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How to Use the EAF Workbooks

These web-based Workbooks contain guidance for both the full and short environmental assessment forms. One of the first decisions an applicant has to make is to determine the type of action. This will determine which form the applicant should use for the assessment process. SEQR regulations §617.4 (link leaves DEC website) list those actions that are considered Type I, and therefore require the use of the Full EAF (FEAF). SEQR regulations §617.5 (link leaves DEC website) list those actions that are considered Type II, and therefore do not require any environmental assessment. Anything that is not listed in these two sections is considered an Unlisted Action. Unlisted Actions require an environmental review, but allow for the use of the Short EAF (SEAF). There may be instances when an action falls just below the criteria of a Type I action, and the FEAF might be more appropriate than the SEAF. Once a determination has been made for the Type of Action, you can move on the appropriate introductory page for the Full EAF or Short EAF.

Navigating the Workbooks

The sidebar on the left contains the navigation links for the Workbooks. The Short EAF Workbook and Full EAF Workbook pages contain additional introductory information pertaining specifically to those forms. Clicking on one of the "Part 1, 2, or 3" links will expand the navigation panel, showing links to the instructions for each question. As additional guidance, on all pages of the Workbooks, links will be provided at the bottom of each page to either continue to next page or return back to the beginning of the particular part you are working on, for step by step navigation. Throughout the Workbooks you will also find various words that link to the Workbook's Glossary page.

Please note: the links within the text of the Workbooks will open in a new browser window. We recommend you close any additional window(s) as soon as you are done reviewing them, in order to prevent any confusion.

Using the EAF Mapper

A mapping tool called the EAF Mapper has been developed by the DEC to help applicants answer some of the Part 1 questions for both the Full EAF and the Short EAF. The EAF Mapper quickly and efficiently finds some of the location-based information needed in Part 1. from multiple DEC data sources. The spatial data used by the EAF mapping program to complete the new EAFs is based on the GIS data sets used and maintained by DEC, or actively maintained by various agencies and shared with DEC.

The EAF Mapper will provide its results directly in Part 1 of an electronically fillable FEAF or SEAF form with those location-based questions already filled out. The Part 1 returned by the EAF Mapper will be accompanied by a report that includes the date, answers to specific questions on the FEAF or SEAF, a small-scale map showing the regional location of the project and a larger map showing the project site. If an answer to a question is restricted on the EAF pdf form, the complete answer, in its entirety, will appear on this report.

The electronically filled form can be saved so that the remaining Part 1 questions can be completed by the applicant or project sponsor. The questions answered by the EAF mapper on the FEAF or SEAF are not editable. If the applicant or project sponsor believes any of the questions filled out by the EAF Mapper are incorrect, supplemental information should be provided to the reviewing agency that explains that discrepancy.

There are three steps to using the EAF Mapper

Step 1: Navigate to the specific project location. You are given three choices, you can: (1) use the drop down menus to enter the county and town where the project site is located and use the buttons in the upper left corner to zoom in to your particular location; (2) use the 'Locate Address' tab to enter a specific address; or, (3) use the 'Go To' Place tab to enter a place name.

Step 2: Define the specific project site boundary. Zoom into the general area where the project is located. Here, too, you have choices on how to locate your project. One choice is to use tax parcel data. If tax parcel information is available for your location, these will appear when you zoom in far enough on the map. You can then click the 'Select Tax Parcel' button on the right, and then click on the tax parcel on the map to select it. The second choice, if tax parcels are not available, or if your project location is larger than a single parcel, allows you to use the 'Draw Polygon" button and then use the mouse to draw a boundary around the project site. A polygon is nothing more than a plan shape with straight sides that depict your project area (points connected by lines). With either case (tax parcel or polygon), the project site will be shaded in to show the extent and boundaries you have selected.

Step 3: After locating the project site and its boundaries, applicants can then generate the report by clicking the FEAF or SEAF button in the bottom right corner of the EAF Mapper. Applicants must select the Full EAF if they are submitting information on an action classified as a Type I under the SEQR regulations. For unlisted actions, the regulations direct the applicant to use a Short EAF unless the lead agency decides it needs to have a Full EAF completed (requiring the Full EAF for an unlisted action should be rare and limited to activities that fall just below a Type 1 threshold).

Clicking the button for the Short EAF or Full EAF activates the EAF Mapper which will return a fillable and savable PDF for either form with many location-based questions in Part 1 answered by the automatic fill.

Some important points about the EAF Mapper

  • The EAF Mapper is supported by Internet Explorer (Version 9 and above), Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Chrome (latest versions). It is recommended that you use the most recent versions of these web browsers. If you are using Internet Explorer 8 as a web browser, you are very likely to experience problems when using the EAF Mapper. We recommend updating to IE 9 or use another web browser such as Mozilla Firefox.
  • Applicants using the EAF Mapper must go through the project location and definition steps to populate the relevant location-based questions and then complete the remainder of Part 1 questions afterward, remembering to save the document at some time to a local drive on the user's computer. The EAF Mapper will not retain any previously entered information from the form when it is started
  • The results provided on the EAF Mapper generated PDF are 'locked in' and cannot be changed. A disclaimer about this is included with each report generated by the EAF Mapper. Applicants should add supplemental information on an attached sheet if they believe any of the EAF Mapper results are incorrect.
  • Your browser will need to be set to allow pop-ups. Please enable your browser's setting to "allow pop up blocker from".
  • The EAF Mapper uses a great deal of information and it takes some time to process. Be patient. It is anticipated that it could take several minutes to generate the report for large or complex locations. The larger the parcel, the longer the processing time will be. Use of dial-up modems will be very slow.
  • The EAF Mapper is not designed to be used for municipal-wide projects that require SEQR. For example, the EAF Mapper will not be able to be used to generate location-specific data for adoption of a comprehensive plan or local law where the entire municipality is to be included in the analysis.
  • Each question that can be answered through the EAF mapper is identified in the EAF Workbooks with a map icon:

EAF mapper icon

This icon will alert you that the question can be answered through use of the mapping tool.

  • The EAF Mapper will provide yes/no answers to certain Part 1 questions and will fill in details in the form's text boxes. However, if the text takes up too much space, it will be truncated in the text box. The report found at the end of the pdf will have the entire text, which should be attached to the EAF to provide complete information.
  • Some data sets are not complete. The table below identifies which data sets may not have full state coverage. If data is not available for a particular project site, then the EAF Mapper will return the statement 'insufficient data to answer this question' to the question. If you get 'no answer' for some questions, that means the data is missing and you will have to use other information to answer that question. The Workbook offers resources that can be used to obtain that information. Note that as more data is developed, the coverage will change and improve over time.
  • If the EAF Mapper gives a 'no' answer, then you can be confident that the environmental feature is NOT present on or adjacent to the project site.
  • If the EAF Mapper gives a 'yes' answer, double check with other sources to verify. Attach supplemental information to the EAF to support or refute that answer. One of the purposes of the EAF Mapper is to help the applicant screen through a lot of data. Further verification may be needed.
  • The EAF Mapper is designed to place a buffer around some of the environmental features. These buffers have been added to account for the different scales used for preparing the resource maps and the base maps, to insure that all resources are identified in the initial screen of a project, and in some cases to protect resources such as species that are classified as threatened or endangered and archaeological sites where disclosing the exact location of the resource may be detrimental to the protection of the species or artifact.
  • For those questions that include a buffer area, a 'yes' answer to that question should be viewed as a trigger for further investigation. A "yes" answer should be interpreted as meaning the site is in, or very close to, a particular resource. In such cases, the project area should be given a closer evaluation in order to confirm or reject exact proximity. Use of the DEC's Environmental Resource Mapper, field verification, or other sources identified in this Workbook would need to be used to verify if the project site includes or is adjacent to that resource or not. If the project sponsor believes that a project location is within the buffer area but sufficiently far enough away from the resource to render the issue not relevant or non-significant they may need to provide more specific supporting information to the reviewing agency as part of its EAF submission. Applicants should attach supplemental information to the SEAF or FEAF to verify the presence or absence of that resource to the reviewing agency. The table below identifies which data sets have a buffer.
SEAF Location-Based Questions that can be answered with the EAF Mapper
SEAF Part 1 Question Buffer Area Included in EAF Mapper
7. Is the site located in, or does it adjoin a state listed Critical Environmental Area? 500'
12.a. Does the site contain a structure that is listed on either the State or National Register of Historic Places?
12b. Is the proposed action located in an archaeological sensitive area?
13a. Does any portion of the site of the proposed action, or lands adjoining the proposed action contain wetlands or other waterbodies regulated by a federal, state or local agency? 500'
15. Does the site of the proposed action contain any species of animal, or associated habitats, listed by the State of Federal government as threatened or endangered?
16. Is the project site located in the 100-year floodplain?
20. Has the site of the proposed action or an adjoining property been the subject of remediation (ongoing or completed) for hazardous waste? 2,000'
FEAF Location-Based Questions that can be answered with the EAF Mapper
FEAF Question
B.i.i. Is the project site within a Coastal Area or the waterfront area of a Designated Inland Waterway?
B.i.ii. Is the project site located in a community with an approved local Waterfront Revitalization Program?
C.2.b. Is the site of the proposed action within any local or regional special planning district (for example: Greenway Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA); designated State or Federal heritage area; watershed management plan; or other?
E.1.h.i. Is any portion of the site listed on the NYSDEC Spills Incidents database or Environmental Site Remediation Database?
E.1.h.iii. Is the project within 2,000 feet of any site in the NYSDEC Environmental Site Remediation Database?
E.2.c. Predominant soil type(s) present on the project site?
E.2.g. Are there any unique geologic features on the project site?
E.2.h.i. Does any portion of the project site contain wetlands or other water bodies (including streams, rivers, ponds, or lakes)?
E.2.h.ii. Do any wetlands or other water bodies adjoin the project site?
E.2.h.iii. Are any of the wetlands or water bodies within or adjoining the project site regulated by any federal, state or local agency?
E.2.h.iv. For each identified wetland or waterbody on the project site, provide the following information
E.2.h.v. Area any of the above water bodies listed in the most recent compilation of NYS water quality-impaired water bodies?
E.2.i. Is the project site in a designated floodway?
E.2.j. Is the project site in the 100 year floodplain?
E.2.k. Is the project site in the 500 year floodplain?
E.2.l. Is the project site located over, or immediately adjoining, a primary, principal or sole source aquifer?
E.2.l.i. If yes, name the aquifer.
E.2.n. Does the project site contain a designated significant natural community?
E.2.n.i. Describe the habitat/community.
E.2.n.iii. Extent of the community/habitat (acres):
E.2.o. Does the project site contain any species of plant or animal that is listed by the federal government or NYS as endangered or threatened, or does it contain any areas identified as habitat for an endangered or threatened species?
E.2.p. Does the project site contain any species of plant that is listed by NYS as rare, or animal that is listed by NYS as a species of special concern?
E.3.a. Is the project site, or a portion of it, located in a designated agricultural district certified pursuant to Agriculture and Markets Law, Article 25-AA, Section 303 and 304.
E.3.c. Does the project site contain all or part of, or is it substantially contiguous to, a registered National Natural Landmark?
E.3.c. ii. If yes, provide a brief description.
E.3.d. Is the project site located in or does it adjoin a state listed Critical Environmental Area?
E.3.d.i. If yes, CEA name:
E.3.d.ii. If yes, basis for designation:
E.3.d.iii. Designating agency and date:
E.3.e. Does the project site contain, or is it substantially contiguous to, a building, archaeological site or district which is listed on, or has been nominated by the NYS Board of Historic Preservation for inclusion on the State or National Register of Historic Places?
E.3.e.ii. What is the name of historic resources?
E.3.f. Is the project site, or any portion of it, located in or adjacent to an area designated as sensitive for archeological sites on the NY State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) archaeological site inventory?
E.3.i. Is the project site located within a designated river corridor under the Wild, Scenic and Recreational Rivers Program 6 NYCRR 666?
E.3.i.i. Identify the name of the river and its designation.
Spatial Data Available through the EAF Mapper for the FEAF
FEAF Part 1 Question Environmental Feature Included in EAF Mapper Buffer Area Included in EAF Mapper
E.3.a Agricultural Districts
E.2.h.i /E.2.h.ii /E.2.h.iii /E.2.h.iv Adirondack Park Agency Wetlands 500'
E.2.l.i and ii Aquifers, EPA Sole Source 500'
E.2.l.i and ii Aquifers, Primary 500'
E.2.l.i and ii Aquifers, Principal 500'
E.3.f Archaeological Sites of Sensitivity
B.i.i Coastal Management Boundaries
E.3.d.i, ii, and iii Critical Environmental Areas 500'
E.1.e Dams
C.2.b Delaware River Basin
E.2.o Endangered or Threatened species
C.2.b Federal Recreation Lands
E.2.i. /E.2.j /E.2.k FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps (Floodplains and Floodways)
C.2.b/E.1.h.i./E.1.h.iii Hazardous Waste Remediation Sites 2,000'
B.i.ii Local Waterfront Revitalization Plans
E.3.e, and E.3.e.ii National and State Registers of Historic Places
E.3.c and E.3.c.ii/E.3.h.i and ii National Natural Landmarks 500'
E.2.h.i /E.2.h.ii /E.2.h.iii/E.2.h.iv National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) 500'
C.2.b NYC Watershed Boundary
E.2.n.i. and iii Natural Communities (Natural Heritage)
C.2.b/E.3.h/E.3.h.i and ii NYS Heritage Areas
E.2.h.i /E.2.h.ii /E.2.h.iii/E.2.h.iv NYS Regulated Freshwater Wetlands 500'
E.2.h.i /E.2.h.ii /E.2.h.iii/E.2.h.iv /E.2.h.v Priority Waterbodies List (Impaired Segment) - lakes, ponds, estuary, streams, rivers, coastlines (NHD waterbody, water area, flowline) 500'
E.2.p Rare Plants or Animals
E.2.h.i /E.2.h.ii /E.2.h.iii/E.2.h.iv Protected Streams and Rivers 500'
E.2.h.i /E.2.h.ii /E.2.h.iii/E.2.h.iv Tidal Wetlands (Article 25A) 500'
E.2.g Unique Geological Features 500'
C.2.b Upper Susquehanna River Basin
E.2.h.i/ E.2.h.i /E.2.h.ii /E.2.h.iii/E.2.h.iv Water Quality Classification, Protected and Unprotected 500'
E.3.h//E.3.i and E.3.i.i Wild, Scenic and Recreation Rivers 500'


These workbooks were prepared for New York State Department of Environmental Conservation by Community Planning and Environmental Associates.

Primary coordinators for the project were:

Nan Stolzenburg, AICP
Community Planning and Environmental Associates

Don Meltz, AICP
Don Meltz Planning and GIS

The following people also contributed to the development of the workbooks:

Jack Nasca, Director, Division of Environmental Permits at NYS DEC

Robert Ewing, Project Manager, Division of Environmental Permits at NYS DEC

David Rebecca, GIS and Technical Support, Division of Environmental Permits at NYS DEC

Lawrence Weintraub, Esq., Office of General Counsel, NYS DEC

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