State agency actions must be consistent with State coastal policies or with a Secretary of State approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). This includes LWRPs for municipalities that are outside of the Coastal Area but along a designated inland waterway. This is in addition to any federal consistency review that may be necessary (e.g. there are federal permits or federal financial assistance). A list of State agency actions subject to consistency with an LWRP is included in Section VI of approved LWRPs.
To determine if the proposed activity would take place in or near the Coastal Area, follow the link to the Coastal Atlas on the Geographic Information Gateway and enter the project address or location in the box. See “Using the Coastal Atlas on the GIS Gateway.”
Refer to the list of Designated Inland Waterways to determine if the activity proposed for funding would take place along such a waterway. Inland waterways are not mapped but are listed by name in Executive Law Article 42 Section 911. Communities on a designated inland waterway may draft an LWRP for Secretary of State approval. Once approved, the LWRP is binding on state agency actions.
State agencies must complete a Coastal Assessment Form (CAF) as soon as the agency contemplates an action that may affect the policies for the Coastal Area or of an approved LWRP. Please browse to the DOS Coastal Program Regulations (19 NYCRR Part 600) for the definition of “action” as it relates to consistency review for state agency actions. The CAF should be completed before a State agency makes a determination of significance pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) so that the effects of an action on the achievement of the coastal policies or the policies of an LWRP are considered in deciding whether an EIS should be required. This CAF may need to be submitted to DOS depending on circumstances. The specific submittal instructions are provided on the CAF.
When a State agency is acting as the lead agency or as an involved agency for actions involving an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) pursuant to SEQRA, the EIS must include an identification of applicable coastal policies and the effects of the action on those polices. Where a State agency answers any question on the CAFF with a yes, they must briefly describe the nature and extent of the action and forward a copy of the CAF to DOS. This requirement does not apply to permit actions unless such actions involve federal review, funding or approval.
A State agency shall not make a final decision regarding an action unless and until the agency has made a written finding that its action is consistent with State coastal policies in 19 NYCRR Part 600.5 or 19 NYCRR Part 600.6, or an approved LWRP.
When a State agency is considering an action that may affect the policies or purposes of an approved LWRP, the agency must contact the LWRP municipality directly. This is to provide the municipality with the opportunity to identify any potential conflicts between the State agency action and its LWRP. If the municipality identifies a conflict, the State agency and the municipality should meet to resolve the issue. If they cannot agree, either party may notify the Secretary of State. The Secretary will confer with the State agency and the municipality to modify the proposed action to be consistent with the LWRP.
At the time of the State agency’s decision on the action it must file a certification with DOS that the action will not substantially hinder the achievement of any of the coastal policies and purposes of the NYS Coastal Management Program CMP or an approved LWRP and where practicable will advance one or more policies. If the action will substantially hinder the achievement of any policy or purpose the agency shall not undertake the activity unless, the State agency can instead certify that the following requirements are satisfied:
- No reasonable alternatives exist which would permit the action to be taken in a manner which would not substantially hinder the achievement of such policy or purpose.
- The action taken will minimize all adverse effects on the local policies and purposes to the maximum extent practicable.
- The action will advance one or more of the other coastal policies (not required when the activity would occur within the boundaries of a Secretary of State approved LWRP)
- The action will result in an overriding regional or statewide public benefit.
Such certification shall constitute a determination that the action is consistent to the maximum extent practicable with the CMP or applicable approved LWRP.