County Withdraws Environmental Hazards

Following the November 2016 Coastal Commission decision to remove the Environmental Hazards chapter from the LCPA certification, this created a requirement for the Coastal Commission to revisit the Hazards chapter by September 29, 2017. Action would be required to either certify the Hazards chapter in its 2016 version or withdraw it from consideration.   

At the May 16, 2017 meeting, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved the LUP (except Environmental Hazards) and delayed approval of the IP, which included some interpretations contrary to the Coastal Act. EAC submitted public comments and testified at this hearing. 

As the September 2017 deadline approached, Marin County and Coastal Commission staff conducted meetings to consider the revised findings based on the changes made by former Coastal Commission Chair Steve Kinsey in November 2016 concerning the definition of ongoing agriculture.

EAC does not agree with the County’s interpretation of the Commission’s revised findings and believes the findings are accurate and consistent with the Coastal Act.
— Ashley Eagle Gibbs, EAC Conservation Director

The Marin LCPA was scheduled for the Coastal Commission hearing on July 14, 2017. Leading up to the meeting Marin County submitted comments asserting that the draft revised findings failed to accurately reflect the Coastal Commission's action on November 2, 2016. The Coastal Commission released an addendum.

The Coastal Commission unanimously approved their staff's report and language at the July 14th hearing. As a result of this action, Marin County withdrew the Environmental Hazards sections in July 26, 2017, relieving the Coastal Commission of their deadline to act on these sections before September 29, 2017.

Next Steps

Now that the September 2017 deadline has been removed, Marin County needs to be bring the Environmental Hazards sections back to the Coastal Commission. The County needs to prioritize work on this critical chapter sooner rather than later so that there are appropriate policies to plan for the impacts of climate change including sea-level rise and flooding due to heavy rains and storm surges.