The Maryland Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP) is a partnership among local, regional and State agencies. As a networked program administered by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, no one State agency or Department is solely responsible for implementing the Program along Maryland's entire coast, rather all partner agencies help to ensure its proper management. As a networked partner, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) supports the CZMP's efforts to ensure that proposed federal activities are consistent with Maryland's coastal resource objectives and policies.
The Federal Consistency provision is a cornerstone of the National Coastal Zone Management Act Program and a primary incentive for states’ participation. It gives coastal states such as Maryland a strong voice regarding federal actions that have reasonably foreseeable effects on coastal resources and uses. Federal Consistency Review provides Maryland with an important tool to manage our coastal uses and resources and to facilitate cooperation and coordination with Federal agencies and industry.
Under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), direct Federal actions, Federal license or permit activities and federal financial assistance activities that have reasonably foreseeable coastal effects must be consistent with the enforceable policies of state coastal management programs approved by NOAA. The process by which a state decides whether a federal action meets its enforceable policies is called federal consistency review.
The goal of MD Coastal Consistency reviews is to ensure that federal-related projects or activities with foreseeable effects on Maryland coastal resources (e.g., wetlands, forests, rivers, beaches) and coastal uses (e.g., navigation, fishing, agriculture, energy development) are consistent with Maryland CZMP’s enforceable policies (effective 7/6/2020), available as downloadable policy area checklists.
For Federal Permits and Licenses that are not associated with a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Permit and include the submission of a Joint Federal/State Permit Application (JPA) to MDE, please follow the Maryland Coastal Consistency Review steps, as described in detail below, to initiate the review process for your project or activity. The Coastal Consistency Request Form is not required for projects that involve the submission of a JPA unless specifically requested to be completed by MDE. Applicants are encouraged to send this completed form via email, along with supporting documentation, to the lead agency contact(s) listed above and copy Maryland Department of Environment or Maryland Department of Natural Resources counterparts to ensure that each project or activity review request gets a prompt response and a comprehensive and thorough review.
The core team listed above, which actively supports each other’s roles, is also supported by numerous staff from network partner agencies who conduct reviews to ensure projects and activities are consistent with Maryland’s enforceable policies. More information on the federal consistency review process is available at https://coast.noaa.gov/czm/consistency/.
Overview of the MD Consistency Review Process
- Step 1 - Determine Applicability of Federal Consistency Review to Your Project or Activity
- Step 2 - If Federal Consistency Review Does Apply, Determine the Category That Best Fits Your Project or Activity
- Step 3 - Determine Timing of Review within Project or Activity Schedule
- Step 4 - All Projects and Activities with Significant Impacts* - Download Relevant Policy Area Checklists
- Step 5 - Frame and Develop Your Consistency Review Package
- Step 6 - Submit Consistency Review Request Package
- Step 7 - Ensure Consistency Review Package is Complete & Accurate
- Step 8 - Coastal Consistency Review by Network Partner Policy Area Experts
- Step 9 - Coastal Consistency Decision Issued.
Following the above process can help you keep your project or activity on track while ensuring timely, effective reviews that protect coastal resources and avoid or minimize coastal use conflicts. The process may vary depending on the type, location, timing, and scale and complexity of project or activity. Early consultation is strongly encouraged. See process details below.