The Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act is one of the enforceable programs in Virginia's Coastal Zone Management Program, which was established pursuant to the federal Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). The CZMA is an important law implementing the concept of federalism and emphasizes the primacy of State decision-making regarding the coastal zone. Section 307 of the CZMA (16 USC § 1456), called the federal consistency provision, is a tool the states use to manage coastal uses and resources and to facilitate cooperation and coordination with federal agencies.
Federal Consistency is the CZMA requirement that federal actions that have reasonably foreseeable effects on any land or water use or natural resource of the coastal zone (also referred to as coastal uses or resources, or coastal effects) must be consistent with the enforceable policies of a coastal state's federally approved Coastal Zone Management Program. The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is responsible for providing comments regarding the consistency of proposed federal projects or activities with the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act.
The Office of Environmental Impact Review at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality coordinates the Commonwealth's response, including DCR's comments (which include the Bay Act staff's comments), to environmental documents submitted to the agency regarding proposed federal projects. An outline of Virginia's federal consistency review process (Federal Consistency Information Package) is available in a downloadable format from the DEQ web site. For further information regarding federal consistency, please visit the following DEQ web site: http://www.deq.state.va.us/eir/factsheets.html
Development plans, related technical materials, and any questions concerning DCR's Division of Chesapeake Bay Local Assistance review process or submittal requirements for consistency reviews should be directed to:
DCR Bay Act Staff
900 East Main Street, 8th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
Phone: 1-800-CHESBAY (1-800-243-7229) or (804) 225-3440
Fax: (804) 225-3447