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How Many Bites at the Apple?

Couch White attorneys, Adam Schultz and Jennifer Harvey, recently filed an amicus brief with the Appellate Division, Third Department (Albany) on behalf of the New York Construction Materials Association and Associated General Contractors of New York State seeking to overturn a lower court decision that allowed a town to ignore the result of a 4 year SEQRA review, in which the town was an “involved agency”, and commence a new environmental review. As stated in the brief, if the lower court’s decision stands, it will authorize any agency considering a project that has already undergone a fullscale coordinated SEQRA review to conduct a second environmental review outside the record and thereby create intended or unintended confusion as to the set of facts upon which its local determination is based. With this judicial authorization, any project requiring more than one approval (whether state or local) can and will be subjected to multiple environmental reviews and all regulatory certainty inherent in, and guaranteed by, the operation of the SEQRA process will have been destroyed.