15 CFR § 930.36 - Consistency determinations for proposed activities.
(a) Federal agencies shall review their proposed Federal agency activities which affect any coastal use or resource in order to develop consistency determinations which indicate whether such activities will be undertaken in a manner consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of approved management programs. Federal agencies should consult with State agencies at an early stage in the development of the proposed activity in order to assess whether such activities will be consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of such programs.
(b) Timing of consistency determinations.
(1) Federal agencies shall provide State agencies with a consistency determination at the earliest practicable time in the planning or reassessment of the activity. A consistency determination should be prepared following development of sufficient information to reasonably determine the consistency of the activity with the management program, but before the Federal agency reaches a significant point of decisionmaking in its review process, i.e., while the Federal agency has the ability to modify the activity. The consistency determination shall be provided to State agencies at least 90 days before final approval of the Federal agency activity unless both the Federal agency and the State agency agree to an alternative notification schedule.
(2) Federal and State agencies may mutually agree upon procedures for extending the notification requirement beyond 90 days for activities requiring a substantial review period, and for shortening the notification period for activities requiring a less extensive review period, provided that public participation requirements are met.
(c) General consistency determinations. In cases where Federal agencies will be performing repeated activity other than a development project (e.g., ongoing maintenance, waste disposal) which cumulatively has an effect upon any coastal use or resource, the Federal agency may develop a general consistency determination, thereby avoiding the necessity of issuing separate consistency determinations for each incremental action controlled by the major activity. A Federal agency may provide a State agency with a general consistency determination only in situations where the incremental actions are repetitive and do not affect any coastal use or resource when performed separately. A Federal agency and State agency may mutually agree on a general consistency determination for de minimis activities (see § 930.33(a)(3)) or any other repetitive activity or category of activity(ies). If a Federal agency issues a general consistency determination, it shall thereafter periodically consult with the State agency to discuss the manner in which the incremental actions are being undertaken.
(d) Phased consistency determinations. In cases where the Federal agency has sufficient information to determine the consistency of a proposed development project or other activity from planning to completion, the Federal agency shall provide the State agency with one consistency determination for the entire activity or development project. In cases where federal decisions related to a proposed development project or other activity will be made in phases based upon developing information that was not available at the time of the original consistency determination, with each subsequent phase subject to Federal agency discretion to implement alternative decisions based upon such information (e.g., planning, siting, and design decisions), a consistency determination will be required for each major decision. In cases of phased decisionmaking, Federal agencies shall ensure that the development project or other activity continues to be consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the management program.
(e) National or regional consistency determinations.
(1) A Federal agency may provide States with consistency determinations for Federal agency activities that are national or regional in scope (e.g., rulemaking, national plans), and that affect any coastal use or resource of more than one State. Many States share common coastal management issues and have similar enforceable policies, e.g., protection of a particular coastal resource. The Federal agency's national or regional consistency determination should, at a minimum, address the common denominator of these policies, i.e., the common coastal effects and management issues, and thereby address different States' policies with one discussion and determination. If a Federal agency decides not to use this section, it must issue consistency determinations to each State agency pursuant to § 930.39.
(2) Federal agency activities with coastal effects shall be consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the enforceable policies of each State's management program. Thus, the Federal agency's national or regional consistency determination shall contain sections that would apply to individual States to address coastal effects and enforceable policies unique to particular States, if common coastal effects and enforceable policies cannot be addressed under paragraph (e)(1). Early coordination with coastal States will enable the Federal agency to identify particular coastal management concerns and policies. In addition, the Federal agency could address the concerns of each affected State by providing for State conditions for the proposed activity. Further, the consistency determination could identify the coordination efforts and describe how the Federal agency responded to State agency concerns.