Asserts state's rights to manage coastal resources
February 24, 2005
"Alaskans deserve a coastal management program that works for Alaska," said the governor. "This is another example of the federal government dictating from afar program requirements that don't make sense in Alaska. I promised to stand up to the federal government when they overreach their authority -- and through this action I am upholding that commitment."
Alaska voluntarily implemented the ACMP program in 1979. After 25 years, the program had evolved into a complex, confusing set of requirements that delayed projects in Alaska without corresponding environmental benefits. Discontent grew with the program, until in 1997 a bill was introduced to repeal it.
In 2003, the state Legislature passed HB 191 mandating a simplified program that responsibly managed Alaska's coastal resource while eliminating duplication. After the bill's passage, the state worked with NOAA to develop and describe an amended program that met Alaska's needs. Talks proceeded constructively until January 2005, with NOAA identifying minor changes to the ACMP regulations.
On January 28, 2005, NOAA denied Alaska's amended ACMP. NOAA's denial is contrary to federal regulations that allow for state management of coastal resources through an existing network of state and federal regulatory agencies. NOAA also refuses to abide by the intent of federal law to "assist the states" in managing their coastal resources. Instead, NOAA seeks to impose duplicative, complex, and burdensome requirements that do not increase environmental protection.
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