Coastal Zone Management Act Program Change Procedures
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is providing states and NOAA with a more efficient process for making changes to state coastal management programs (``management programs''). The final rule revises the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) program change regulations and alleviates the need for previous associated guidance (Program Change Guidance (July 1996) and Addendum (November 2013)); the 1996 Guidance and 2013 Addendum no longer apply. 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 the regulations. 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. The final rule addresses the objectives raised in NOAA's May 2008 Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) and November 2016 Proposed Rule. These objectives include: 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 final rule also addresses comments submitted on the proposed rule.