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Virginia Coastal Program: 2009 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:

91.02

Grantee:

Environmental Law Institute

Project Title:

Program Administration: Routine Program Changes & Amendments

Project Description as Proposed:

The Virginia CZM Program was fully approved by NOAA in 1986. Since program approval, 13 Routine Program Updates have been submitted and approved by NOAA in an effort to keep the core regulatory authorities of the Virginia CZM Program up to date. Under this project, ELI will draft either additional program change submissions or program amendment documents. Specific issues to be addressed will be determined based on consultation with members of the Virginia Coastal Policy Team. A more detailed contract will then be negotiated with ELI. One issue of increasing concern is the lack of any species protection laws in Virginia’s CZM Program. This program did not incorporate Virginia’s state endangered species law and may wish to consider including it, which would most likely require a program amendment. As offshore energy development pressure increases, it may be more and more important to have endangered species protection incorporated into the Virginia CZM Program. Another issue that has arisen is the increase in offshore breakwater construction which can have deleterious impacts on the endangered tiger beetle. Inclusion of state protection laws within the Virginia CZM Program would provide more protection against issuance of inappropriate state and federal permits.

ELI will prepare submissions in a format and content suitable to NOAA in conformance with OCRM Program Change Guidance and Regulations at 15 CFR 923 by requesting feedback from NOAA throughout the project period. However, ELI is not acting as legal counsel to the Commonwealth.

During this process, ELI will consult regularly with the Virginia CZM Program and NOAA to ensure that the process is on track and that the submissions will be suitable to both the Virginia CZM Program and NOAA.

Federal Funding:

$29,433

Project Contact:

James McElfish, (202) 939-3840; mcelfish@eli.org

Project Status:

10/1/09 - 9/30/10; Project Completed

Final Product Received:

Analysis of Virginia Threatened and Endangered Species Policy Incorporation into CZM Enforceable Policies (PDF)
Enforceable Policies of Virginia’s Coastal Management Program: An Inventory by the Environmental Law Institute (PDF)

Project Summary Provided by Grantee:

ELI conducted analysis and review of the history of Virginia-listed threatened and endangered species under the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and under Virginia laws. ELI interviewed state agency personnel at DGIF and VDOT and DEQ. ELI examined Virginia’s coastal executive order, the final Environmental Impact Statement on the 1986 program approval, and subsequent amendments to the Virginia code sections affecting threatened and endangered species. Analysis included the new sections enacted by the Virginia General Assembly in 2011 and signed into law by the Governor. ELI prepared an analytic document presenting the options for including Virginia-listed species in the Coastal Zone Management Program Enforceable Policies. The key choices are whether to: incorporate DGIF T&E wildlife (including the new amendments passed this session), incorporate DAC T&E plants and invertebrates, or do neither. ELI’s final document, entitled ANALYSIS OF VIRGINIA THREATENED AND ENDANGERED SPECIES POLICY INCORPORATION INTO CZM ENFORCEABLE POLICIES, identifies options for addressing T&E species. The document is not currently on the web, but can be made available at the discretion of the coastal management program.
As a second product, ELI reviewed and analyzed all of the Enforceable Policies now articulated in Virginia’s approved Coastal Zone Management Program, both as originally approved and as updated through successive routine program changes. ELI inventoried the current location and support for these Enforceable Policies in the Virginia Code. ELI prepared a three-part document conveying the results as follows: 1. The cover and explanation of the approach2. The spreadsheet identifying each and every legal provision approved by NOAA over the course of the program and where it currently resides in the Virginia Code3. A brief appendix looking at how the enforceable policies are summarized on the DEQ website, with notes about how a restated approach might work or build upon this organizationELI submitted three documents, available for review at the discretion of Virginia’s Coastal Program; these will chiefly serve to support the future restatement of Virginia’s Enforceable Policies, and may be obtained on request to the program: -       ENFORCEABLE POLICIES OF VIRGINIA’S COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: An Inventory by the Environmental Law Institute -       Table: Enforceable Policies as of January 2011

Appendix: Preliminary Review of Federal Consistency Information Presented by the Department of Environmental Quality Office of Environmental Impact Review

 

 

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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