TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the environmental conservation law, in relation to
updates of the model environmental impact assessment form
PURPOSE OF THE BILL:
To ensure that new scientific knowledge is
considered, on a regular basis, by the Department of Environmental
Conservation (DEC), in relation to environmental impact review. This
bill, in a more detailed manner, encourages DEC to periodically
review its regulations that implement SEQRA and which develop the
Environmental Assessment Form (EAF). The EAF is an important document
that is used by lead agencies and applicants to determine if an
Environmental Impact statement (EIS) is needed or not before taking a
specified governmental action that may significantly affect the
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section 1: Amends the Environmental
Conservation Law section 8-0113(2) (1) to authorize and encourage DEC
to update forms (EAF) prepared by the Department that are used to
assist applicants and lead agencies in determining whether a proposed
project may have a significant adverse impact on the environment.
When updating forms, such as an EAF, the Department would need to
consider changes and future trends in science and emerging issues in
environmental protection and impact review. The Department, may also,
specify the need to look at potential adverse environmental impacts
to specific sensitive populations that are near such proposed
projects, such as children or other at-risk populations, that may be
affected by a governmental action.
SEQRA should be revised to ensure that DEC periodically
reviews and revises the EAF so that the SEQRA review process
incorporates the latest scientific theories and environmental impact
review criteria. This new scientific information would be
incorporated, periodically, in the EAF, which is used by lead
agencies and applicants when determining if the proposed government
action may have a significant adverse environmental effect.
There may be certain governmental actions that can create
environmental conditions that adversely affect sensitive populations,
such as children, in a manner that is more pronounced than its effect
on the general public.
There are contaminates, that if released in our water, air and soil,
potentially could have a heightened adverse effect on the health and
healthy development of children.
For example, should a water treatment plant be built in close proximity
to a school, there may be a concern that the chemicals used in such
plant may significantly adversely impact the student population near
such facility. This legislation should help to promote an awareness
that environmental conditions created by a governmental action may
adversely impact certain sensitive populations more than the general
public. By periodically updating the EAF to reflect new advances in
science and emerging issues in environmental impact review and
protection, this new information can be incorporated and considered
when reviewing impacts on sensitive populations, such as children.
A.615, 2000 and 2007 Passed Assembly.
S.2993-B - Passed Senate and Assembly, but Vetoed (No.6740)
180 Days after it shall have become law.