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The witnesses are:
Chairman Stevens Opening Remarks
Coastal Zone Management Hearing
May 25, 2005
I want to make a few points before we start. The Coastal Zone Management Act has been unauthorized since 1999. Those of us on the Appropriations Committee have kept it funded since that time. I had a visit from a gentleman at the Department of Commerce who pointed out to me that this and other programs are unfunded and there are some activities involved in the program where there are potential penalties that may well be unenforceable unless we have a reauthorization of this Act and these other acts that have been held up.
This is a very serious thing for us. The four bills that we’ve sent to the floor so far have all been held up because of increased authorizations in the bills. And, this bill that you have proposed, and I think the proposal is reasonable, will probably face the same problem unless we can get agreement on how far the authorized levels should be increased by this bill. The enacted level of these grants has actually varied in the last few years, but they’ve hovered right around – they started out at $69 million in ’02 and it’s down to $63.9 (million) in the request for this year and $66 million was actually provided last year. It shows that without an authorized level the amount varies from year to year, so I think we must get together on that point.
Secondly, I note that there is a provision, a Sense of the Congress, to reevaluate the calculation of shoreline mileage. As I’m sure that Mr. Jeffress will point out the Alaska Department of Natural Resources has recalculated the entire title shoreline as defined in this bill, which includes the outer coast, offshore island sounds, bays, rivers, creeks, to the head of tidewater or where tidewaters narrow to a width of 100 feet and in doing so the new calculation for Alaska’s tide line is 44,500 miles, greater than all of the entire Continental United States and of that amount less than one percent is developed and that is the reason we’ve asked Mr. Jeffress to come down and testify today about what was done in Alaska. We have a unique coastal area and it’s obvious to compare this, to put the same provisions applicable to our coastline of 44,500 miles, to the same tests that are provided in the other states. For instance, we have a population of 16 people per mile along the coastline. California’s population is 442 times that. And, there is no question that the population along the coastline should be one of the criteria in considering the application of this Act. So, we look forward to this hearing and the comments that are made by the witnesses. Thank you very much.
Witness Panel 1
Dr. Thomas KitsosAssociate Deputy Assistant Administrator, National Ocean ServiceNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Dr. Walter CruickshankDeputy Director, Minerals Management ServiceU.S. Department of the Interior
Dr. Walter D. Cruickshank
Minerals Management Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
United States Senate
May 25, 2005
Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, it is a great pleasure for me to be here to discuss the reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) in the context of the Department of the Interior’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Program. The partnership forged between the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce on coastal zone management is consistent with the Secretary's Four C's - "communication, consultation, and cooperation, all in the service of conservation." Over the past several years, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce have worked diligently on communicating and comprehending each others’ concerns over Federal consistency and how the existing Federal regulatory regime manages offshore and coastal activities. We have consulted cooperatively and produced a mutually-agreeable proposal that addresses our Nation’s needs for siting energy facilities that affect the coastal zone while balancing conservation, protection, and beneficial use of our invaluable coastal resources. In addition, Secretary Norton has placed special significance on the requirement that all OCS program decisions must carefully evaluate and be responsive to the laws, goals, and policies of the affected states. The Administration supports the reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act. This hearing is looking at S. 360, the Coastal Zone Enhancement Reauthorization Act of 2005, which I defer to my esteemed colleague from NOAA to present the Administration’s comments on the bill. Today I am here to discuss the Minerals Management Service’s (MMS) role in the management and stewardship of Federal offshore lands and the importance of the CZMA in the continued success of the Nation’s energy and mineral development program in the Federal OCS. We recognize that other agencies issue authorizations for the construction and operation of energy-related facilities (such as natural gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals) which are subject to CZMA; my testimony will not address the roles of those agencies. The Federal offshore plays a vital role with respect to our Nation’s energy future. America faces an energy challenge. Energy use sustains our economy and our quality of life, but high prices and increasing dependence on foreign energy supplies raise important national policy issues. There is no one single or short term solution. Achieving the goal of secure, affordable and environmentally sound energy will require diligent, concerted efforts on many fronts on both the supply and demand sides of the energy equation. President Bush’s National Energy Policy (NEP) report laid out a comprehensive, long-term energy strategy for securing America’s energy future. That strategy recognizes that to reduce our rising dependence on foreign energy supplies, we must increase domestic production, while pursuing energy conservation and the use of alternative and renewable energy sources. The OCS Lands Act directs the Secretary of the Interior to make resources available to meet the nation’s energy needs. The accompanying Congressional Declaration of Policy states, “The OCS is a vital national resource reserve held by the Federal Government for the public, which should be made available for expeditious and orderly development.” As the Department of the Interior’s offshore resource management agency, the MMS has a focused and well established ocean mandate – to balance the exploration and development of oil, gas, and mineral resources of the OCS with safety and protection of the marine and coastal environment. The Federal OCS is a major supplier of oil and natural gas for the domestic market, contributing more oil and natural gas for U.S. consumption than any single state or country in the world. As steward of the mineral resources on the 1.76 billion acres of the Nation’s OCS, MMS has, since 1982, managed OCS production of 9.6 trillion barrels of oil and more than 109 trillion cubic feet of natural gas for U.S. consumption. Today, MMS administers approximately 8,200 leases and oversees approximately 4000 facilities on the OCS. OCS production accounts for over 30 percent of the Nation’s domestic oil production and approximately 23 percent of our domestic natural gas production. Within the next 5 years, offshore production will likely account for more than 40 percent of oil and 26 percent of U.S. natural gas production, owing primarily to deep water discoveries. As the OCS resource management agency, MMS has worked diligently for over 20 years to create a framework for OCS mineral resource development. Principles guiding our management of the resources of the OCS include: conservation of resources by providing for their most efficient use; assurance of a fair and equitable return to the public for rights conveyed; protection of the human, marine, and coastal environments; involvement of interested and affected parties in planning and decision-making; and minimization of conflicts between mineral activities and other uses of the OCS. MMS also has over two decades of experience working with coastal states regarding coastal zone issues related to development on the OCS. The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy in its report, “An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century,” stated, “the scope and comprehensiveness of the OCS oil and gas program can be a model for the management of a wide variety of offshore activities.” In the NEP, the President directed the Secretaries of the Interior and Commerce to determine if changes to the Federal regulatory regime were needed to facilitate energy-related projects in the coastal zone and on the OCS. Secretary Norton and then-Secretary Evans convened a “Coastal Zone Management Act Team” to develop a proposed rule addressing questions raised in NOAA’s July 2002 Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), and to establish an effective partnership for consistency issues. I am pleased to report that this effort has led to a much improved proposed rule. Using the July 2002 ANPR as the starting point, the team engaged in an intensive effort to fulfill the Secretaries’ goals in a manner that reflected the interests and concerns of our various stakeholders. As a result of our joint effort, in June 2003, NOAA published a proposed rule that better addressed energy-related consistency issues while ensuring protection of the Nation’s coastal resources. The proposal would:
· Establish a straightforward consistency review process with clear information requirements.
· Provide a predictable consistency review process so that States, Federal agencies, and applicants know which activities are covered, when consistency reviews will begin, and when decisions will be made.
· Clarify what information is required for consistency review purposes.
· Eliminate conflict and confusion between the statutory requirements of the CZMA and OCS Lands Act, and most importantly,
· Maintain the States’ ability to review those Federal actions which have reasonably foreseeable effects on any land, water use or natural resources of their coastal zone as provided for in the CZMA.
When promulgated as a final rule, the changes will improve the effectiveness of the Federal consistency process while preserving the proper balance between State and Federal management of coastal resources. We have also been working with NOAA to achieve prompt and efficient consultations under the Endangered Species Act and rulemakings under the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Now I’d like to talk about other proactive steps MMS is taking to ensure integration of CZMA into our offshore management program. The MMS has developed a CZM strategy in the Gulf of Mexico with the primary goals of:
· Providing a more efficient process for State consistency review of MMS OCS lease sale and permitted activities.
· Standardizing information required of industry based on actual authorized CZMA requirements.
· Managing the CZM federal consistency review timeframes more effectively.
· Improving MMS/Gulf State relationships.
I am happy to say this initiative has been extremely successful. We have:
· Streamlined the lease sale consistency review process through a tiered Consistency Determination document approach agreed to by all Gulf States.
· Written agreements with all Gulf States on specific information that would satisfy State consistency requirements, thereby eliminating the need for an additional 30-day time frame allowed under the January 2001 regulations for the States’ decision on adequate information to begin consistency review.
· Eliminated broad descriptive information previously required in industry submittals.
· Standardized and updated information required by industry via several Notices to Lessees and Operators.
· Expedited consistency review of 75 to 80 percent of all Gulf plans submitted through the use of concurrence agreements with the Gulf States.
· Significantly improved MMS/Gulf State Coordination.
Alaska is in the process of revising its CZM plan. In Alaska, there is an interest in subsistence fishing and hunting, which is the cultural heart and soul of rural Alaska. The need to protect fish and wildlife and their use for future generations is important in Alaska, as is the desire to encourage wise, sustainable development. Alaska has an outstanding record of balancing these competing interests. For MMS, the issue here will be OCS leasing off the northern coast of Alaska and ensuring that subsistence resources remain at levels adequate to meet community needs. The MMS and Alaska’s coordinating agency, the Office of Permitting and Project Management (OPMP), enjoy an excellent working relationship. Alaska is presently reworking its CZM program and MMS is ready to contribute as they progress in their efforts. Conclusion OCSLA and CZMA explicitly provide states a critical role in shaping national policy regarding the development of OCS resources for the nation’s benefit. The Congressional Declaration of Policy for OCSLA prescribes, “States, and through such States, affected local governments, are entitled to an opportunity to participate, to the extent consistent with the national interest, in the policy and planning decisions made by the Federal Government relating to the exploration for, and development and production of, minerals of the OCS. ” The Department is firmly committed to the consultative responsibility this entails. Building on our successful partnership, the Department of the Interior and the Department of Commerce will continue to work together to identify and resolve issues that could arise in the administration of both the CZMA and OCSLA to promote Congress’ objectives in both statutes and the objectives of the President’s National Energy Policy. Mr. Chairman, this concludes my prepared remarks however I would be pleased to answer questions from you or the members of the Committee.
Ms. Sarah W. CookseyAdministrator, Delaware Coastal Programs Board Member and Former ChairCoastal States Organization
Ms. Sarah Cooksey
Administrator, Delaware Coastal Programs
on behalf of
The Coastal States Organization (CSO)
May 25, 2005
Introduction I want to thank Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, Subcommittee Chair Olympia Snowe, as well as Ranking Members, Senators Daniel Inouye and Maria Cantwell, and other distinguished Members of the Committee for the opportunity to testify today on the reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). On behalf of my colleagues in the coastal states, I also want to express our appreciation for your leadership in supporting the CZMA and other crucial coastal and ocean legislation. My name is Sarah Cooksey. I am the Administrator of Delaware’s Coastal Management Programs, which includes both the coastal management and the research reserve programs. I am testifying today in my role as Board Member and former-Chair of the Coastal States Organization (CSO). I want to extend the regrets of the current CSO Chair, Phil Hinesley from Alabama, who couldn’t be with us today as he is in American Samoa celebrating the 25th Anniversary of their CZM Program. Since 1970, CSO has represented the interests of the coastal states, including the Great Lakes and island territories on matters related to coastal, Great Lakes and ocean resource protection, management and development. CSO's membership consists of Delegates appointed by the Governors from the 35 States, Commonwealths, and Territories. The National Estuarine Research Reserve Association (NERRA) is also an affiliate member of CSO. For the record, I request that this testimony be added to the record and have also attached a copy of the National Governors Association (NGA) policy that calls for CZMA reauthorization. It is fitting that the CZMA, which was originally passed to support recommendations of the 1969 Stratton Commission, will be reauthorized to address the recent and important call to action detailed in the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy final report and the President’s US Ocean Action Plan. Both documents identified reauthorization of the CZMA as a priority. Legislative priorities, in addition to the CZMA, that were identified by both the Ocean Commission and the Action Plan under the jurisdiction of this Committee include a NOAA Organic Act, and the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act. We hope to see action this year on these fundamental building blocks of any national coastal and ocean policy. The time for action is now. Our nation's history, economy and culture are inextricably linked to and dependent upon the natural resources and economic vitality of the coasts -- from the ports around which our nation's largest cities grew; to the fishing communities along the coast of Maine; to the beaches from Cape Cod to California; to the habitats of Galveston Bay and wetlands of Louisiana; to unique landscape and indigenous peoples of Alaska and the Pacific islands. It has been estimated that 1 out of 6 U.S. jobs is marine related, and 1/3 of the Gross Domestic Product is produced in coastal counties. The 180 million American and international visitors who enjoy coastal areas and coral reefs each year account for 85 percent of U.S. tourism revenues. International shipping brings more than $700 billion in goods to US ports. Coasts - where our nation’s major river basins connect our inland watersheds to our oceans - are truly a national resource. The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) The CZMA is the only national program that supports a federal-state partnership with the goal of improving both the quality of life in coastal communities and enhancing the stewardship, sustainable use and conservation of coastal and ocean resources for the benefit of current and future generations. Congress was prescient in 1972 when it passed the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) to provide incentives: to encourage and assist the states to exercise effectively their responsibilities in the coastal zone through the development and implementation of management programs to achieve the wise use of the land and water resources of the coastal zone, giving full consideration to ecological, cultural, historic, and esthetic values as well as the needs for compatible economic development programs . . .. (16 USC 1452(2)) The CZMA is unique in linking federal, state and community-based coastal management efforts. The CZMA furthers national goals by supporting the identification of priorities and implementation of local strategies in the three fundamental ways. -- It provides a national framework and matching grants that support states, in working with local communities and federal agencies partners, to develop and implement coastal and ocean management plans, program and policies, which are based on local priorities and further the national economic, environmental and societal objectives set out in the Act. -- It provides a process for coordinating state and federal activities, licenses and permits to assure that they are consistent with the applicable policies of federally approved state coastal zone management programs. (This is commonly referred to as “consistency authority.”) -- It establishes and supports a network of 26 National Estuarine Research Reserves representing diverse estuarine and coastal ecosystems, which play a critical role in national efforts to understand and sustain healthy estuaries and coastal communities Thirty four of the 35 eligible state have developed – and the 35th state, Illinois, is in the process of developing - comprehensive coastal programs which are designed to protect and restore wetlands and other critical habitats; increase recreational opportunities and public access to shorelines; reduce the threats of coastal hazards to public health and property; and reduce coastal pollution and cumulative and secondary that can degrade coastal waters; as well as, to support well-planned coastal communities, compatible coastal dependent development and revitalize waterfronts. The 26 estuaries have been designated as part of the National Research Reserve System (NERRS) include sites from Alaska to Puerto Rico, with an additional site in Texas expected to be designated later this year. NERRS serve as local laboratories and regional centers of excellence. At Reserve sites, coastal communities can access a broad array of critical information and coastal services. These services include: (1) training to promote informed environmental decision-making; (2) a national monitoring program for estuaries; and (3) education opportunities for students and the public. With these key elements, the reserve system is in the unique position of serving the national interest while responding to local needs. They have developed several unique system-wide national programs including system-wide monitoring, graduate research fellowships and coastal training programs. Many coastal states are taking the lead in building on these efforts. In Hawaii, California, and Alaska, the Governors have established Ocean Councils to take a more integrated and comprehensive look at coastal and ocean management priorities. As you will hear about in later testimony, Alaska is in the process of successfully completing amendments to its CZM program. The Governor of Massachusetts has proposed legislation to improve management of coastal estuaries and to develop a comprehensive ocean management plan. South Carolina has completed an assessment and developed recommendations for its ‘Coastal Future’. The New Jersey Governor recently announced a Coastal Action Plan. Other states are developing equally ambitious coastal and ocean agendas. There are also significant state-led regional efforts in the Gulf of Maine, Mid-Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Islands. Enacting many of the recommendations proposed in S. 360, The Coastal Zone Enhancement Reauthorization Act of 2005, will provide much needed support for these ongoing efforts, encourage increased coordination, and improve partnerships with federal agencies, as well as the private and public sector that will be crucial to our nation’s future success in managing coastal and ocean resources. Coastal and Ocean Stewardship Challenges: A Roadmap for CZM Reauthorization The final report of the US Commission on Ocean Policy (April 2004) documents the challenges and sets out a vision and blueprint for action for the future of our nation’s coastal and oceans. To address the many challenges outlined in the Report, the Ocean Commission Coastal population is increasing by 3,600 per day – a rate of growth that may result in 27 million more residents per, in an area that is already the most densely populated in the country. The impact of resulting land consumption and development can outstrip population increased by 3-5 times the pace of population. That rate of harmful algal blooms (HAB) outbreaks and appearances of ‘dead zone’ are increasing. In 1997, HABs cost the Maryland seafood and recreation industry more than $50 million. Hurricanes and tropical storms are predicted to continue to threaten coastal communities. Although less comprehensive than the Ocean Commission Report, the President’s US Action Plan (September 2004) recognizes the needs to support adaptive, ecosystem-based approach management and to facilitate regional management. The Action Plan specifically calls on Congress to work with the Administration to reauthorize the CZMA. The Ocean Commission Report recommends significantly increased funding for states to undertake coastal and ocean programs and activities. The Report also calls for implementation improved regional ecosystem-based approaches to management to address the growing pressures of coastal development, emerging uses and conflicts in ocean areas, including ecosystem assessments the improved scientific information, monitoring, research to support adaptive coastal and watershed management. The Ocean Commission Report specifically recommends that the following be included in CZMA reauthorization:
strengthen the planning and coordination capabilities of coastal states to address watershed and ocean planning;
increase federal financial, technical and institutional support for sustainable community development;
expand investment in the conservation and restoration of coastal habitats; and
support state coastal resource assessments.
In response to the Ocean Commission Report, President George Bush put forth the US Ocean Action Plan (September 2004) which recognizes the need to support adaptive, ecosystem-based approach management and to facilitate regional management. The Action Plan specifically calls on Congress to work with the Administration to reauthorize the CZMA. S. 360, at least in part, addresses all of these recommendations. A more specific discussion of S. 360, as well as CSO and NERRA recommendations for reauthorization is set out in the following section. S. 360 - Reauthorization Recommendations The coastal states have several recommendations which should be included in legislation to reauthorize the CZMA. These changes will substantially improve the capacity of states to meet the national goals of the CZMA, as well as the challenges identified in the Ocean Commission Report and the President’s U.S. Action Plan. The states appreciate that their recommendations have largely been addressed in S. 360. Summary of Primary Recommendations:
Provide increased funding and support for all eligible coastal management programs to increase their capacity to address the challenges identified in the Ocean Commission Report. Assure that all eligible states share equitably in the increased funding. (See S. 360, Sections 3, 7 and 17)
Authorize additional support for grants to states for resource management improvements including habitat restoration, reduction of coastal nonpoint pollution and support for well-planned community development. (See S. 360, Sections 8, 11 and 17.)
Continue support for governmental coordination and consistency of federal activities and permits activities that may affect state coastal resources with applicable, federally approved state coastal management policies, as provided in Section 307 of the CZMA.
Clarify the authority and increase funding for the NERRS system including core program administration, coastal training, site stewardship, system-wide monitoring and research, national education initiatives, and construction of projects at Reserves (See S. 360, Sections 4, 5, 15, and 17.) Discussion and Additional Recommendations Program Implementation and Enhancement Grants Consistent with the recommendations of the Ocean Commission, S. 360 strengthens states’ capacity to further the national goals of the Act and improve integration of coastal, watershed and ocean management activities. CSO strongly supports the recommendation for increased authorization levels beginning at $90.5 million in 2006 for state grants under sections 306, 306A and 309. The language added to section 306(c) providing for equitable sharing of increased funds by all states reflects language that has been included in appropriations bill over the past several years. This provision is important to assure that states whose grants have been ‘capped’ over the past 6-10 years will receive a fair share of increased funding (Capped states include but are not limited AK, ME, LA, WA, TX, MA, NC, NJ, CA, SC, MI, and MD.) CSO also supports the proposed changes that would eliminate the specific 10 percent cap on resource improvement grants under section 306A and the $10 million limit on section 309 program enhancement grants. We request the Committee to consider making a few additional changes to Section 309.
Amend subsection (b)(1) to expand eligibility for enhancement grants beyond “program changes” to include “projects or activities that support multi-jurisdictional, multi-state or regional ecosystem-based management, or demonstrate significant potential for improving integrated coastal, watershed and ocean management.”
Rather than have the Secretary rank state enhancement proposals under subsection (c); provide states with the option to set aside up to 20 percent of grants annually for CZM program enhancements. This change would more accurately reflect current practice, since currently there is no actual ranking or competition for enhancement grants. These changes would provide states with the flexibility they need to adopt innovative projects and strategies, as well as formal program elements, to enhance the effectiveness of coastal, watershed and ocean management efforts. Resource Improvement and Community Grants The expanded authority and funding provided in S. 360 to support resource improvement grants, under Section 306A, and coastal community grants, under 309A, will provide critical resources to support critical implementation actions that will result in increased public access and waterfront revitalization; protection of cultural and historic resources; habitat conservation and restoration; coastal hazards mitigation; control of aquatic invasive species; reduction of hypoxia, harmful algal blooms, and polluted runoff. It will also improve state capacity to provide technical assistance to coastal communities that support well-planned development and sustainable economic growth. One change the states suggest the Committee make to these provisions is that, rather than directing the states to set aside $10 million out of the section 309A community grants for coastal nonpoint pollution as provided in section 17(1) of the bill, additional funding be provided for state to use in a flexible way to take actions they deem necessary to be effective in protecting coastal water quality. Federal Consistency Authority There seems to be considerable confusion about both the purpose and application of CZMA federal consistency authority. It has wrongly been characterized as a duplicative level of review or an additional state requirement. On the contrary, the clear objective and function of consistency is to support a process for “coordination and cooperation” of all applicable reviews at the federal and states level. The CZMA correctly recognizes that that most effective way to further the national objective of the Act is to assure that federal activities and permits incorporate applicable state requirements early in the process of developing there projects or activities. In the case of federal activities or permits that may affect state coastal uses or resources, federal agencies or applicant are required to determine “at the earliest practical time” whether there are state requirements that apply and how they will be incorporated into the planned activity. The states are required to respond the consistency determination with any concerns “at the earliest practical time.” This is how it actually works in the vast majority of cases - and it works well – in Delaware and other states. Pending amendments to the consistency regulation proposed by the Administration would reinforce the requirements for early consideration and coordination of all reviews. While all federal activities and permit that “may affect” resources and uses of a state’s coastal zone trigger consideration of consistency, it does not impose new regulatory requirements it simply provides that that the activity must be consistent with those applicable enforceable policies that already exist and that are incorporated into the federally approved coastal management programs and are recognized as furthering the national goals of the Act. The CZMA provides further safeguards for the agencies and applicants by providing for an appeal to the Secretary of Commerce to assure that decisions are consistent with the national objectives of the CZMA and national security. Provisions are set in the CZMA and consistency regulations that allow states to identify what federal activities and permits affecting the coastal zone they want to review, including what they do not want to review, and to work with federal agencies on coordinated review processes. These provisions include listing and unlisted activities, geographic location, and exceptions of de minimus impacts (See e.g. 15 C.F.R. sections 930.34 and 930.53.) These regulations should provide the necessary flexibility for the state to determine how to assure that applicable state requirements can most effectively provide for consistency of federal activities that affect state coastal resources. NERRS Of particular importance to the NERRS is the framework provided by the CZMA to meet the need for informed decision-making at the federal, state, and local levels. Amendments to the Act should:
· Provide effective mechanisms to assess the technology and information needs of coastal communities at local and regional scales
· Strengthen the capacity of the state-federal partnership to support research and monitoring relevant to local and regional needs, and
· Improve the access and delivery of science-based information to coastal communities, and evaluate the performance of the state-federal partnership in support of informed coastal decisions.
CSO and NERRA are pleased that S. 360 broadens the authority of the Reserve System to include education and resource stewardship in addition to research. We want to assure that the final language provides adequate authority for NERRS’ primary research and education elements including the Coastal Training, System-Wide Monitoring, Graduate Research Fellowships, and K–12 Estuarine Education Program. We would respectfully suggest that a vision for expansion of the NERRS be included in a reauthorization bill. NERRA vision is to enhance research, education, and stewardship activities nationwide through the establishment of Reserves in every coastal and Great Lakes state, as the resources become available. With respect to authorization levels, NERRA recommends that a stable base for each Reserve be provided to support basic operations and research, education, and stewardship programs. NERRA supports a 5-year reauthorization beginning at $22 million and increasing by $1 million per year to accommodate new sites, expansion of products and services, and cost of living increases. CSO and NERRA strongly endorse incorporation of funding for construction and land acquisition into the reauthorization measure as stated in S. 360. The NERRS have established procedures for setting priorities for construction and land acquisition, and recently assembled long-term plans to meet construction and land acquisition needs. Incorporation of funds for these purposes -- $15 million per year, as stated in S. 360 -- into the CZMA will provide a stable, long-term source of funding for the NERRS to maintain facilities in support of research, education, and stewardship programs, as well as to acquire priority land and water areas for watershed management. Fostering Regional Partnerships and Management-Oriented Research We urge the Committee to consider amending the CZMA to provide additional support for state-regional collaborations that identify priority coastal and ocean management issues and develop implementation strategies based on best science available. Both the Ocean Commission and Administration’s Action Plan call for a more ecosystem-based regional coastal watershed and ocean management strategy, and support for regional pilot projects that build on existing plans and processes. The CZMA can provide a direct link now to these regional efforts through states coastal and ocean management plans, based on consideration of public trust, public health and safety interests. Currently, CZMA section 308 authorizes the use of the Coastal Zone Management Fund for, among other things: “projects to address management issues that are regional in scope projects, including interstate projects”, and “demonstration projects which have a high potential for improving coastal zone management, especially at the local level.” We propose that these specific authorities be retained and amended to reflect support for adaptive, ecosystem based management of coastal watershed and oceans. Rather than redirect the CZM Fund to NOAA top offset operating and administrative costs as proposed by S. 360, Section 9, the current balance in the fund as well as future payments should be dedicated to the states as originally intended for these regional, interstate, and ecosystem based watershed projects and activities. Additional funding should be authorized and deposited in the Fund to support competitive grants for such multi-jurisdictional, interstate or regional partnership projects, taking into account a balance of regional needs, state priorities, and a variety of project types and scales. While the oil and gas loan repayments that have traditionally supported the CZM Fund are scheduled to diminish in coming years, Congress should consider replenishing the Fund through both annual appropriations and dedicating new revenues generated from permitting offshore uses such as aquaculture, transportation and other support facilities for oil and gas, and renewable energy activity. The Ocean Commission report recognized the importance of investing in improved understanding of the coastal and ocean ecosystems, and recommended support coastal assessments and regional information programs led by the states. To address this recommendation in part, CSO recommends amending the provisions of CZMA section 310, which require the Secretary to conduct a program of “technical assistance and management-oriented research” necessary to support the implementation of State coastal management programs. The section’s current limitation to assistance and research related to “program amendments under Section 309” should be eliminated. Provisions should be strengthened that require the Secretary to coordinate efforts relevant intra- and inter-agency federal agency research, studies and technical assistance activities. CSO supports the proposal in S. 360, Section 12 that would authorize the Secretary to establish a program enter into cooperative agreements to support development of innovative coastal and estuarine technology. That section should be expanded to authorize regional coastal service centers, as needed, charged with coordinating and facilitating access to NOAA and other federal agency research and technical assistance, disseminating relevant information and provide technical assistance, training and transfer best coastal and ocean management practices. Subsection 310(b)(3) should be amended “establishes and supports a routine process to assure that” the Secretary consults with states on a regular basis regarding “coastal and ocean research and information needs”, as well as development and implementation of programs under the section. Finally, $30 million should be authorized annually for grants to states under this section to undertake periodic ecosystem assessments of natural, cultural and economic coastal resources to support development of relevant performance indicators and sound coastal and ocean management decisions. This funding can be used to identify gaps in monitoring and research needs and to make relevant information available to the public through mechanisms such as the ‘state coastal atlas’ developed by Oregon or other information management or geospatial information tools or techniques. NOAA should support efforts to link these state assessments to broader regional ecosystem assessments and ocean observations systems. Conclusion Thank you for the opportunity to testify today. CSO is ready to work with you in any way to support passage of S. 360 and reauthorization of the Coastal Zone Management Act this year.
Witness Panel 2
Ms. Sarah ChasisDirector of the Water and Coastal ProgramNatural Resources Defense Council
TESTIMONY OF THE
NATURAL RESOURCES DEFENSE COUNCIL
S. 360, THE “COASTAL ZONE ENHANCEMENT REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2005”
SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
May 25, 2005 Presented by:
Director of Water & Coastal Program
Natural Resources Defense Council
Thank you for this invitation to testify regarding S. 360, the “Coastal Zone Enhancement Reauthorization Act of 2005.” This testimony is submitted on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC is a national nonprofit organization with over 550,000 members, dedicated to protecting natural resources and improving the quality of the human environment. I am a senior attorney with NRDC and Director of NRDC’s Water and Coastal Program.
Introduction: Support for S. 360
NRDC has been involved with the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) since the mid-1970’s. During this time, we have worked with NOAA, the states and other environmental groups on the development and implementation of state coastal zone management programs. We have supported reauthorization and strengthening of the Act. Following the 1990 amendments to the CZMA, we participated in the implementation of the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program --because of the need for enhanced control over polluted runoff into coastal waters --and in the revision of the federal consistency regulations to conform to the 1990 amendments. NRDC strongly supports passage of S. 360. This bill would reauthorize and strengthen the CZMA at a time of increasing pressure on our nation’s coastal resources. The CZMA provides a valuable framework for addressing both ongoing and emerging issues facing the coastal regions of our country. The Act represents a valuable partnership between the federal government and the states: the federal government provides funding, oversight and the promise of federal consistency; in exchange, the states voluntarily develop and implement federally approved programs that address important issues facing the coastal zone – an area of national importance, both ecologically and economically. We believe continuation of this partnership is important to the nation and that the Act should be reauthorized. Two Ocean Commissions and the President’s US Ocean Action Plan all Support Reauthorization of the CZMA The Pew Oceans Commission (America’s Living Oceans: Charting a Course for Sea Change, May 2003), the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy (An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century, September 2004) and the President (U.S. Ocean Action Plan) all have supported reauthorization of the CZMA. The Pew Ocean Commission, on which NRDC’s President John Adams served, recognized the importance of the CZMA and recommended that the Act be expanded to include a mandate for coastal habitat protection. POC Report at 118-119. The Commission also recommended encouraging more active state and local growth-management efforts, as well as coordination of efforts among local jurisdictions and adjacent states to ensure a rational regional approach. POC Report at 119. S. 360 responds to both of these recommendations. It encourages a focus on coastal habitat protection and restoration in Section 8 of the bill (amending Section 306A, the Coastal Resource Improvement Program). In Section 11, S. 360 establishes a whole new program (Section 309A of the CZMA) to provide coastal community grants to encourage state and local communities to, among other things, assess and manage growth, public infrastructure and open space needs in order to provide for sustainable growth, resource protection and community revitalization. The U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy recommended that Congress reauthorize the CZMA to strengthen the planning and coordination capabilities of the states and enable them to incorporate a coastal watershed focus and more effectively manage growth. To this end, the U.S. Commission recommended including requirements for periodic resource assessments by each state, the development by each state of measurable goals and performance standards, improved program evaluations to measure state progress against these goals and standards, incentives for good performance and disincentives for inaction and expansion of state boundaries to include coastal watersheds. U.S.COP Report at 154-155. The Commission also recommended amending the Act to provide better financial, technical, and institutional support for watershed management activities. U.S. COP Report at 160. S. 360 responds to some, though not all, of these recommendations. It would be worthwhile for this Committee to consider incorporating more of these recommendations in S. 360. The President’s U.S. Ocean Action Plan also states its support for reauthorization of the CZMA. Plan at 27. Additional Comments on S. 360 We are generally supportive of language that encourages states to devote a meaningful portion of their CZM money to curbing polluted runoff into coastal waters. In the past, we have supported having a specific percentage of the Section 306/306A/309 grant money spent on implementation of the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Program in order to achieve needed progress in addressing water quality. We regret that there is nothing requiring this in S. 380. However, we do note and are supportive of language in Section 17 of S. 380 that would ensure that at least of portion of the new coastal community grants is spent on implementation of approved coastal nonpoint pollution control strategies and measures. (We recommend that it should be made clear that a state may spend more on these strategies should it so desire.) We strongly recommend that more money be provided to the states for implementation of the important Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program. Concerns with respect to other legislation We are very concerned about various legislative proposals --not included in S. 360--that are currently under consideration that, if adopted, would substantially weaken a key element of the CZMA, the federal consistency requirements. There are various proposals now before Congress to modify the federal consistency appeals process and/or to limit the geographic scope of the consistency requirement (see, for example, S. 726 and H.R. 6). It is noteworthy that neither the Pew Ocean Commission nor the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy recommended altering the federal consistency provisions of the CZMA. Indeed, the U.S. Commission specifically said: “Existing incentives for state participation—federal funding and federal consistency authority—should remain….” U.S. COP Report at 155. The National Governors Association (NGA) recently took a strong stand in support of retaining the current federal consistency provisions. NGA’s recently revised ocean-related policy Ocean and Coastal Zone Management (transmitted to the Chairman and Ranking Member of this Committee on March 18, 2005) states that: “The Governors urge Congress to retain all provisions of the act that ensure all federal activities within or outside the coastal zone that may affect the coastal zone are subject to the consistency review process. The Governors firmly believe that all federal actions in the coastal zone—or affecting any natural resources, land uses, or water uses in the coastal zone—should be fully consistent with approved coastal zone management plans. Consultation with states should begin early in the permitting and environmental impact assessment process. The Governors oppose any legislation or rulemaking that might weaken the CZMA requirements for coordination and consistency, such as:
· limiting the geographic scope of the states’ federal consistency jurisdiction;
· limiting the ability to receive and analyze adequate environmental data and information; or
· limiting the development of the appeals record in a manner that would place states at a disadvantage or discourage negotiated resolution of appeals.”
NGA Ocean and Coastal Zone Management Policy Position 10.4.3. (Emphasis added). Yet many of the legislative proposals would do exactly what the Governors oppose: limit the geographic scope of the states’ federal consistency jurisdiction (for example, by taking away the rights of states to consistency review for lease sales more than 20 miles from the state’s coastal zone); limit the ability to receive and analyze adequate environmental data or information (for example, by putting FERC in charge of setting the mandatory timetable for completion of all federal and state reviews, including consistency reviews, and giving one agency, such as FERC or MMS, the exclusive charge of compiling a single administrative record for all federal and state decisions); and limit the development of the appeals record in a manner that would place states at a disadvantage or discourage negotiated resolution of appeals (for example, by setting unreasonable timeframes for appeal decisions that may preclude consideration of relevant environmental information in EIS’s or Biological Opinions under the Endangered Species, or putting FERC in charge of compiling the record). According to NOAA, in the history of the CZMA, there have been only 14 instances where the oil and gas industry appealed a State’s Federal Consistency objection to the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary issued a decision. Of these 14 cases, there were 7 decisions to override the State’s objection, 7 decisions not to override the State. “The record shows that energy development continues to occur, while reasonable State review ensures that the CZMA objectives have been met.” See 67 Federal Register 44409 (July 2, 2002). We strongly oppose legislation that would weaken the consistency provisions of the CZMA. Thank you for this opportunity to testify. I would be happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Dr. W. Donald Hudson, Jr.Chair-electGulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment
W. Donald Hudson, Jr. Ph.D.
President, Chewonki Foundation;
Maine Governor Baldacci’s Non-Governmental Appointee to the
Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment;
President, US Gulf of Maine Association; and
Treasurer, National Marine Educators Association
Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
United States Senate
May 25, 2005, 10 a.m.
Introduction Chairman Stevens, Ranking Member Inouye, Senator Snowe and other distinguished members of the committee, I want to thank you for the opportunity to offer testimony today regarding S.360, the Coastal Zone Enhancement Reauthorization Act of 2005. My name is Donald Hudson and I am President of the Chewonki Foundation, a non profit environmental education institution that has, for ninety years, introduced thousands of Maine’s youth and adults to the wonders of the Maine coast and its watersheds. However today I am testifying in my capacity as Maine Governor John Baldacci’s non-government representative to the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. The Council is a U.S.-Canadian partnership of government and non-government organizations working to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine – one of the world’s most biologically productive environments -- to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations. Remarks With close to 5,300 miles of coastline, 78% of the state’s population, 80% of all tourist expenditures and a 1.7 billion dollar contribution to the gross state product, the coastal zone is a dominant natural and economic feature of my state of Maine. Whether it is the need for water access for fishermen in Maine’s easternmost Washington County, the need for infrastructure and sustainable development plans in our rapidly growing Midcoast area, or the need to permanently protect critical coastal habitats in Southernmost Maine, coastal management needs have outstripped my state’s capacity to keep pace. What I would call the first phase of coastal zone management successfully established basic core policies and environmental laws and supported a network of National Estuarine Research Reserves including one in Wells, Maine. While this initial work established essential foundations for balanced conservation and development, the next wave of coastal management needs to support the use of new tools and technology, innovative development practices, more effective education programs and more focused land conservation and restoration programs to achieve national goals for a healthy coast and robust coastal economy. Unfortunately, Maine’s federal CZM funds have been capped for more than five years, limiting our capacity to effectively manage coastal resources. It is my hope that a reauthorized Coastal Zone Management Act will represent this second wave of more sophisticated, comprehensive and effective coastal management in partnership with states and local communities. I will take this opportunity to discuss five aspects of S 360, offering examples of how this legislation would provide direct benefits to my home state of Maine. Finally, I’ll speak to the topics of regional eco-system based management where I believe there are additional opportunities to strengthen the CZMA. Strengthening Coastal Communities S.360 includes an important new focus on Coastal Communities Program in an enhanced Section 309. Like many other states, Maine has many, many municipalities in its coastal zone – 136 -- plus two tribes, several unorganized territories and more than 5000 islands. Small towns with little technical paid staff are the norm. Through current CZM-funded programs combined with state resources, Maine helps towns via grant programs and targeted technical assistance and training. One example of this work is Maine’s Working Waterfront Initiative where more than ninety partner organizations are working to retain critical small harbors for use by businesses that need a waterside location. Beginning with development of case studies of twenty-five working waterfront towns, CZM funds in Maine helped form a coastwide working waterfront coalition, a local grants program, a new technical assistance website, and direct assistance for land acquisition efforts. Maine’s legislature is currently contemplating the passage of a bond issue to establish a new working waterfronts acquisition program. Is there a better success story for coastal zone management than one that helps shed light on the problem, mobilizes constituents, creates solutions, helps local people to solve local problems and spurs new state investment in a critical problem? An enhanced coastal communities program would allow Maine to develop innovative programming targeted to the needs of our coastal towns. One such need is the capacity to work with groups of towns on targeted “bay management” programs, whereby groups of stakeholders would work side by side with state and federal officials to understand local systems through additional research, to create area specific resource management plans, and manage nearshore resources more effectively. Restoring Coastal Habitats S.360 strengthens the role of the CZMA in coastal habitat restoration. Through the use of CZMA funds, other federal resources, state contributions and local match, Maine completed five significant habitat restoration projects last year, forged a landmark agreement to restore diadromous fisheries on the Penobscot River while preserving hydropower production on the lower river and assisted thirty municipalities with habitat protection strategies. In Sagadahoc County, where I work, twelve towns are collaborating on a regional habitat and open space conservation effort. Getting Maine towns to work together is challenge enough, to have more than 100 people participate in a regional visioning session and giving the session rave reviews is a miracle! Research documents that protecting large, unfragmented tracts of important habitat, and linking protected habitats via buffered stream corridors is necessary to retain ecosystem functions. There are nine other regions in coastal Maine where such an innovative landscape-scale approach could be deployed if resources were provided. Reducing Coastal Non Point Pollution S. 360 clarifies that states can use CZM funds to implement coastal nonpoint pollution control programs. While this clarification is useful, authorization levels should reflect an additional $10 million for states to use in a flexible way to take the actions they deem to be effective in controlling nonpoint pollution instead of a zero sum game. Maine is typical of other coastal states in that nonpoint source pollution represents more than 80% of the remaining sources of pollution entering our estuaries and coastal waters. As a participant in a local program to monitor water quality, conduct shoreline surveys and open clamflats, I know that controlling coastal nonpoint pollution is ongoing, time consuming, hard work. Consistent federal investment to help meet water quality goals is vital. Given inconsistent levels of funding over the years, Maine has not been able to fully implement its federally approved coastal nonpoint program. For example, for three years when provided sufficient implementation funds, Maine was able to partner with the Maine Marine Trades Association to launch a Clean Marinas initiative, a voluntary certification program for marinas and boatyards that go the extra mile to reduce pollution beyond what is required by law. Maine’s program is the only one in the nation housed at a business trade organization. Through a modest investment of $50,000 in federal funds, leveraged by local resources five new marinas gained “clean” certification last year and the program’s technical assistance efforts are available statewide. Although MMTA has developed a business plan that will allow them to accept increasing responsibility for the Clean Marina program over subsequent years, without new coastal nonpoint funds, the fledgling program would not operate beyond June 2006. With all evidence pointing to the ongoing pervasive effects of polluted runoff on coastal systems, to not offer increased consistent funding to this program would be missing the mark. Conserving Coastal and Estuarine Lands Maine has just submitted its draft Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Plan, anticipating that an amended S360, or a separate bill, might formalize the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program as an ongoing competitive grant program to benefit all coastal states. Our planning effort identifies critical types of coastal lands that are most threatened by future development. All of the state’s major players in land conservation, including coastal land trusts were involved in its creation. Given such a blueprint, our conservation needs are many. Over the last eighteen years, the Land for Maine’s Future Program has invested more than $21 million for 75 projects in Maine’s coastal zone, helping to protect almost 26,000 acres of prime wildlife habitats, secure public access to the shore for boating and recreation, add to state and municipal park lands, maintain scenic areas, preserve coastal islands, and provide open space and recreational lands. A source of federal matching funds to help leverage state conservation dollars could significantly increase the pace and quality of coastal conservation in Maine. Advancing Coastal Education and Awareness The fifth area of S 360 that I will touch on is the benefit of The Coastal Training Program at the National Estuarine Research Reserves and other hands-on, innovative programs that bring teachers and students and decisionmakers more directly into contact with the habitats and ecosystems of coastal watersheds and the major issues of management and governance essential to secure a bright future for all. Whether it is a classroom of high school students conducting water quality surveys as part of chemistry class or a real estate business group gathering to learn about the value of wetlands on the landscape, sound management practices will never succeed unless the public understands and embraces them. The role of education cannot be understated. The Maine Coastal Program has a vision that includes a statewide network of Coastal Training Programs up and down the Maine coast that would function as centers of learning about local watersheds and provide a home for a variety of citizen stewardship and monitoring programs. Fostering Regional Governance Over the last fifteen years, CZM and other federal funds, combined with state resources from Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, have provided the seed money, as well as much of the brain power, that has established collaborative, transboundary management of the Gulf of Maine. Maine appreciates the support of Senator Snowe for these efforts, however, there is no ongoing dedicated support. The governors and premiers of the five Gulf jurisdictions - Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia - created the Council in 1989 as a regional forum to exchange information and engage in long-term planning. The Council conducts environmental monitoring; provides science translation for coastal managers; organizes conferences and workshops; offers grants and recognition awards; raises public awareness about the Gulf; and connects people, organizations, and information. The Gulf of Maine Council’s model approach was recognized by the US Ocean Commission and our experience has contributed to the body of ideas being developed around regional governance and ocean councils. In response to the US Ocean Commission report and President Bush’s Ocean Action Plan, the CZMA could be further strengthened to support regional ocean governance. Maine’s Governor John Baldacci, as stated in his comments to the US Ocean Commission, places a high priority on building a more robust regional governance model using the Council, the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System and other framework elements currently in place. Our Governor knows that the timing is perfect for strengthening regional governance in the Gulf of Maine as our Canadian partners are developing their Ocean Action Strategy and establishing Large Ocean Management Areas. While we are well poised for exciting ecosystem-based management work, we need Congressional support and a strengthened federal-state partnership to make this happen. The CZMA is one place Congress might invest in federal/state ocean planning and management and a regional grant programs to support this work on an ongoing basis. Thank you again for the opportunity to present this testimony. I would be happy to answer questions.
Mr. Tom FryPresidentNational Ocean Industries Association
Statement of Tom Fry
National Ocean Industries Association
on behalf of the
National Ocean Industries Association,
American Petroleum Institute,
Domestic Petroleum Council,
Independent Petroleum Association of America,
International Association of Drilling Contractors,
Natural Gas Supply Association, and
U.S. Oil and Gas Association
S. 360, the Coastal Zone Enhancement Reauthorization Act of 2005
Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
May 25, 2005
Madam Chairwoman and Members of the Committee, I appreciate the opportunity to testify here today on S. 360, the Coastal Zone Enhancement Reauthorization Act of 2005. I serve as President of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore energy industry. The NOIA membership comprises more than 300 companies engaged in activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment installation, manufacture and supply, and geophysical surveying to diving. This testimony is submitted on behalf of NOIA, the American Petroleum Institute, the Domestic Petroleum Council, the Independent Petroleum Association of America, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, the Natural Gas Supply Association, and the U.S. Oil and Gas Association. Our seven national trade associations represent thousands of companies, both majors and independents, engaged in all sectors of the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. While our industry supports the Coastal Zone Management Act’s (CZMA) stated purpose of balancing the often competing and conflicting demands of coastal resource use, economic development, and conservation through cooperative partnerships among federal, state and local governments, we do not believe that the current statute is meeting that goal. Instead, the current implementation of the CZMA has produced regulatory uncertainty and unreasonably impeded outer continental shelf exploration and production projects, as well as the siting of offshore energy infrastructure. Therefore, while we support a reauthorization of the Act, we could not support S. 360 unless it was amended to clarify the CZMA and correct the implementation deficiencies. CZMA Implementation Affects U.S. Energy Production It is important to consider the implementation of the CZMA in the context of the overall energy challenges facing our nation. Energy demand is on the rise. The U.S. economy currently requires 20 million barrels of oil and 63 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day, according to the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2005, and these numbers are expected to increase in coming years. Without a concurrent increase in supply, this situation is unsustainable and could lead to serious economic repercussions for both consumers and industries dependent on natural gas and oil – industries as diverse as automobiles, chemicals, electricity generation, airplane fuel, agricultural fertilizers, clothing manufacturing, and plywood production. Addressing regulatory inefficiencies that hinder or stall the development of a significant portion of our domestic energy resources is one achievable step toward increasing domestic supply and meeting our nation’s energy needs. The issues associated with the coastal zone management process represent a significant threat to the energy industry’s ability to explore for and produce offshore oil and natural gas, and consequently present a substantial impediment to the development of domestic energy supplies. Failure to make the necessary changes to the CZMA will continue to contribute to the supply-demand imbalance, increased reliance on foreign sources of energy, and the shifting overseas of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in U.S. revenue. It is for these reasons that we strongly urge the Committee to clarify the CZMA and correct the implementation deficiencies. Overlapping jurisdiction of multiple government agencies, coupled with conflicting federal laws (or conflicting interpretations of these statutes) have resulted in serious problems with the coastal zone management process. Companies trying to find and develop offshore energy resources frequently encounter duplicative requirements that result in costly delays in the regulatory process, even when these activities would not adversely impact states’ coastal zones. As noted in the President’s National Energy Policy Report, delays and uncertainties of the CZMA can hinder proper energy exploration and production projects. Proposed Amendments to the Coastal Zone Management Act In order to allow the CZMA to achieve its intended purpose without hindering the nation’s energy development, we strongly urge the Committee to consider the following technical amendments to the CZMA in S. 360: 1) Amend the definition of “enforceable policy” in 16 U.S.C. § 1453(6a) to limit a state’s CZMA consistency review to activities occurring within its own boundaries or offshore its own state. The CZMA was intended to grant a state the right to conduct a consistency review of federal licenses and permits within the territorial boundaries of that state. However, the statute has been implemented to allow states to review activities and block permits for activities taking place offshore other states. This amendment would still allow states to conduct a consistency review for all licenses and permits within its boundaries and off its own shore, but would stop states from interfering with the actions of other states within the other states’ boundaries or off the other states’ shores. 2) Amend 16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(3)(B) to allow a single consistency certification for an outer continental shelf plan to cover all activities, including air and water permits. The energy industry has experienced inordinate delays due to the lack of coordination between federal agencies in processing permits for outer continental shelf activities, especially involving separate state consistency reviews for the multiple permits that are required. This consolidated process would increase the efficiency of state consistency reviews for outer continental shelf plans by achieving a single consistency certification for all related permitted activities, including air and water discharges, conducted pursuant to either an exploration plan, or a plan of development and production. 3) Amend 16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(3)(B) to grant the Secretary of the Interior the authority to determine information requirements for consistency certifications. Some states have used findings of “lack of information” to deny consistency certifications and obstruct outer continental shelf activity. The Secretary of the Interior has adopted detailed information requirements for outer continental shelf plans and specific Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act requirements for the Department of the Interior’s consultation with state coastal zone authorities regarding areas of particular state concern. The Secretary is therefore in the best position to conduct an analysis of the information requirements. 4) Amend 16 U.S.C. § 1456(c)(3)(B)(iii) to provide the Secretary of the Interior with the authority to override state appeals concerning OCS activities. The Department of the Interior’s expertise regarding outer continental shelf plans and their impacts make the Interior Secretary, as opposed to the Commerce Secretary, uniquely suited to implement the law in this area. 5) Amend 16 U.S.C. § 1465 to ensure timely decisions by the Secretary to override appeals. CZMA appeals continue to be drawn out by overlong agency commenting, and by the Commerce Department’s implementation of the requirement that the deadline for decision-making does not begin to run until after the administrative record is closed. This amendment is needed to institute a definite deadline that is only governed by when the appeal is filed. The need for predictability in these override decisions mandates a preordained time for review; otherwise, continuing abuse will be endemic to the decisional process. Conclusion We support the goals and intent of the Coastal Zone Management Act, and believe that the technical amendments discussed here would improve the implementation of the statute by streamlining the review process while preserving states’ rights. I appreciate your consideration of our concerns regarding S. 360, and I will be happy to answer any questions.
Mr. Bill JeffressDirector, Office of Project Management and PermittingAlaska Department of Natural Resources