Groups Rally Against Federal Proposal to Restrict States’ Abilities to Protect Coastal
and Ocean Resources
Proposed Changes called "Unwarranted, Unwanted, and Unnecessary"
To read the complete article, click on-- http://www.cleanoceanaction.org/PressReleases/PR2003/CZMA.htm
Belmar, NJ – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has proposed changes to
the rules governing the Coastal Zone Management Program, a federal program which allows states that choose to participate
strong rights for governance and responsibility of a states’ coastal and ocean resources.
The changes proposed in the rule shortens various time frames for state review of federal projects, such as oil and gas
drilling or strip mining, proposed in their coastal zones. The changes would also limit the availability of information provided
to states by applicants, provide more discretion to federal agencies in the process, and has the potential to increase litigation.
In addition, public review and comments by citizens and local governments would be severely limited, if not sacrificed entirely.
After careful legal review, Clean Ocean Action (COA) submitted comments to NOAA today strongly opposing the proposed changes to the consistency provision and
demand withdrawal of the changes. The proposed changes are a direct assault on fundamental rights of states, local governments,
and citizens to assert governance over activities that may affect the coast which would result in greatly diminished protections
for the coasts and oceans and the living resources they support. The proposed rule would greatly impact the states’
rights in governing what happens in their coastal zones. ...
NOAA provides evidence in the proposed rule that the program is functioning well with states and federal agencies agreeing
to proposals 93% of the time. The program changes are being proposed not because the program is working, but due to industry
directives. The opening paragraph of the proposed rules states, "NOAA is proposing this rule to address the CZMA-related
recommendations of the [Vice President Cheney] Energy Policy Development Group’s Energy Report."
"They are unwarranted, unwanted, and unacceptable," said Cindy Zipf, Executive Director of Clean Ocean Action. "Indeed,
these proposed changes are at the command of the oil and gas industry who have long sought to undermine states’ abilities
to govern their own coastal destinies," she added. ...