Comments Needed: NY DEC Proposes Limiting Public Comment on Rules

The NY Department  of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is proposing changes to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), the process by which the New York portion of the Pilgrim Pipeline will be evaluated.  Under the new regulations proposed, a key part of the process would be removed, dis-empowering government entities and the public in favor of large developers and industry.

Specifically, government entities would be prohibited from providing public review of new issues discovered during the environmental impact statement drafting process.  In the battle to prevent fracking in New York, it was during this drafting process that citizens, elected officials, and staff at the DEC realized fracking would have a devastating impact on human health and must be banned.  Under the new regulations, the agency would be prevented from subjecting its preliminary conclusions on such “new” issues to public review and comment before finalizing.

DEC is accepting written comments on these proposed changes until May 19, 2017.  We need your help.

Please tell the DEC that you support mandatory Scoping, and the following:

  • Opportunity for public input must be provided for at the beginning of the Scoping Process (comment on the Draft Scope) as well as provided for information brought to light during the environmental impact statement drafting process.
  • New information discovered as part of the SEQRA review can be used to reject a proposed project, even if it had not been included in the original scoping document.
  • New York State’s desire to align its goals with SEQRA need to be measured against the needs of impacted communities.

Please send your comments to James J. Eldred / Environmental Analyst / NYC DEC – Division of Environmental Permits / 625 Broadway / Albany, New York / 12233-1750.

For a copy of DEC announcement, see

Thanks for your support!