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e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2021

Title 15Subtitle BChapter IXSubchapter BPart 923Subpart H → §923.81

Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
Subpart H—Changes to Approved Management Programs

§923.81   Program change procedures, deadlines, public notice and comment, and application of approved changes.

(a) Pursuant to section 306(d)(6) of the Act and §930.11(o) of this subchapter, all program changes shall be submitted to NOAA by: The Governor of a coastal state with an approved management program; the head of the single state agency designated under the management program to be the lead state agency for administering the CZMA; or the head of an office within the designated single state agency if the state has authorized that person to submit program changes. Program changes may be submitted to NOAA on a cyclical basis (e.g., quarterly, twice a year, annually) or as the changes occur.

(1) One (1) copy shall be submitted electronically using the Program Change Form on NOAA's Program Change website, http://coast.noaa.gov/czmprogramchange.

(i) If a state is not able to electronically send all or part of a program change to NOAA through NOAA's Program Change website, the state and NOAA shall agree to an alternative method (e.g., email, electronic CD, or a state website). In such instances, NOAA will, to the extent practicable, post the program change to NOAA's Program Change website.

(ii) [Reserved]

(2) All deadlines and timeframes under this subpart shall start on the first full business day after the day NOAA receives a program change (Day 1). For example, if a submission is received on a Thursday, day one of NOAA's review period would be Friday; if the day of receipt is Friday and Monday is a Federal holiday, Day 1 would be Tuesday. All days, starting with Day 1, are included in the calculation of total time for a deadline, including weekends and Federal holidays, except for the last day (e.g., Day 30 or Day 120). The day that NOAA's decision is due shall also end on a full business day. For example, if Day 30 is a Saturday, then NOAA's decision will be due the next Monday, or if Monday is a Federal holiday, on Tuesday. A state may request that NOAA's review period begin on a specified date following receipt by NOAA.

(b) Within 5 days of receipt of a program change submission, NOAA shall notify the state (via email or letter) of the date the program change was received and NOAA's expected decision deadline. NOAA will also notify the state within 10 days of receipt of a program change submission if NOAA determines the submission is incomplete. If NOAA determines a submission is incomplete, NOAA shall inform the state that the program change review timeline shall not start until the missing information is submitted. During NOAA's review of a program change request, NOAA may request additional information that NOAA needs to make its decision.

(c) NOAA's program change review period shall start on Day 1 pursuant to paragraph (a)(2) of this section, unless NOAA determines the submission is incomplete pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section. NOAA shall respond to the state (via email or letter) within 30 calendar days after the date NOAA receives a program change. NOAA's approval is presumed if NOAA does not respond or extend its review period within the 30-day period. NOAA may extend its review period up to 120 days after receipt of a program change request, if NOAA so notifies the state during the 30-day period. NOAA can extend beyond 120 days only as necessary to meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.). NOAA shall inform the state via email or letter whether NOAA approves, approves in part, approves with qualifications or denies the incorporation of the program change into the state's management program.

(d) States shall, to the extent practicable, consult with NOAA prior to state adoption of new or revised state laws, policies, regulations, and other changes the state intends to submit to NOAA as a program change. States are encouraged to submit draft program changes to NOAA for informal review and comment prior to submitting a program change. If consulted, NOAA shall review draft submissions to identify issues that would need to be addressed in the formal submission.

(e)(1) A state shall post a public notice of its program change on the state's management program website in a conspicuous manner, and email or mail the public notice to local and regional offices of relevant Federal agencies, Federal agency CZMA headquarter contacts identified on NOAA's Federal consistency website, affected local governments and state agencies, and to individuals requesting direct notice. To meet the requirement for direct public notice (via email or mail), states are encouraged to maintain a coastal management listserv or mailing list. In addition to posting the public notice on the state's website and notifying the parties described above, states may, but are not required to, publish the notice in any state bulletin or newspaper. The timing of the state's public notice. States will draft a public notice of a submission, which shall be included as part of the contents of the program change submission form. When NOAA posts the program change submission on its Program Change website, NOAA will notify the state management program via email. The state will then post its public notice on the state web page providing a link to the submission on NOAA's Program Change website. The state shall send the public notice and link to the state and local agencies, Federal agency contacts, and others who have requested the state's public notice. Day 1 for NOAA review purposes will be the first business day after the state submits to NOAA the program change request. However, the 21-day comment period shall not start until the state posts its public notice on the state web page. If a state fails to post its public notice, then NOAA may either determine the program change submission is not complete and the review period has not started or deny the program change request.

(2) A state's public notice shall:

(i) Describe the changes to the management program;

(ii) If applicable, identify any new, modified or deleted enforceable policies of the management program;

(iii) Indicate that any comments on the incorporation of the program change into the state's management program shall be submitted to NOAA through NOAA's Program Change website within 21 calendar days of the date of the state's public notice; and

(3) NOAA shall post all program changes on its Program Change website where any interested party may review or download materials. NOAA shall also post on its Program Change website deadlines, extensions and any comments received. For each program change posted on NOAA's website, NOAA shall notify the Federal agency CZMA headquarter contacts (identified on NOAA's Federal consistency website) via email. In addition, any party may request through the Program Change website that NOAA notify them via email when program changes are submitted by one or more state(s). NOAA's email shall also state that any party may, through NOAA's Program Change website, submit comments to NOAA on a state's request to incorporate a program change into the state's management program within 21 calendar days from the date of the state's public notice. NOAA shall only consider public and Federal agency comments for program change requests that are pending for a NOAA decision; no comments shall be accepted or considered for program changes once NOAA issues its decision. If a state, during or after the public comment period, submits directly to NOAA a response to a comment before NOAA issues a decision, NOAA shall consider the state's response and post the state's response on the Program Change website.

(4) NOAA may, at its discretion, extend the public comment period or hold a public hearing. NOAA shall only consider holding a public hearing for a program change that would substantially change a management program and/or be controversial.

(5) NOAA shall post its program change decisions on its CZMA Program Change website and shall notify, by email, Federal agency CZMA headquarter contacts and individuals requesting such notice. A state shall post NOAA's decision regarding a state's program change on the state agency's website.

(f) Application of approved program changes for Federal consistency purposes under section 307 of the Act (16 U.S.C. 1456) and part 930 of this subchapter. The effective date for the approved changes will be the date on NOAA's approval letter. NOAA will post its program change decision letters on its Program Change website. Changes to a state's management program and enforceable policies shall apply for Federal consistency purposes to Federal actions proposed on or after the date NOAA approves the changes. Approved program changes shall not apply retroactively to state Federal consistency reviews under 15 CFR part 930 initiated prior to the date NOAA approved the changes, except as allowed by part 930 (e.g., a Federal action was finalized or authorized and there is a substantial change, amendment or renewal proposed for the Federal action on or after the date of NOAA's approval of a program change, pursuant to the applicable subpart of part 930).

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