Federal Consistency Review
In response to the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts developed its coastal zone management program, which was approved by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1978. This program is implemented by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and has been routinely updated. The Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide - October 2011 is the current official statement of the Massachusetts coastal program policies and legal authorities.
CZMA gives states the authority to review federal projects to ensure that they meet state standards articulated in their coastal zone management plans through a process called federal consistency review. Federal consistency review is required for most projects that:
Details on CZM's federal consistency review process are provided in:
- Are in or can reasonably be expected to affect a use or resource of the Massachusetts coastal zone; and/or
- Require federal licenses or permits, receive certain federal funds, or are a direct action of a federal agency.
CZM strongly encourages pre-application consultation for actions or activities that are subject to federal consistency review. CZM policy and technical staff can provide advance assistance on questions regarding jurisdiction, activities subject to review, contents of the consistency certification and material necessary to commence review, review schedule, and project design and/or operation. The purposes of such interaction are to ensure the review procedures are well understood and to help the consistency review process occur in a timely and efficient manner.
- Overview of Federal Consistency Review in Massachusetts (PDF, 142 KB) - The Federal Consistency Review Section of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide provides an overview of how the federal consistency review process is applied in Massachusetts.
- Massachusetts Coastal Program Policies (PDF, 424 KB) - The Massachusetts Coastal Program Policies section of the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management Policy Guide specifies CZM's enforceable policies. Proponents must demonstrate that projects subject to federal consistency review are consistent with these policies.
- Listed Federal Actions (PDF, 64 KB) - The complete and current list of federal activities that have been determined by Massachusetts to have reasonably foreseeable effects on coastal uses or resources and may therefore be subject to federal consistency review by CZM without further approval from NOAA or other federal agency, unless otherwise provided in NOAA's Federal Consistency Regulations.
- NOAA Federal Consistency Rules (PDF, 928 KB) - These are the federal regulations promulgated by NOAA at 15 CFR 930 et seq., which govern federal consistency for approved coastal management programs.
- Massachusetts Federal Consistency Rules (PDF, 141 KB) - These are the state regulations promulgated by CZM that specify the application of the federal rules within the context of the Massachusetts approved coastal management program at 301 CMR 21.00.
- Coastal Zone Management Regulations - Along with 301 CMR 21.00, this list includes the other sets of state regulations promulgated by CZM.
If, after reviewing this material, you have questions or need additional information, please call the Project Review Coordinator at (617) 626-1050, or email CZM at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please specify in the email that you have a federal consistency question.