SEQRA Update: Revised Long and Short Environmental Assessment Forms

SEQRA Update: Revised Long and Short Environmental Assessment Forms

As defi ned in the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”), the Environmental Assessment Form (“EAF”) is a form used by an agency to assi st it in determining the environmental signifi cance or nonsignifi cance of actions. A properly completed EAF must contain enough information to describe the proposed action, its location, its purpose and its potential impacts on the environment.

Recently, the New York State (“NYS”) Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”) adopted substantially revised Long Environmental Assessment Forms (“LEAF”) and Short Environment Assessment Forms (“SEAF”). According to the NYS DEC, these are the fi rst signifi cant changes to the LEAF since 1978 and to the SEAF since its last revision in 1987.

The NYS DEC has amended the documents as part of its efforts to “streamline” the SEQRA process. In furtherance of this goal, the NYS DEC required, as of October 7, 2013, that substantially more comprehensive information be included on both the LEAF and SEAF. Since then, all Towns and Villages are prohibited from using the prior forms for new applications. Pending applications may continue to use the prior forms if the applications were submitted to the municipality before October 7, 2013.

In order to assist with the completion of the SEAF and LEAF, the NYS DEC has developed an “EAF Mapper” to automatically complete some portions of the SEAF and LEAF upon entering the subject property’s location. Although the mapper was not available when the new SEAF and LEAF came into effect on October 7, 2013, the mapper was made available as of October 30, 2013 at http://www.dec.ny.gov/eafmapper/.

Click to read more: SEQRA Update Winter 2014

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