Directs the department of environmental conservation to update any forms or documentation prepared by such department which are designed to assist applicants and lead agencies in determining whether certain projects or actions have a significant effect on the environment; and provides such updates shall ensure the consideration of changes in science and emerging issues in environmental protection.
Ayes (11): LaValle, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, Young, Avella, Espaillat, Oppenheimer, Perkins, Serrano, Stewart-Cousins
Ayes W/R (3): Grisanti, Johnson, O'Mara
TITLE OF BILL: An act 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 environment.
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.
JUSTIFICATION: 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.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.615, 2000 and 2007 Passed Assembly. S.2993-B - Passed Senate and Assembly, but Vetoed (No.6740)
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: 180 Days after it shall have become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1678 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 11, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. KLEIN -- 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 updates of the model environmental impact assessment form THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (l) of subdivision 2 of section 8-0113 of the environmental conservation law, as added by chapter 252 of the laws of 1977, is amended to read as follows: (l) A model assessment form to be used during the initial review to assist an agency in CARRYING OUT its responsibilities AND DUTIES under this article. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PERIODICALLY UPDATE THE FORM WHICH SHALL BE DESIGNED TO ASSIST APPLICANTS AND LEAD AGENCIES IN DETERMINING WHETHER A PROPOSED PROJECT OR ACTION MAY HAVE A SIGNIFICANT EFFECT ON THE ENVIRONMENT. SUCH UPDATES SHALL ENSURE THE CONSIDERATION OF CHANGES AND EMERGING ISSUES IN ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02304-01-1