Renewing a Federal/State Partnership Under the CZMA

by Eugenia J. Laychak, California Conservation Corps, Sacramento, CA, USA,
Laura L. Manning, California Conservation Corps, Sacramento, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


The case of Exxon v. Fischer has established an ominous precedent for the authority of states to resolve oil and fishing industry conflicts. In a narrow interpretation of the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) consistency certification provisions, the federal district court denied coastal states the right to consider economic impacts to commercial fishing when reviewing oil and gas exploration and development projects under their state coastal management policies. This paper argues that the language and intent of the CZMA allows this review, that the court made serious procedural errors by hearing this case, and that unless this breach in the partnership of federal and state governments is mended, development of ocean resources will be slowed. Recent uncooperative offshore development proposals have been stalled by confrontive state and local reactions. The paper discusses steps to be taken to restore the efforts at cooperative partnership enjoyed under the CZMA.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Water-based recreation | Court decisions | Coastal management | Fish management | Case studies | Licensure and certification | Legislation

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