Any development project or other activity performed by or for a federal agency that may affect coastal uses or resources is subject to state review to determine if the proposed activity is consistent with the enforceable policies of the Washington Coastal Zone Management Program. Examples include adopting a management plan for a wildlife sanctuary, constructing nearshore facilities, dredging new channels, and providing federal funding directly to an applicant. The federal agency must determine if its project or activity has any reasonably foreseeable direct or indirect effects on Washington’s coastal uses or resources. If the federal agency determines that the project will have such effects, then it must prepare a “consistency determination” and submit it to Ecology.
In its consistency determination, the federal agency must describe the potential coastal effects and explain how the project or activity is consistent to the maximum extent practicable with Washington’s Coastal Zone Management Program’s enforceable policies. The applicant is encouraged to submit the determination at the earliest time possible in the planning process, but it must
be submitted at least 90 days prior to final approval of the federal agency activity.
Ecology has 60 days from the receipt of the consistency determination to issue its decision. If Ecology does not respond within that time by either: concurring with the federal agency’s determination; attaching conditions to the concurrence decision; or objecting to the federal agency’s determination, then the project may proceed.
The term “federal license or permit” means any authorization, certification, license, permit, or other form of permission that a federal agency is empowered to issue to an applicant. Examples include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Section 404 and Section 10 permits. For federal authorizations listed in the Washington Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP), a federal agency cannot issue an approval unless Ecology agrees that the project is consistent with Washington’s enforceable policies. Activities requiring a federal license or permit must be fully consistent with the program.
For these activities, the applicant reviews the activity for compliance with the CZMP’s enforceable policies, which are found in four state laws and their implementing regulations. Following the review, the applicant prepares a "federal consistency certification” describing the activity and how it is consistent with the CZMP’s applicable enforceable policies. They then submit the certification to Ecology.
Ecology has six months from the receipt of the consistency certification to issue a decision either concurring with the applicant’s finding of consistency, attaching conditions, or objecting. If Ecology does not act within the six months, the activity is presumed consistent.
Complete the form below to demonstrate consistency with the Coastal Zone Management Program: