What is SEQR?
In New York, SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review) requires all state, regional and local government agencies to determine, at the earliest possible time, whether “actions” (projects or activities they undertake or fund directly, or that require their approval), may have a significant impact on the environment. If the proposed action is seen to have at least one environmental impact, then agencies must issue a “positive declaration of significance” (pos dec) and require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Assessment.
An important aspect of SEQR is the public’s ability to participate in the environmental assessment process. We have several opportunities, beginning with public input in the preparation of a “scope,” which will guide and direct the project sponsor’s preparation of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The lead agency has the discretion to conduct scoping; if it does so, state regulations require an opportunity for the public (as well as interested agencies) to participate in the process. In the case of the Pilgrim Pipeline, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the NY Thruway Authority (NYSTA) have been designated as co-lead agencies for this process.
For more details, read the FAQ flyer below.
Resources Available for the Community to Participate in the Pilgrim SEQR Process
The Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline (CAPP) has collected a number of materials to assist individuals, groups, municipalities, and other interested parties in getting involved in the review process:
- Notice of Positive Declaration re: Pilgrim [NY Dept. Of Environmental Conservation]
- Letter: NY DEC response to New Paltz Central School District (Apr 12, 2017)
- FAQs on the Public Role in State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and the “Scoping” Process [Scenic Hudson & Riverkeeper]
- Drafting a Scoping Comment Letter
- Sample Scoping Comment Letter
- Letter to NY officials on scoping process [CAPP-NY]
- New York State SEQR Handbook (note that Chapter 3 addresses Lead Agency matters) [or see .pdf version here]
- NY DEC’s overview of SEQR
- NY DEC’s overview of the Pilgrim Pipeline permit process
More documents relating to hazardous liquid pipelines in general are available on the CAPP Resources page.
More materials will be added as they become available … check back often!