senate Bill S623

Relates to requirements for lead agency

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION

Summary

Relates to requirements for lead agency, specifically in circumstances when actions involve the religious exercise of a person.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A629
Versions:
S623
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Environmental Conservation
Law Section:
Environmental Conservation Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง8-0111, En Con L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
S2851B, A5697A

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S623

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to the
requirements for lead agency

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
Amends the environmental quality review law with regard to what entity
may serve as lead agency.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends section 8-0111 of the environmental conservation law
so that if an action to be carried out or approved by two or more
agencies involves the religious exercise of a person, only a county
or state agency may act as lead agency.

Section 2 provides that this act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:
The State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) was enacted in
1976, so that environment impacts are duly considered when project,s
are building in the state's cities, towns, villages and rural areas.
However, when projects are complex or controversial, is it possible
for consultants, or developers, or citizens groups, or well organized
opponents or advocate groups to effectively remove control of the
SEQRA process from the local public officials who should be leading
and shaping the process. Such loss of control by local public
officials of the SEQRA process is problematic because the public
officials taking part in the process are expected to be honest
brokers who will keep the process objective and fact-driven.

On a local level, conflicts between groups over project,s concerning
the exercise of one I s religion, can often polarize the SEQRA
process to a point where local officials have difficulty maintaining
the objectivity of the process. This legislation will help ensure the
objectivity of the local SEQRA process in such circumstances by
requiring that where an action involves the religious exercise of a
person or persons, as such is defined under the federal Religious
Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a county or state agency
will be the lead agency.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None. This is new legislation.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   623

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Environmental Conservation

AN ACT to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation  to  the
  requirements for lead agency

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision  6  of  section  8-0111  of  the  environmental
conservation  law,  as  added  by  chapter  612  of the laws of 1975, is
amended to read as follows:
  6. Lead Agency. (A) When an action is to be carried out or approved by
two or more agencies, the determination of whether the action may have a
significant effect on the environment shall be made by the  lead  agency
having  principal  responsibility  for  carrying  out  or approving such
action and such agency  shall  prepare,  or  cause  to  be  prepared  by
contract or otherwise, the environmental impact statement for the action
if such a statement is required by this article. In the event that there
is  a question as to which is the lead agency, any agency may submit the
question to the commissioner and the commissioner  shall  designate  the
lead  agency, giving due consideration to the capacity of such agency to
fulfill adequately the requirements of this article.
  (B) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE OR  ANY  OTHER
LAW  TO  THE  CONTRARY, IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCE WHEN AN ACTION TO BE CARRIED
OUT OR APPROVED BY TWO OR MORE AGENCIES INVOLVES THE RELIGIOUS  EXERCISE
OF  A  PERSON, AS SUCH IS DEFINED BY THE RELIGIOUS LAND USE AND INSTITU-
TIONALIZED PERSONS ACT OF 2000 (RLUIPA), 42 U.S.C. SS 2000CC,  ET  SEQ.,
ONLY  A COUNTY OR STATE AGENCY MAY ACT AS THE LEAD AGENCY.  IN THE EVENT
THE COUNTY OR STATE AGENCY DOES NOT HAVE THE  ABILITY  TO  BE  THE  LEAD
AGENCY,  THE MUNICIPALITY SHALL GIVE A FINAL DETERMINATION WITHIN TWELVE
CALENDAR MONTHS FROM THE DATE OF THE  APPLICATION.    IF  THE  APPLICANT
DISAGREES  WITH SUCH DETERMINATION, THE DISAGREEMENT SHALL BE SETTLED BY

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02774-01-3

S. 623                              2

BINDING ARBITRATION.  IN THE EVENT A MUNICIPALITY CHARGES THE  APPLICANT
A  FEE  FOR AN ENGINEER OR PLANNER IN RELATION TO MAKING SUCH A DETERMI-
NATION, THE MUNICIPALITY SHALL PROVIDE THE APPLICANT WITH  A  REASONABLE
ESTIMATE  OF  THE  TOTAL FEE OR CHARGE OF SUCH ENGINEER OR PLANNER. SUCH
FEE OR CHARGE SHALL NOT EXCEED FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS.   THE  PROVISIONS
OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL ONLY APPLY TO MUNICIPALITIES WITH A POPULATION
OF FIFTY THOUSAND OR LESS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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