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State Clearinghouse General Procedures

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The following general procedures will be utilized by the State Clearinghouse in routinely reviewing items and issues which are within its areas of responsibility. More specific procedures may need to be developed for each type of review item listed in Administrative Order #_______________ dependent upon specific State or federal law, inter-agency agreement, or review time-frame deadlines.

  1. For federally related items calling for an advisory State response:
    1. Circulation of documents:
      1. The State Clearinghouse will distribute proposals, plans, and environmental statements provided by federal agencies (or applicants for federal assistance, when appropriate) to the appropriate federal, State, areawide, and local agencies and organizations for review.
      2. In the instance of state-wide or regional plans required by federal law or regulation–including those for administrative purposes–or which form the basis for funding under various federal programs; State and federal agencies or organizations responsible for such plans may either directly distribute plans to the appropriate federal, State, areawide, and local agencies for review or provide the State Clearinghouse with an adequate number of copies of the plan, as determined by the State Clearinghouse, for Clearinghouse distribution of the plan. Should the agency choose the former option, the agency must additionally provide the State Clearinghouse with a copy of the plan and its mailing list. The State Clearinghouse will examine the mailing list for completeness and may require wider distribution of the plan, if necessary.
    2. State Clearinghouse response:
      1. After gathering comments from the reviewing agencies and organizations on any item in the review process, the State Clearinghouse may recommend support, no objection, conditional no objection, or register an objection to the proposed activity based upon the comments received and its analysis of the activity and comments. The State Clearinghouse will transmit a composite or a unified state response of all substantive comments received along with the Clearinghouse recommendation and/or comment to the applicant (either federal or non-federal) with a copy to all reviewing parties and, if appropriate, the responsible federal agency.
      2. In the case of State plans, either state-wide or regional in scope, required by law, regulation, or which form the basis for federal funding and which require my signature: The State Clearinghouse will forward a copy of all substantive comments received to the Director of the Division of Policy Development and Planning (DPDP). Upon approval of the plan for conformity with the policies of my administration and for the appropriateness of the plan’s development and review, as signified by the signature of the Director of DPDP, the plan will be forwarded to me for signature.
    3. Mediation:
      The State Clearinghouse will serve to facilitate communication and assist to resolve differences between a federal agency (and applicant, if appropriate) and the State, areawide, or local agencies that have plans or programs which may be affected by the proposed action.
    4. Administrative follow-up:

      The State Clearinghouse will actively solicit responses from federal agencies (or applicants for federal assistance, if appropriate) requesting an explanation as to how Clearinghouse comments were considered and acted upon by the federal agency or applicant. These responses will be distributed by the Clearinghouse to all reviewing parties.

      In all cases where reviewing parties have included substantive comments requiring response by the Clearinghouse, applicant, or funding agency, the Clearinghouse will notify the reviewing parties of the disposition of the comments as identified in the response(s) of the applicant and/or funding agency, to the degree possible based upon written agreement with the funding agency and cooperative relationship with the applicant.

  2. For State agency activities which would benefit from a state-wide review, the above procedures will also be utilized. Any conflict arising from such a review which cannot be mediated and resolved at the Cabinet level, and which is deemed by any party to be of crucial importance to State policy and direction, shall be presented to me for resolution.
  3. For those Coastal Management Consistency Determinations which shall be made by the Director of the Division of Policy Development and Planning, the following procedures will apply:
    1. Circulation of documents:
      1. The State Clearinghouse will coordinate the State review of federal coastal management consistency matters by utilizing standard Clearinghouse procedures previously described to distribute and collect comments on consistency determinations and certifications. At a minimum, the State Clearinghouse will distribute such proposals to the State agencies represented on the Coastal Policy Council and the affected local and areawide governments.
    2. Consistency finding:
      After gathering comments from reviewing agencies, the State Clearinghouse will forward these comments to the Office of Coastal Management. Once a determination of consistency has been made by the Director of DPDP, the State Clearinghouse will distribute a letter from the Director containing the final consistent, conditionally consistent, or inconsistent finding and supporting information to the federal agency, all reviewing parties, the affected coastal resource district, and the applicant for federal decision as appropriate.
    3. Mediation:
      Any conflicts between State agencies regarding the consistency finding which cannot be mediated by DPDP or resolved at the Cabinet level, can be presented to me by any party for resolution.
  4. For proposed Administrative Orders, the following procedures will be used:
    Prior to presenting Administrative Orders to me for my signature, the agency preparing the order will submit for distribution to the State Clearinghouse the draft which the agency proposes for adoption. Upon receipt of the comments of this distribution from the State Clearinghouse, the agency will prepare a response to all substantive comments received. If, based on the comments received and subsequent response prepared, changes significant enough to necessitate another circulation are incorporated into the Administrative Order, the State Clearinghouse will circulate this revised draft. When the agency has completed all significant changes, and is prepared to submit the Administrative Order to me for consideration, a letter from the Clearinghouse summarizing all significant comments and modification must be attached. Final determination as to when the order will be presented to me for consideration will remain the prerogative of the preparing agency.

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