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Part 3 - Evaluation of the Magnitude and Importance of Project Impacts and Determination of Significance (FEAF)

Full Environmental Assessment Form (FEAF)

Part 3 provides the reasons in support of the determination of significance. The lead agency must complete Part 3 for every question in Part 2 where the impact has been identified as potentially moderate to large or where there is a need to explain why a particular element of the proposed action will not, or may, result in a significant adverse environmental impact.

Based on the analysis in Part 3, the lead agency must decide whether to require an environmental impact statement to further assess the proposed action or whether available information is sufficient for the lead agency to conclude that the proposed action will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. By completing the certification on the next page, the lead agency can complete its determination of significance.

Introduction

The purpose of Part 3 is to build on evaluations made during Part 2, to decide how significant the Part 2 moderate to large impacts are, and to decide if further information is needed in an environmental impact statement. Part 3 is where the reviewing agency discusses for each potential impact the magnitude, importance, probability of occurrence, duration of impact, irreversibility of impact, geographic scope, and cumulative impacts in the context of the site and community.

Some of these features - such as magnitude - were also considered in Part 2 as part of deciding if an impact was small, moderate or large. The Part 3 evaluation looks again at those features in a more comprehensive manner to determine if a potential impact is significant or not.

Note that nothing in this workbook, particularly the guidance offered in Part 2 and 3 is found in regulation. While the EAF's need to be completed according to the Part 617 regulations, interpretation on the size or significance of an impact is at the discretion of the reviewing agency.

Part 3 is also the location where the reviewing agency articulates the rationale of its decision making. Taken together, parts 1, 2 and 3 will create a strong record of the 'hard look' required by SEQR.

Instructions for the Reviewing Agency

It is the responsibility of the reviewing agency to complete Part 3 to determine the significance of any of the identified impacts. Part 3 evaluates only those impacts identified in the Part 2 table as being moderate to large. Information submitted by the applicant or project sponsor in Part 1 together with the evaluation and additional information from Part 2 and any information that may be submitted as part of the application (For example: site plan, subdivision plan, special use permit, or other environmental permits) should be used to complete Part 3. You can request clarification or expansion of information submitted in Part 1 if needed to complete Part 3.

Reasons Supporting This Determination:
To complete this section:

  • Identify the impact based on the Part 2 responses and describe its magnitude. Magnitude considers factors such as severity, size or extent of an impact.
  • Assess the importance of the impact. Importance relates to the geographic scope, duration, probability of the impact occurring, number of people affected by the impact and any additional environmental consequences if the impact were to occur.
  • The assessment should take into consideration any design element or project changes.
  • Repeat this process for each Part 2 question where the impact has been identified as potentially moderate to large or where there is a need to explain why a particular element of the proposed action will not, or may, result in a significant adverse environmental impact.
  • Provide the reason(s) why the impact may, or will not, result in a significant adverse environmental impact.
  • For Conditional Negative Declarations identify the specific condition(s) imposed that will modify the proposed action so that no significant adverse environmental impacts will result.
  • Attach additional sheets, as needed.

The following pages will lead the reviewing agency through the steps needed to complete Part 3:

  1. Understand what makes an impact significant
  2. Identify and evaluate each impact identified as moderate to large
  3. Make a decision on the significance of each impact
  4. File the decision

More about Part 3 - Evaluation of the Magnitude and Importance of Project Impacts and Determination of Significance (FEAF):

  • Understanding Significance - Full EAF (Part 3) - The key characteristics of possible impacts that should be considered in determining significance are "magnitude", "duration", and likelihood (probability). Magnitude assesses factors such as severity, size, or extent of an impact.
  • Evaluating Significance - Full EAF (Part 3) - The reviewing agency makes the decision about whether a potential impact is significant or not. Many variables go into a determination of significance. The significance of an impact is based on the specific environmental setting where the activity is proposed, on the type of resource being impacted, and on the values, history, and preferences of the community.
  • Determination of Significance - Full EAF (Part 3) - Determination of Significance - For many proposed projects, many of the identified impacts can be or already are mitigated by changes or certain project components. Part 3 gives the reviewing agency and opportunity to examine the proposed project in relation to the potential impacts and identify if any mitigations have been included in the project plans.
  • Filing Requirements - Full EAF (Part 3) - List - Name of Action: Name of Lead Agency: Name of Responsible Officer in Lead Agency: Title of Responsible Officer: Signature of Responsible Officer in Lead Agency:__________ Date: Signature of Preparer (if different from Responsible Officer): __________ Date: For Further Information: Contact Person: Address: Telephone Number: E-mail
  • Examples - Full EAF - (Part 3) - Examples - This page will be used to identify Examples for Part 3
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