Short Environmental Assessment Form (SEAF) Workbook
Environmental Assessment Form Guidance Documents
The Short Environmental Assessment Form is designed specifically for Unlisted Actions. It has three parts. The first part (Part 1) is filled out by the applicant or project sponsor. Part 2 and Part 3 are filled out by the lead agency.
Part 1 provides details that will help the lead agency understand the location, size, type, and characteristics of the proposed project. Part 1 can be completed using existing information; either from the applicant's knowledge of the site and proposed activity, or by exploring the information and maps available through the links in this guide. New or additional studies should not be needed to complete Part 1.
The lead agency should also review the information provided by the applicant on Part 1 for basic accuracy and completeness. Sometimes, the lead agency is also the project sponsor and there are not other agencies involved. An example of this is when a municipality adopts a local law. In such circumstances, the lead agency would also be required to complete the Part 1 as the project sponsor.
Part 2 is used to help the lead agency identify potential impacts that may result from the project. In order to do this, the lead agency may ask the applicant for clarification of information provided in Part 1, or request additional information.
Part 3 is used by the lead agency to determine if the potential adverse impacts identified in Part 2 are significant or not. Part 3 is also used to help the reviewing agency identify whether the applicant has addressed the potential adverse impacts as part of the project design.
When to Use the Short Environmental Assessment Form
The Short Environmental Assessment Form (SEAF) is used when a state or local agency has determined that a SEQR review is necessary, and they have identified the project as being an Unlisted Action. Note that a SEAF cannot be used to evaluate a Type I Action.
There are many different kinds of projects classified as an Unlisted Action. Some are small and uncomplicated, and the SEAF provides enough information for that assessment. The SEAF is designed to be used for those smaller Unlisted Actions where there is less need for documentation and analysis because of the type, size or location of the proposed activity. Other Unlisted Actions can be larger; more complicated, and may fall just under the Type I criteria (link leaves DEC website.) In that case, the agency should strongly consider using the FEAF so that additional information can be obtained and used in the environmental review.
For more information on how to decide what type of action a project is and what form to use, see the SEQR Handbook.
Coordinated Review and the Short Form
Unlisted actions do not always require a coordinated review Some State and non-state agencies, however, may have their own SEQR requirements for coordinated review. As an example, the NYS Department of Health requires a coordinated review for realty subdivision approvals, even if otherwise classified as an Unlisted Action. Local reviewing agencies or boards should contact and work with other agencies to assure that the need for a coordinated review is addressed.
How to Complete and Use the Short Environmental Assessment Form
The introductory pages to Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of the SEAF provide additional information and instructions on how to fill out the form. When you view these introductory pages, the navigation panel on the left will expand, showing links to the individual questions within that section.