Where is Delaware’s Coastal Zone?
The entire State of Delaware has been designated as the Coastal Zone Management Area. Any Federal activity occurring within the state may be subject to Federal Consistency review.
What is a Federal Activity?
Regulated Federal activities include the following:
Projects and programs conducted by, or on behalf, of a Federal government agency. These are referred to as “Direct Federal Actions.”
Projects requiring a Federal license or permit
Federal funding to local governments
Plans for exploration, development or production of any area leased under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
Direct Federal actions that are reviewed through Federal Consistency include projects such as dredging and beach nourishment projects conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, fisheries management plans proposed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), airport expansion plans proposed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and highway plans sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.
Federal licenses and permits that are reviewed through Federal Consistency include permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers for impacts to wetlands and navigable waters, permits issued by the Coast Guard for work on bridges and pipelines over navigable waters, licenses and permits issued by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for electric transmission lines and interstate natural gas transmission lines and certifications from the federal aviation administration for airport layout plans. (See a list of Federal Licenses and Permits subject to Federal Consistency.)
What are Delaware’s Coastal Management Policies?
The Delaware Coastal Management Program has an approved set of policies (see Federal Consistency Policy Document) that are used to review projects for Federal Consistency. These policies are composed of pre-existing state laws, regulations and executive orders. Because the goals of the Coastal Management Program are to balance the use, preservation and development of coastal resources, these policies cover a wide range of coastal issues.
How do I obtain a Federal Consistency “concurrence” for my project?
Applicants for a Federal Consistency Concurrence must submit the following to the Delaware Coastal Management Program:
A description of the project
An analysis of the project’s likely coastal zone effects and a description of how it will comply with applicable Coastal Zone Management Policies
The Statement of Consistency: “[Name of Applicant] has determined that the proposed [project] complies with Delaware’s approved coastal management program and will be conducted in a manner consistent with such program.
Supporting information sufficient to understand and review the coastal zone effects of the project. This can include copies of federal permit applications, construction plans, environmental assessments or environmental impact statements, monitoring data, modeling data and verification of other permits received.
Who determines if a project is consistent with Coastal Zone Management Policies?
Persons and organizations proposing Federal activities in Delaware must receive a written “concurrence” from the Delaware Coastal Management Program indicating that the project complies with Delaware’s Coastal Zone Management Policies. Coastal Management Program staff are responsible for the review, which often includes coordination from other state agencies and subject matter experts.
How long does the Federal Consistency review take?
The Delaware Coastal Management Program has up to six months to review a project, but a review may take more or less time, depending on the complexity of the project or the completeness of the original application.
Is there a requirement for public notice?
Public involvement is an important part of the Federal Consistency process. Each application goes on public notice for either 20 or 30 days, depending on the type of project.
During this time, comments regarding the project are accepted by the Coastal Management Program. Any comments received are taken into consideration while reviewing the project. Public notices for new Coastal Management Federal Consistency applications are placed in the classified section of The News Journal and The Delaware State News on Wednesdays and Sundays. Public notices can also be found on the public notice page of the DNREC web site .
What are the steps for a Federal Consistency review?
The applicant determines whether their proposed project is consistent with the policies of the Delaware Coastal Management Program and submits application materials to the DCMP.
Upon receipt, the project is assigned to DCMP staff for review. Applicants who have not submitted complete information are notified within 30 days and provided with a list of deficiencies.
If complete, a public notice is placed in local newspapers. Comments received by the public are compiled and taken into consideration when reviewing the application.
DCMP staff review the application and coordinate with other permitting agencies and/or subject matter experts to discuss public policy questions/issues;
When all questions and issues are resolved, DCMP will either concur with or object to the applicant’s federal consistency certification.
Applicants receive, in writing, notices of concurrence with or objection to the federal consistency certification.
What happens if a project is not consistent with Coastal Zone Management Policies?
The Delaware Coastal Management Program will work with project applicants to change or modify a project so that it can become consistent with our policies. If a project cannot be modified to be consistent with Coastal Zone Management Policies, the Delaware Coastal Management Program will issue an “objection” letter.
Projects that do not comply with Coastal Zone Management policies cannot proceed. If the project in question requires a federal licenses or permit, the federal permit is not valid until the project becomes consistent with Coastal Zone Management policies.
How do I appeal a Federal Consistency decision?
Applicants may appeal (15 CFR 930 Subpart H) decisions to the Secretary of Commerce within 30 days of receipt of DCMP’s ”objection” notification. An applicant may request that the Secretary override the state’s consistency objection if the activity is consistent with the objectives of the Federal Coastal Zone Management Act.