Georgia Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program Analysis of Full Approval Decision
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Georgia Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program Analysis of Full Approval Decision

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    "In 1990, Congress enacted Section 6217 of the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments (CZARA), entitled 'Protecting Coastal Waters' to help address the problem of non point source pollution and its effect on coastal waters. Section 6217, jointly administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), was designed to strengthen the links between federal and state coastal zone management and water quality programs, as well as to enhance state and local efforts to manage land use activities that degrade coastal waters and habitats. Only coastal states that choose to participate in the voluntary National Coastal Zone Management Program pursuant to Section 306 of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) are required to develop coastal nonpoint pollution control programs (or coastal nonpoint programs) under section 6217 of the CZARA.1 On March 8, 1996, NOAA published a programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) that assessed the environmental impacts associated with the approval and implementation of state and territory (state) coastal nonpoint programs developed in accordance with Section 6217 of CZARA. These coastal nonpoint programs implement management measures identified by the USEPA and referred to as 6217 (g) management measures, to protect coastal waters from nonpoint source pollution. The PEIS analyzed three alternatives: program disapproval, approval, and approval with conditions, and concluded that neither of the approval options (with or without conditions) would result in any significant adverse environmental impacts. The PEIS concluded that both approval alternatives would have an overall beneficial effect on the environment by facilitating, in each state, a program designed to reduce adverse impacts of coastal nonpoint pollution. The PEIS indicated that NOAA would prepare EA's to assess any specific impacts of approval of individual state programs. On September 26, 2001, NOAA issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) for the approval of the coastal nonpoint program submitted to NOAA and the USEPA by the State of Georgia on December 1, 1999. NOAA also issued a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI), were made available for public comments. On June 4, 2002, NOAA and the USEPA approved the Georgia coastal nonpoint program, with conditions. For the conditional approval findings, see Since that time, Georgia has undertaken a number of actions to satisfy the conditions of approval on its coastal nonpoint program and submitted associated information to NOAA and the USEPA in support of its program. Most recently, on September 23, 2016, Georgia provided NOAA and USEPA with the last submittals describing how the State has met the conditions placed on its program. Based on NOAA and the USEPA's review of all information Georgia has submitted, the agencies propose to find that the State has now satisfied all conditions of approval on its coastal nonpoint program. The federal agencies have prepared a findings document (findings) that outlines the basis for their proposed findings that Georgia has now satisfied all conditions of approval on its coastal nonpoint program. The final findings will be issued after a public comment period ends and NOAA finalizes its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents for the proposed action. This document analyzes the PEIS and Georgia specific EA to determine whether any additional NEPA analysis is necessary based on new information or a change in the proposed action"--Introduction.
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