Federal Consistency
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Federal Consistency

Federal Consistency

The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) of 1972 established the federal Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program, a unique federal-state partnership that provides a basis for protecting, restoring, and responsibly developing the nation’s coastal communities and natural resources. Membership in the federal CZM Program allows a state to participate in the federal consistency review process and have greater influence over federal actions occurring in the state’s coastal area. Federal consistency under the CZMA requires the federal government to comply with a state’s federally approved CMP when taking actions that are likely to affect coastal resources.

In 1997, the Texas Coastal Management Program (CMP), administered by the Texas General Land Office (GLO), became a federally approved member of the CZM Program. The Texas CMP is a “networked program” that links together the existing regulations, programs, and local, state, and federal entities that manage various aspects of coastal resource uses. Upon certification of the Texas CMP, the GLO can conduct federal consistency reviews of federal agency actions that require a license or permit activity, federal agency activities and development projects, and federal financial assistance requests. Texas’s federal consistency review authority specifically grants Texas authority to concur, or object based on an analysis of how consistent the proposed federal action is with the Texas CMP’s goals and enforceable policies.

Federal Consistency Guidance

The GLO’s goal is to use the federal consistency processes to provide open communication and coordination with federal agencies and applicants and provide the public with an opportunity to participate in the process.
The Texas CMP Federal Consistency Guidance is a one-stop training and guidance document intended for federal entities that conduct consistency reviews. This document is meant to facilitate understanding of the GLO’s federal consistency review requirements and associated processes and is based on the 1996 Texas CMP Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS). This document includes detailed information regarding coastal natural resource areas (CNRAs), CMP goals and enforceable policies, federal consistency review processes, and permitting assistance provided by the GLO.

Federal Consistency Guidance Manual
This document reflects the new federal consistency procedures in 31 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Chapter 30 that became effective on July 10, 2023.

Submit a Consistency Certification or Determination

A federal agency is required to provide a state with a consistency determination (CD) for federal agency activities affecting coastal uses or resources. A non-federal applicant for a federal license or permit activity is required to provide a state with a consistency certification (CC) if the state has identified the federal license or permit on a list of activities subject to federal consistency review in its federally approved coastal management program. Federally permitted projects(CCs)must be "consistent" with the CMP, whereas federal agency activities(CDs)must be"consistentto the maximum extent practicable".

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Legal and Regulatory Authority

CZMA Statute (.pdf) - Act of Congress passed in 1972 to encourage coastal states to develop and implement coastal zone management plans.   

National Federal Consistency Regulations

Texas Coastal Coordination Act

Texas CMP Goals & Enforceable Policies

  • CMP FEIS (.pdf) - Texas Coastal Management Program Final Environmental Impact Statement.   
  • Texas CMP Goals (.pdf) - Texas Coastal Management Program goals guide the interpretation and long-term implementation of the CMP.
  • Texas CMP Enforceable Policies (.pdf) - Texas Coastal Management Program Enforceable Policies are uniform, established, enforceable policies used by networked agencies to guide government decision-making that may affect Coastal Natural Resource Areas.

Texas’s Listed Federal Actions Subject to the Coastal Zone Management Act

Rules & Statutory Authority

Coastal Coordination Act, Tex. Nat. Res. Code 33.201 et seq.

Other Federal Consistency Materials  


Consistency Forms & Checklists

Detailed Federal Consistency Statement for federal agency actions, federal agency activities and development projects, and negative certifications

Detailed form for applicants seeking a consistency certification review, federal agency’s or third-party contractor’s providing a consistency determination or negative determination.  This document is not required for a federal agency consistency determination or negative determination but does provide by way of example the types of information that is required for a consistency review.  GLO will use the information contained in the form to complete the consistency review.

GLO Federal Consistency Contact

Leslie Koza
Federal Consistency Coordinator

Federal Consistency FAQs

What are the four types of federal actions?

  1. Federal agency activities and development projects, CZMA §307(c)(1), (2) and 15 CFR Part 930, Subpart C
  2. Federal license or permit activities (non-federal applicants) CZMA §307(c)(3)(A), 15 CFR Part 930, Subpart D
  3. Outer Continental Shelf Plans, CZMA §307(c)(3)(B), 15 CFR Part 930, Subpart E
  4. Federal financial assistance to state and local governments, or any related public entity such as a special purpose district CZMA §307(d), 15 CFR Part 930, Subpart F

What is the difference between a consistency certification and consistency determination?
Consistency determinations (CD’s) are submitted by federal agencies or third-party contractors for activities and development projects. In contrast, consistency certifications (CC’s) are used when a federal license or permit activity is required for the project to be approved and is submitted by a non-federal applicant.

What is the difference between a consistency determination and a negative determination?
Consistency determination is submitted when a federal agency activity affects the coastal zone. It is a project description and analysis of the activity's coastal zone effects based on the policies in 31 TAC Chapter 26. A negative determination is a project description and an explanation of why a federal agency has concluded that an activity does not affect the coastal zone.

How can I tell whether my project is located within the Texas Coastal Zone?

Do I need to analyze all the enforceable policies in Chapter 26 in a consistency certification or determination?
All applicable enforceable polices should be reviewed and analyzed to ensure compliance with CMP goals and enforceable policies. The CMP enforceable policies are in 31 TAC Chapter 26.

Is there a standard application form for a consistency determination, negative determination, or consistency certification?
There is not a standard application form for a consistency determination, negative determination, or a consistency certification. Any format is acceptable, as long as the information requirements are met. All application forms must be signed to considered administratively complete by GLO.

How does GLO determine if a federal action or federal activity is consistent?
The GLO will analyze the federal license or permit activity or federal agency activity to determine whether it is consistent with the goals and enforceable policies in the Texas Coastal Management Program. The proposed action or activity must demonstrate consistency and explain

Where is GLO granted the legal authority to conduct federal consistency reviews?
The GLO’s federal consistency review authority stems from the CZMA of 1972, which Congress passed to address competing uses and resource impacts occurring in the nation’s coastal areas. The Act specifically grants federally approved coastal management programs the authority to conduct federal consistency reviews when a federal activity or action is proposed in Texas’s coastal zone. This authority allows GLO to concur or object to proposed federal agency actions requiring a license or permit, federal activities or development projects, OCS plans, or federal assistance based on an analysis of how consistent the proposed activity or action is with the Texas CMP.

Public Notices

As required by federal law, the public is given an opportunity to comment on the consistency of proposed activities in the coastal zone undertaken or authorized by federal agencies. Pursuant to 31 TAC 506.25, 506.32, and 506.41, the public comment period extends 30 days from the date published on the Texas General Land Office web site.