Changes to the Coastal Zone Management Act Program Change Procedures
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) wants to provide states and NOAA with a more efficient process for making changes to state coastal management programs (``management programs''). NOAA proposes to revise the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) program change regulations and associated guidance (Program Change Guidance (July 1996) and Addendum (November 2013)) within our regulations. Under the CZMA, a coastal state may not implement any amendment, modification, or other change as part of its approved management program unless the amendment, modification, or other change is approved by the Secretary of Commerce under this subsection. Once NOAA approves the incorporation of a change into a management program, any new or amended management program enforceable policies are applied to federal actions through the CZMA federal consistency provision. This proposed rule addresses the issues raised in NOAA's Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 73 FR 29093 (May 20, 2008) (ANPR) to: Provide a more efficient process for states and NOAA to make changes to state management programs; remove unnecessary requirements in the current regulations; establish program change documentation that all states would adhere to; continue to ensure that federal agencies and the public have an opportunity to comment to NOAA on a state's proposed change to its management program; and comply with the requirements of the CZMA and other applicable federal law. The proposed rule also addresses comments submitted on the ANPR.