Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Q. 7, Short EAF (Part 1) Critical Environmental Area

Short Environmental Assessment Form Workbook

Is the site of the proposed action located in, or does it adjoin, a State listed Critical Environmental Area?
If Yes, identify:

Background Information

Critical Environmental Areas (CEA's) are specific locations in a town, village, city, county, or the State that have this special designation because they have one or more of the following unique characteristics:

  • Are a benefit or threat to human health;
  • Have an important or unique natural setting (e.g., fish and wildlife habitat, forest and vegetation, open space and areas of important aesthetic or scenic quality);
  • Hold important agricultural, social, cultural, historic, archaeological, recreational, or educational values; or
  • Have an inherent ecological, geological or hydrological sensitivity that may be adversely affected by any change.

Local governments can identify and designate specific areas within their boundaries as CEA's according to 617.14 (g) (link leaves DEC website.) State agencies may also designate geographic areas they own, manage, or regulate. Once an area is designated as a CEA, the reviewing agency must consider the potential impact of any Type I or Unlisted Action on the environmental characteristics of that CEA as part of the determination of significance.

An example of a Critical Environmental Area is from Warren County. The Town of Queensbury has designated a CEA for the Glen Lake and Surrounding Area to recognize the significance of the lake and surrounding ponds and wetlands.

Answering the Question

All CEA's designated through the SEQR process (617.14 (g) are identified and filed with New York State. The DEC CEA webpage provides information about, and links to, maps of the CEA's in the State.

The answer to this question will be automatically inserted on the pdf generated by the EAF Mapper and a report generated. This resource is buffered, so if the project site falls within the boundaries of a CEA or is very close to it, the EAF Mapper will check "yes" on the SEAF Part I pdf and fill in the CEA name, the designating agency, date of listing, and the CEA's purpose. A "yes' answer should be followed up with a check of the DEC CEA webpage to identify the CEA, its boundaries and its true proximity to the listed CEA property. If there is no CEA located within the project boundaries, the EAF Mapper will check "no" on the form. If the applicant or project sponsor believes the answer filled out by the EAF Mapper is incorrect, supplemental information should be provided that explains that discrepancy. CEAs are often a work in progress, so it is advisable to check with you r local government to see if any CEAs are being developed or proposed.

If the EAF Mapper is not used, the DEC CEA webpage can be accessed to evaluate answers to this question. If the webpage list indicates a CEA exists in the general project area, but no map is provided, contact the CEA sponsor or the local municipality to see if a more accurate location is on file.

Answer yes if the project site is within or adjoining a CEA. Identify the name of the CEA.

Answer no if the project site is not within or adjoining a CEA.

Back to Part 1 Project Information || Continue to SEAF - Question 8 - (Part 1)

  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-9167.
  • Contact for this Page
    Division of Environmental Permits
    4th Floor
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-1750
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to all NYS regions