Federal Consistency Review Projects Requiring Federal Permits or Authorizations 

Overview

Projects that require federal permits or authorizations, such as a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Permit, may require consistency review by the NYS Department of State if the proposed activity would take place in, or affect, the Coastal Area. Projects performed by or on behalf of a federal agency follow a different process.

Applicability

Determine if the project is in a 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.” 

  • If a proposed project would not be in the Coastal Area, no federal consistency review is required unless the proposed project is likely to affect the uses and resources of the Coastal Area.  
    • If so, the applicant should submit a Federal Consistency Assessment Form (FCAF) and all necessary data and information.  
    • If the applicant does not choose to do this, DOS may request that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compel its submittal.  
  • If located in the Coastal Area:  
    • A proposed project that requires federal authorization that is listed in the table below called “Federal Licenses and Permits and Other Forms of Approval or Authorization” requires federal consistency review.  
      • Most of these authorizations are from the US Army Corps of Engineers  
      • If the only federal authorization is a Nationwide Permit or a Regional General Permit, special provisions may apply. See Tables below.  
    • A proposed project that requires federal authorization that is not listed in the table below called “Federal Licenses and Permits and Other Forms of Approval or Authorization” requires federal consistency review if the project is likely to affect the uses and resources of the Coastal Area.  
      • If so, the applicant should submit a Federal Consistency Assessment Form and all necessary data and information.  
      • If the applicant does not choose to do this, DOS may request that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compel its submittal.  

Nationwide Permit

Activities authorized under USACE nationwide permits (NWP) are considered to have minimal effects, and the Department of State (DOS) routinely exempts projects needing certain kinds of NWP from consistency review.    

Project sponsors should contact the USACE to determine if a project meets the requirements for a particular nationwide permit.  Nationwide Permit Information.

Any activity authorized under the following NWPs are unlikely to have significant coastal effects and DO NOT currently require consistency review.  These may be subject to change and are, generally, reevaluated every five years. The NWPs below will expire on March 14, 2026:  
 

Nationwide Permit #

Nationwide Permit

Year Authorized

1

Aids to Navigation

02-25-2022

4

Fish and Wildlife Harvesting, Enhancement and Attraction Devices and Activities

02-25-2022

10

Mooring Bouys

02-25-2022

15

U.S. Coast Guard Approved Bridges

02-25-2022

16

Return Water from Upland Contained Disposal Areas

02-25-2022

17

Hydropower Projects

02-25-2022

18

Minor Discharges

02-25-2022

19

Minor Dredging

02-25-2022

20

Response Operations for Oil and Hazardous Substances

02-25-2022

22

Removal of Vessels

02-25-2022

23

Approved Categorical Exclusions

02-25-2022

24

Indian Tribe or State Administered Section 404 Programs

02-25-2022

30

Moist Soil Management for Wildlife

02-25-2022

31

Maintenance of Existing Flood Control Activities

02-25-2022

34

Cranberry Production Activities

02-25-2022

37

Emergency Watershed Protection and Rehabilitation

02-25-2022

41

Reshaping Existing Drainage Ditches

02-25-2022

46

Discharges into Ditches

02-25-2022

53

Removal of Low-Head Dams

02-25-2022

 

Projects which qualify for the following Nationwide Permits may potentially have significant coastal effects. Therefore, consistency review is ALWAYS required for any activity authorized under the following nationwide permits. These may be subject to change and are, generally, reevaluated every five years. The NWPs below will expire on March 14, 2026:
 

Nationwide Permit #

Nationwide Permit

Year Authorized

5

Scientific Measuring Devices

02/25/2022

7

Outfall Structures and Associated Intake Structures

02/25/2022

8

Oil and Gas Structures on the Outer Continental Shelf

02/25/2022

12

Utility Line Activities

03/15/2021

14

Linear Transportation Projects

02/25/2022

21

Surface Coal Mining Activities

03/15/2021

25

Structural Discharges

02/25/2022

27

Aquatic Habitat Restoration, Establishment, and Enhancement Activities

02/25/2022

29

Residential Developments

03/15/2021

32

Completed Enforcement Activities

02/25/2022

33

Temporary Construction, Access, and Dewatering

02/25/2022

39

Commercial and Institutional Developments

03/15/2021

40

Agricultural Activities

03/15/2021

42

Recreational Facilities

03/15/2021

43

Stormwater Management Facilities

03/15/2021

44

Mining Activities

03/15/2021

45

Repair of Uplands Damaged by Discrete Events

02/25/2022

48

Commercial Shellfish Aquaculture Activities

02/25/2022

49

Coal Remining Activities

02/25/2022

50

Underground Coal Mining Activities

03/15/2021

51

Land-Based Renewable Energy Generation Facilities

03/15/2021

52

Water-Based Renewable Energy Generation Pilot Projects

03/15/2021

54

Living Shorelines

02/25/2022

55

Seaweed Mariculture Activities (proposed NWP A)

03/15/2021

56

Finfish Mariculture Activities (proposed NWP B)

03/15/2021

57

Electric Utility Line and Telecommunications Activities (proposed NWP C)

03/15/2021

58

Utility Line Activities for Water and Other Substances (proposed NWP D)

03/15/2021

59

Water Reclamation and Reuse Facilities (proposed NWP E)

02/25/2022

 
For the following Nationwide Permits, consistency review is NOT required AS LONG AS certain conditions are met. Please refer to the Coastal Boundary Map for permits which are conditioned based on their geographic location. These may be subject to change and are, generally, reevaluated every five years. The NWPs below will expire on March 14, 2026:

 

Nationwide Permit #

Nationwide Permit / Conditions

Year Authorized

3

Maintenance - The DOS concurs with the Corps' consistency determination for NWP 3 outside of tidal wetlands and within the NYS Coastal Area where the activities to be authorized would; involve the repair/replacement in-place or landward, with no waterward expansion or increase in footprint; those proposed within the artificial canals identified by DOS at: http://appext20.dos.ny.gov/coastal_map_public/map.aspx; or for those authorized by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) under General Permit GP-0-20-004 Great Lakes Erosion Control Permit (see: https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/120369.html).

02/25/2022

6

Survey Activities – The DOS concurs with the Corps’ consistency determination for NWP 6 where the activities to be authorized would be limited to sample plots or transects for wetland delineations and historic resources surveys.

02/25/2022

11

Temporary Recreational Structures - The DOS concurs with the Corps’ consistency determination for NWP 11 where the activities to be authorized are for structures that are in place for no more than 30 days in a given calendar year AND are for non-residential purposes. 

02/25/2022

13

Bank Stabilization - The DOS concurs with the Corps' consistency determination for NWP 13 where the activities to be authorized would occur within the canals identified by DOS at: http://appext20.dos.ny.gov/coastal_map_public/map.aspx, or would be authorized under the DEC GP-0-20-004 Great Lakes Erosion Control General Permit at: https://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/120369.html.

02/25/2022


For the following Nationwide Permits, consistency review is NOT required AS LONG AS the activity would take place OUTSIDE of the New York City Waterfront Revitalization Program. These may be subject to change and are, generally, reevaluated every five years. The NWPs below will expire on March 14, 2026:
 

Nationwide Permit #

Nationwide Permit

Year Authorized

2

Structures in Artificial Canals

02/25/2022

9

Structures in Fleeting and Anchorage Areas

02/25/2022

28

Modifications of Existing Marinas

02/25/2022

35

Maintenance Dredging of Existing Basins

02/25/2022

36

Boat Ramps

02/25/2022

38

Cleanup of Hazardous and Toxic Waste

02/25/2022

 

Questions regarding consistency review may directed to [email protected]

 

Application

Project sponsors needing federal consistency review must complete and sign the Federal Consistency Assessment Form (FCAF). Sponsors of project in New York City may submit a NYC Consistency Assessment Form (NYC CAF) in lieu of the FCAF. Refer to the Coastal Atlas to determine if the proposed project is located within any DOS-identified Special Management Areas (i.e., Significant Coastal Fish and Wildlife Habitat, Scenic Area of Statewide Significance, or Local Waterfront Revitalization Program) in order to more accurately complete the FCAF.  

 

Necessary Data and Information  

All FCAF’s must be accompanied by all “Necessary Data and Information.”  

  1.  Copy of the application materials for a federal permit, license, or other approval (note NWP exemptions above). In many situations this is the “Joint Application” (if you are applying to the Army Corps of Engineers). Consult the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation at https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/permits_ej_operations_pdf/jointapp.pdf  
  2. Copy of the completed FCAF which includes a SIGNED consistency certification and WRITTEN ANALYSIS of the proposed activity's consistency with the enforceable State Coastal Policies (for activities within a Regional Coastal Management Program Area, such as the Long Island Sound CMP, or a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, the enforceable policies are those within the regional or local program). Refer to the Coastal Atlas in order to determine if the proposed activity would be undertaken in or would otherwise affect any of the above regional or local management areas.  
  3. Copy of all of the following information:  
    • a detailed description of the proposed activity, its associated facilities and coastal effects;  
    • map(s) showing the specific geographic location of the proposed activity (a location map can easily be printed from the Coastal Atlas);  
    • site map(s) and diagram(s) drawn to scale showing all components of the activity and their location on the site;  
    • recent color photographs of the site showing the existing site in its entirety;  
    • written statement on the purpose and need for the activity;  
    • identification of the owners of the abutting upland properties and underwater lands;  
    • written analysis of alternatives to the proposed activity considered which support the selection of the proposed alternative; and    
    • Any other supporting documentation submitted with the federal application  
  4. Copy of the final Environmental Impact Statement, if required by the federal agency or by a state agency having jurisdiction over the proposed activity.  
  5. Copies of all applications and related correspondence submitted to involved state agencies for permits, licenses, etc. (e.g., DEC, OGS, SHPO, NYPA, PSC).  
  6. Energy facilities subject to Article VII or Article 10 of the New York State Public Service Law must submit all documentation submitted to the Siting Board for its consideration through to the conclusion of its public hearing process.  

Review

DOS can begin its consistency review of the proposed activity once all of the necessary data and information is received. After DOS has reviewed the data and information, the applicant will be notified if any additional information is required in order to assess the consistency of the proposed activity with the NYS Coastal Management Program (CMP).  The biggest single source of delay in processing consistency reviews is applicant failure to provide all the necessary information.    

The bases for consistency reviews conducted by DOS are:   

  • The enforceable policies in Part II, Section 6 of the CMP document;  
  • The guidelines found in the explanations of those policies; and   
  • The management programs for local waterfront revitalization programs or the Long Island Sound Regional Coastal Management Program, which have been approved and incorporated into the State’s CMP.   

During its review, if it appears that a proposal may in some way not be consistent with the CMP, DOS may suggest ways the proposal can be modified to be consistent with the coastal policies.  

Decision

For most activities DOS review and decision are completed within thirty days of receipt of a completed consistency certification and all necessary information, but it may take up to six months. Longer review periods are more typical for complicated activities, activities involving coordinated public and interagency reviews, or activities that are the subject of an environmental impact statement. DOS and the applicant may agree to other time frames to accommodate changes in a proposed activity or resolve outstanding issues.  

Once a decision has been made regarding the consistency of the proposed activity, DOS will notify the applicant and the federal agency. If an activity is found by DOS to be inconsistent with the CMP the federal agency cannot proceed to authorize that activity.   

An applicant may appeal a consistency decision by DOS to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. If the DOS decision is appealed, the federal agency may only approve the activity after the Secretary of Commerce determines that the activity is consistent with the objectives and purposes of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act or necessary in the interest of national security.