Providing a mechanism for states to manage coastal uses and resources, and coordinating with federal agencies.
Because federal activities can greatly impact a state's coastal resources, the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) established a formal review process commonly known as federal consistency. Section 307 of the CZMA, known as the federal consistency provision, provides a mechanism for states to manage coastal uses and resources and to facilitate cooperation and coordination with federal agencies. The New Hampshire Coastal Program is responsible for issuing all federal consistency decisions in New Hampshire.
The federal consistency review process in New Hampshire involves intradepartmental coordination within NHDES, and coordination with other state agencies such as the Fish and Game Department and the Department of Transportation. The review process ensures that federal activities affecting any land or water use, or natural resource in New Hampshire's coastal zone will be conducted in a manner consistent with NHCP's enforceable policies.
Federal activities can take the form of activities proposed by federal agencies, activities proposed by nonfederal entities requiring federal licenses or permits, and activities involving federal financial assistance to state agencies or local governments. In addition, outer continental shelf exploration, development and production activities in any area that has been leased under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 USC 1331 et seq.) require a federal consistency review.
States with approved coastal management programs (CMPs) may amend, modify or otherwise change their program, pursuant to section 306(e) of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) and its implementing regulations (15 C.F.R. Part 923, Subpart H). Changes in the manner in which states manage coastal uses and resources that affect approved CMPs must be reviewed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office for Coastal Management (NOAA-OCM). Program changes include changes to enforceable policies as well as changes to one or more of the following management program areas:
- Uses subject to management.
- Special management areas.
- Authorities and organization.
- Coordination, public involvement and national interest.
Since NOAA's original approval of the New Hampshire Coastal Program (NHCP) in 1982, the NHCP has received approval for a number of program changes. Information regarding many of these changes is provided below.
February 2022 Program Change
On February 11, 2022, NOAA-OCM approved changes to the NHCP that pertain to the NHCP’s federal consistency review process for the siting of energy projects in New Hampshire’s coastal zone that require a federal license or permit.
October 2019 Program Change
On October 29, 2019, NOAA-OCM approved changes to the NHCP that included minor, non-substantive revisions to NHCP's list of federally licensed or permitted activities subject to federal consistency review, pursuant to 15 C.F.R. Part 930, Subpart D (Consistency for Activities Requiring a Federal License or Permit) and revisions to a number of the NHCP's enforceable policies to incorporate “uses” of New Hampshire's coastal and estuarine resources.
February 2019 Program Change
On February 25, 2019, NOAA-OCM approved a program change to the NHCP that involved modification of the NHCP's list of federal assistance programs subject to CZMA federal consistency review, pursuant to 15 C.F.R. Part 930, Subpart F (Consistency for Federal Assistance to State and Local Governments). Specifically, the program change pertained to the Federal Department of Transportation's Highway Planning and Construction Program (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance #20.205).
2009 Program Change
This change, which was approved by NOAA's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (NOAA-OCRM) on January 16, 2009, consisted of the following actions: 1) Changes to the NHCP's federal consistency public participation procedures; 2) Changes to the NHCP's list of federal assistance activities subject to federal consistency review; and 3) Incorporation of the New Hampshire Coastal Program Guide to Federal Consistency into the NHCP.