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State Environmental Quality Review Act - Proposed Amendments 2012

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposes to amend the regulations that implement the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR, Title 6 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (6 NYCRR), Part 617). The principal purpose of the amendments is to streamline the SEQR process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review.

Although no significant adverse environmental impacts from the proposed amendments have been identified, the DEC has chosen to use a generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) to discuss the objectives and the rationale for the proposed amendments and provide opportunity for public participation. DEC has conducted public scoping of the issues to be addressed in the GEIS. The Notice of Intent to Prepare the Draft GEIS has been published in the July 11, 2012 issue of the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB). Notice of the Final Scope has been published in the November 28, 2012 issue of the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB) and may be viewed by clicking the link below.

Final Scope (PDF) for the GEIS on the 2012 Proposed Amendments to SEQR (73 KB)

Draft Scope (PDF) for the GEIS on the 2012 Proposed Amendments to SEQR (50 KB)

Notice of Intent (PDF) (19 KB)

Notice of Intent

Notice of Intent to Prepare Regulatory Impact Statement / Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement / Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (RIS/DGEIS/RFA) For Amendment of Title 6 New York Code of Rules and Regulations Part 617 Regulations Governing Implementation of the State Environmental Quality Review Act - July 11, 2012

This notice is issued pursuant to Part 617 of the implementing regulations pertaining to Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review Act) of the Environmental Conservation Law.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), 625 Broadway, Albany, New York 12233-1750, is the lead agency for this rulemaking proposal.

Description of the Action
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation proposes to amend the existing statewide State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) regulations (6NYCRR Part 617) to streamline the regulatory process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review.

The proposed amendments constitute an unlisted action and include:

A. Improve the scoping process:

  1. Require public scoping of Environmental Impact Statements (EIS);
  2. Provide greater continuity between the environmental assessment process, the scope and the draft EIS with respect to content; and
  3. Strengthen the regulatory language to encourage targeted EISs.

B. Clarify and reduce review requirements:

  1. Reduce the numeric thresholds in the Type I list for residential subdivisions and parking;
  2. Bring the threshold reduction for historic resources in line with other resource based items on the Type I list; and
  3. Expand the number of actions not requiring review under SEQRA (Type II list) to encourage development in urban areas vs. development in greenfields and to allow green infrastructure projects.

C. Improve timeliness of decision making:

  1. Provide more guidance regarding the proper means for determining the adequacy of a draft EIS; and
  2. Establish a more meaningful timeframe for the completion of a final EIS.

The Department has not identified any significant adverse environmental impacts from the proposed amendments. However, DEC has chosen to use a generic environmental impact statement (GEIS) as the means to discuss the objectives and the rationale for the proposed amendments, present alternative measures which are under consideration and provide the maximum opportunity for public participation.

Scoping
In an effort to provide early public review of the proposed amendments, the Department of Environmental Conservation is conducting a public scoping of issues to be addressed in the draft GEIS. A draft scope has been prepared to facilitate the scoping discussion. A copy of the draft scope is posted and you may view it by clicking the above link.

Comments and additional information
Comments related to potential significant adverse environmental impacts and additional alternatives to be addressed in the DGEIS should be sent to: depprmt@gw.dec.state.ny.us . Please include the phrase "Comments on 617 Scope" in the subject line of the e-mail. Comments may also be submitted in writing to:

Division of Environmental Permits & Pollution Prevention
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway
Albany, New York 12233-1750

Additional information regarding the proposed amendments can be obtained by contacting the Division of Environmental Permits & Pollution Prevention at: depprmt@gw.dec.state.ny.us or by calling 518-402-9167.

Comments on the draft scope will be accepted through August 10, 2012.


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    Division of Environmental Permits & Pollution Prevention
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    Albany NY 12233-1750
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