six months, the activity is approved and presumed consistent. The applicant then provides the federal funding agency with GCMP’s decision.

 

Public Involvement

The GCMP provides public participation on submitted proposed projects through public notice.  The GCMP issues a public notice, and provides a 21-day public comment period, and if needed, a public meeting or hearing.  Notification is sent to interested parties based on the development of general and project-specific mailing lists and on the Bureau’s website at bsp.guam.gov under Public Notices.

 

For more information

For more information, review the Procedures Guide for Achieving Federal Consistency with the Guam Coastal Management Program, call/write/visit the Federal Consistency Planner, Guam Coastal Management Program, Bureau of Statistics and Plans, 777 Route 4, Ste. 5 Phase II Complex, Sinajana (Location map), P.O. Box 2950, Hagatna, Guam 96932.  Telephone (671) 475-9668 or email to
Tina.Mafnas@bsp.guam.gov.

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