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DEC Issues Proposed Revisions to SEQRA Regulations

Recently, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) issued notice of its “Proposed Amendments 2017 to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).”  The notice requests comments on the “Draft Express Terms,” which are proposed revisions to its regulations governing environmental review pursuant to SEQRA.  These regulations, currently found at 6 NYCRR Part 617, govern the SEQRA review process for all state and local agencies in New York State for all variety of “actions,” including actions undertaken, financed, or approved by a governmental entity.  The regulations, which have been under development for several years, are also the subject of a Generic Environmental Impact Statement in addition to the Regulatory Impact Statement and other enacting documents.  Revisions include efforts to clarify the procedural process for environmental review, as well as additions and amendments to Type I actions (those actions likely to have at least one potential significant adverse environmental impact), and Type II actions (those actions exempted from SEQRA review because they have no adverse environmental impact).  The comment period for submission of written comments on the Draft Express Terms expires on May 19, 2017, and DEC will be holding a public hearing on March 31, 2017 at its Central Office at 625 Broadway, New York.  The Couch White Environmental practice group is currently reviewing the proposed regulations and related documents.  Contact Alita Giuda to learn more or for assistance with preparation of comments.