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Step 5: Scope the Draft EIS

Scoping is the process by which the issues to be addressed in the draft EIS are identified. Scoping is not required for supplemental EIS's. The scoping process has six objectives:

  • focus the draft EIS on the potentially significant adverse environmental impacts;
  • eliminate non-significant and non-relevant issues;
  • identify the extent and quality of information needed;
  • identify the range of reasonable alternatives to be discussed;
  • provide an initial identification of mitigation measures; and
  • provide the public with an opportunity to participate in the identification of impacts.

Scoping may be initiated either by the lead agency or at the request of the applicant. The project sponsor must provide the lead agency with a draft scope that contains the items identified in paragraphs 617.8(e)(1) through (5).

The lead agency must provide a copy of the draft scope to all involved agencies and make it available to anyone who has written to express an interest in the project. The lead agency must also notice the availability of the draft and final scopes in the ENB and publish the documents on a publicly available website. If the action involves an applicant, within 60 days of receipt of the draft scope, the lead agency must supply a final written scope of issues to be addressed in the draft EIS to the applicant, all involved agencies, and to any individuals who expressed written interest in the project.

If the lead agency fails to provide a final written scope to the applicant within 60 days, the applicant may prepare and submit a draft EIS consistent with the submitted draft scope.

Involved agencies should participate in the scoping process, alerting the lead agency of their agency's concerns, jurisdiction(s) and information they will need to make their SEQR findings. The lead agency must provide a reasonable opportunity for the public and other interested agencies to participate in the scoping process. The DEC suggests that a minimum 20 day period for public review of the draft scope would be reasonable under most circumstances. Public participation can be accomplished by meetings, exchanges of written material or other methods.

Proceed to Step 6.

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