As expected today, the Federal Register printed the notice for the TCA's appeal of the CA Coastal Commission's decision. The CCC's jurisdiction is provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which resides in the US Dep't of Commerce. This means that the ultimate decision on whether to honor the CCC's decision or over-ride it lies with the Secretary of Commerce.
Today's announcement tells us that NOAA will be accepting comments for 30 days starting on April 28. This will be your opportunity to let the federal government know what has been made clear here in California: No Toll Roads through San Onofre State Beach!!
Starting on the 28th we'll provide an electronic action alert to make it easy for you to send in your comments. We are also requesting that NOAA hold a public hearing on this issue to give the public a chance to voice your opinions.
NOAA pulled together a really nice FAQ on the process. Of particular importance is this:
"What does the Secretary consider on appeal from a state’s objection?
The Secretary may override a state’s objection if the proposed activity is either:
· Consistent with the objectives of the CZMA. Projects consistent with the objectives of the CZMA are those where: a) the project furthers the national interest in the CZMA objectives in a significant or substantial manner; b) this national interest outweighs any adverse coastal effects (both separately and cumulatively); and c) there is no reasonable alternative available that would allow the activity to proceed consistent with the state program; or
· Necessary in the interest of national security. "