The Wait is Finally Over for New York Land Use and Environmental Practitioners … The New Edition of the SEQRA Handbook Has Arrived

It has been almost two decades since the last edition of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) Handbook was released by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s (NYSDEC) Division of Environmental Permits. Despite significant amendments to the SEQR regulations, 6 NYCRR Part 617 in January 1996 and tens of hundreds of cases of distinction on SEQR substance and procedure, many land use and environmental practitioners have been left to fend for themselves without up-to-date technical regulatory guidance from NYSDEC until now.

For those who are unfamiliar with the SEQR Handbook, it is a practical reference guide for agencies, project sponsors and the public with respect to the procedures prescribed by the State Environmental Quality Review Act. It has a user-friendly table of contents and each topic in the handbook is addressed through question and answer format. The questions range from basic information such as “What is the Environmental Notice Bulletin (ENB)?” to “How should a generic environmental impact statement (EIS) address required content differently than a site or project specific EIS?” In addition, the handbook provides a roadmap of the Part 617 SEQR Regulations before and after the 1996 Amendments and several helpful charts including one which shows all of the relevant steps in the SEQR process, the number of calendar days in which those steps must be addressed and provides citations to the section of the regulations that govern each step. Although not available in hard copy, a .pdf version of the SEQR Handbook is available for download or printing from NYSDEC’s website.

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