A federal activity is any development or function performed by or for a federal agency. Examples include adopting a management plan for a wildlife sanctuary, constructing nearshore facilities, and dredging new channels. The federal agency must determine if its project or activity has any reasonably foreseeable direct and 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.