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Regulations and Assessments

Environmental Compliance

Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972

SEC. 312 [16 U.S.C. 1458] Review of Performance

(a) The Secretary shall conduct a continuing review of the performance of coastal states with respect to coastal management. Each review shall include a written evaluation with an assessment and detailed findings concerning the extent to which the state has implemented and enforced the program approved by the Secretary, addressed the coastal management needs identified in section 303(2)(A) through (K), and adhered to the terms of any grant, loan, or cooperative agreement funded under this title.

(b) In evaluating a coastal state's performance, the Secretary shall conduct the evaluation in an open and public manner, and provide full opportunity for public participation, including holding public meetings in the State being evaluated and providing opportunities for the submission of written and oral comments by the public. The Secretary shall provide the public with at least 45 days' notice of such public meetings by placing a notice in the Federal Register, by publication of timely notices in newspapers of general circulation within the State being evaluated, and by communications with persons and organizations known to be interested in the evaluation. Each evaluation shall be prepared in report form and shall include written responses to the written comments received during the evaluation process. The final report of the evaluation shall be completed within 120 days after the last public meeting held in the State being evaluated. Copies of the evaluation shall be immediately provided to all persons and organizations participating in the evaluation process.

(c)(1) The Secretary may suspend payment of any portion of financial assistance extended to any coastal state under this title, and may withdraw any unexpended portion of such assistance, if the Secretary determines that the coastal state is failing to adhere to (A) the management program or a State plan developed to manage a national estuarine reserve established under section 315 of this title, or a portion of the program or plan approved by the Secretary, or (B) the terms of any grant or cooperative agreement funded under this title.

(2) Financial assistance may not be suspended under paragraph (1) unless the Secretary provides the Governor of the coastal state with--

(A) written specifications and a schedule for the actions that should be taken by the State in order that such suspension of financial assistance may be withdrawn; and

(B) written specifications stating how those funds from the suspended financial assistance shall be expended by the coastal state to take the actions referred to in subparagraph (A).

(3) The suspension of financial assistance may not last for less than 6 months or more than 36 months after the date of suspension.

(d) The Secretary shall withdraw approval of the management program of any coastal state and shall withdraw financial assistance available to that State under this title as well as any unexpended portion of such assistance, if the Secretary determines that the coastal state has failed to take the actions referred to in subsection (c)(2)(A).

(e) Management program approval and financial assistance may not be withdrawn under subsection (d), unless the Secretary gives the coastal state notice of the proposed withdrawal and an opportunity for a public hearing on the proposed action. Upon the withdrawal of management program approval under this subsection (d), the Secretary shall provide the coastal state with written specifications of the actions that should be taken, or not engaged in, by the state in order that such withdrawal may be canceled by the Secretary.

(f) [Repealed]

(b) Within two hundred and seventy days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Commerce shall issue such regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to administer section 312 of the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 (as amended by subsection (a)* of this section).

*Subsection (a) revised Section 312 of this Act.

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Last Modified: January 22, 2009
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