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DEC considers SEQR changes

Feb 09, 2010 5:31 am

A diverse group of citizen practitioners have issued and asked for public comments on draft recommendations regarding potential improvement to the implementation of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (known as SEQR) in the Hudson Valley and Catskills (Department of Environmental Conservation Region 3). The proposals come a few months after NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Pete Grannis charged the group with gathering public input and ideas for streamlining SEQRA without compromising environmental protection or public participation. The initiative was chaired by DEC Regional Director Willie Janeway, Pattern for Progress President Jonathan Drapkin and Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan. The draft report was issued following three months of public meetings and oral and written comments by interested stakeholders representing citizen and environmental groups, business, builders, consulting planners, the legal community and local, county and state government agency representatives. Every person wishing to comment was encouraged to take advantage of one or more of the opportunities provided for in person or written comments.

A Public Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 17 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and again starting at 7 p.m. at the DEC Regional Headquarters at 21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561. This will give people an opportunity to ask questions and make comments.

Until March 12, 2010, comments or suggestions regarding the draft recommendations may also be sent via email to: R3SEQRWorkgroup@gw.dec.state.ny.us The comments received will be reviewed and changes to the draft recommendations considered before
suggestions are forwarded to the DEC Commissioner.

It should be noted that this effort is in addition to other continuing Department efforts to help improve the environmental review process such as new guidance with regard to climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and the amended Environmental Assessment Form (EAF).

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