6 CRR-NY 617.6NY-CRR

6 CRR-NY 617.6
6 CRR-NY 617.6
617.6 Initial review of actions and establishing lead agency.
(a) Initial review of actions.
(1) As early as possible in an agency's formulation of an action it proposes to undertake, or as soon as an agency receives an application for funding or for approval of an action, it must do the following:
(i) determine whether the action is subject to SEQR. If the action is a Type II action, the agency has no further responsibilities under this Part;
(ii) determine whether the action involves a Federal agency. If the action involves a Federal agency, the provisions of section 617.15 of this Part apply;
(iii) determine whether the action may involve one or more other agencies; and
(iv) make a preliminary classification of an action as Type I or Unlisted, using the information available and comparing it with the thresholds set forth in section 617.4 of this Part. Such preliminary classification will assist in determining whether a full EAF and coordinated review is necessary.
(2) For Type I actions, a full EAF (see section 617.20, Appendix A, of this Part) must be used to determine the significance of such actions. The project sponsor must complete Part 1 of the full EAF, including a list of all other involved agencies that the project sponsor has been able to identify, exercising all due diligence. The lead agency is responsible for preparing Parts 2 and 3.
(3) For Unlisted actions, the short EAF (see section 617.20, Appendix B, of this Part) must be used to determine the significance of such actions. However, an agency may instead use the full EAF for Unlisted actions if the short EAF would not provide the lead agency with sufficient information on which to base its determination of significance. The lead agency may require other information necessary to determine significance.
(4) For state agencies only, determine whether the action is located in the coastal area. If the action is either Type I or Unlisted and is in the coastal area, the provisions of 19 NYCRR Part 600 also apply. This provision applies to all State agencies, whether acting as a lead or involved agency.
(5) Determine whether the Type I or Unlisted action is located in an agricultural district and comply with the provisions of subdivision (4) of section 305 of article 25-AA of the Agriculture and Markets Law, if applicable.
(b) Establishing lead agency.
(1) When a single agency is involved, that agency will be the lead agency when it proposes to undertake, fund or approve a Type I or Unlisted action that does not involve another agency.
(i) If the agency is directly undertaking the action, it must determine the significance of the action as early as possible in the design or formulation of the action.
(ii) If the agency has received an application for funding or approval of the action, it must determine the significance of the action within 20 calendar days of its receipt of the application, an EAF, or any additional information reasonably necessary to make that determination, whichever is later.
(2) When more than one agency is involved:
(i) For all Type I actions and for coordinated review of Unlisted actions involving more than one agency, a lead agency must be established prior to a determination of significance. For Unlisted actions where there will be no coordinated review, the procedures in paragraph (4) of this subdivision must be followed.
(ii) When an agency has been established as the lead agency for an action involving an applicant and has determined that an EIS is required, it must, in accordance with section 617.12(b) of this Part, promptly notify the applicant and all other involved agencies, in writing, that it is the lead agency, that an EIS is required and whether that scoping will be conducted.
(iii) The lead agency will continue in that role until it files either a negative declaration or a findings statement or a lead agency is re-established in accordance with paragraph (6) of this subdivision.
(3) Coordinated review.
(i) When an agency proposes to directly undertake, fund or approve a Type I action or an Unlisted action undergoing coordinated review with other involved agencies, it must, as soon as possible, transmit Part 1 of the EAF completed by the project sponsor, or a draft EIS and a copy of any application it has received to all involved agencies and notify them that a lead agency must be agreed upon within 30 calendar days of the date the EAF or draft EIS was transmitted to them. For the purposes of this Part, and unless otherwise specified by the department, all coordination and filings with the department as an involved agency must be with the appropriate regional office of the department.
(ii) The lead agency must determine the significance of the action within 20 calendar days of its establishment as lead agency, or within 20 calendar days of its receipt of all information it may reasonably need to make the determination of significance, whichever occurs later, and must immediately prepare, file and publish the determination in accordance with section 617.12 of this Part.
(iii) If a lead agency exercises due diligence in identifying all other involved agencies and provides written notice of its determination of significance to the identified involved agencies, then no involved agency may later require the preparation of an EAF, a negative declaration or an EIS in connection with the action. The determination of significance issued by the lead agency following coordinated review is binding on all other involved agencies.
(4) Uncoordinated review for Unlisted actions involving more than one agency.
(i) An agency conducting an uncoordinated review may proceed as if it were the only involved agency pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section unless and until it determines that an action may have a significant adverse impact on the environment.
(ii) If an agency determines that the action may have a significant adverse impact on the environment, it must then coordinate with other involved agencies.
(iii) At any time prior to its final decision an agency may have its negative declaration superseded by a positive declaration by any other involved agency.
(5) Actions for which lead agency cannot be agreed upon:
(i) If, within the 30 calendar days allotted for establishment of lead agency, the involved agencies are unable to agree upon which agency will be the lead agency, any involved agency or the project sponsor may request, by certified mail or other form of receipted delivery to the commissioner, that a lead agency be designated. Simultaneously, copies of the request must be sent by certified mail or other form of receipted delivery to all involved agencies and the project sponsor. Any agency raising a dispute must be ready to assume the lead agency functions if such agency is designated by the commissioner.
(ii) The request must identify each involved agency's jurisdiction over the action, and all relevant information necessary for the commissioner to apply the criteria in subparagraph (v) of this paragraph, and state that all comments must be submitted to the commissioner within 10 calendar days after receipt of the request.
(iii) Within 10 calendar days of the date a copy of the request is received by them, involved agencies and the project sponsor may submit to the commissioner any comments they may have on the action. Such comments must contain the information indicated in subparagraph (ii) of this paragraph.
(iv) The commissioner must designate a lead agency within 20 calendar days of the date the request or any supplemental information the commissioner has required is received, based on a review of the facts, the criteria below, and any comments received.
(v) The commissioner will use the following criteria, in order of importance, to designate lead agency:
(a) whether the anticipated impacts of the action being considered are primarily of statewide, regional, or local significance (i.e., if such impacts are of primarily local significance, all other considerations being equal, the local agency involved will be lead agency);
(b) which agency has the broadest governmental powers for investigation of the impact(s) of the proposed action; and
(c) which agency has the greatest capability for providing the most thorough environmental assessment of the proposed action.
(vi) Notice of the commissioner's designation of lead agency will be mailed to all involved agencies and the project sponsor.
(6) Re-establishment of lead agency.
(i) Re-establishment of lead agency may occur by agreement of all involved agencies in the following circumstances:
(a) for a supplement to a final EIS or generic EIS;
(b) upon failure of the lead agency's basis of jurisdiction; or
(c) upon agreement of the project sponsor, prior to the acceptance of a draft EIS.
(ii) Disputes concerning re-establishment of lead agency for a supplement to a final EIS or generic EIS are subject to the designation procedures contained in paragraph (b)(5) of this section.
(iii) Notice of re-establishment of lead agency must be given by the new lead agency to the project sponsor within 10 days of its establishment.
Coordination of reporting; limitations; lead agency, Environmental Conservation Law § 8-0111.
Preparation of environmental impact statement, Environmental Conservation Law § 8-0109.
Rules and regulations, Environmental Conservation Law § 8-0113.
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, Generally. 42 U.S.C.A. § 4321.
55 NY Jur 2d, Environmental Rights and Remedies §§ 48, 56, 58, 60, 61, 62, 64, 168, 248.
61A Am Jur 2d, Pollution Control §§ 46, 47.
6 CRR-NY 617.6
Current through January 31, 2020
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