For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and terms used herein are defined as follows:
- Projects or activities undertaken by any agency; or projects supported, in whole or in part, through contracts, grants, subsidies, loans or other forms of funding assistance from one or more agencies; or projects involving the issuance to a person of a lease, permit, license, certificate or other entitlement for use or permission to act by one or more agencies; and policy, regulations and procedure-making. It covers any activity of an agency, except Type II and exempt actions as listed herein, including, without limitation:
- A. Physical activities, such as construction, or other activities which change the use or appearance of any natural resource or a structure.
- B. Funding activities, such as the proposing, approval or disapproval of contracts, grants, subsidies, loans, tax abatements or exemptions or other forms of direct or indirect financial assistance.
- C. Licensing activities, such as the proposing, approval or disapproval of a lease, permit, license, certificate or other entitlement for use or permission to act.
- D. Planning activities, such as site selection for other activities and proposing, approval or disapproval of Master Plans or long-range plans, Zoning Maps or other land use maps, ordinances or regulations, development plans or other plans designed to provide a program for future activities.
- E. Policy-making activities, such as the making, modification or establishment of rules, regulations, procedures, policy and guidelines.
- Any state or local agency.
- Any person making an application or other request for agency action.
- The Commissioner of Environmental Conservation.
- The Department of Environmental Conservation.
- DIRECT ACTIONS
- Actions directly undertaken by the local agency, whether or not such actions are supported, in whole or in part, through contracts, grants, subsidies, loans or other forms of funding assistance from one or more state agencies, and acts supported, in whole or in part, through contracts, grants, subsidies, loans or other forms of funding assistance from one or more local agencies.
- DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
- A detailed preliminary written statement, setting forth matters specified in Articles IV and VII of these regulations.
- ENTITLEMENT ACTIONS
- Actions involving the public issuance by the local agency of a lease, permit, certificate or other entitlement to a person for use or permission to act.
- The physical conditions which will be affected by a proposed action, including land; air; water; minerals; flora; fauna; noise; objects of historic or aesthetic significance; existing patterns of population concentration, distribution or growth; and existing community or neighborhood character.
- FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
- A detailed written statement, setting forth the matters specified in Articles V and VII of these regulations, including any comments received on a draft environmental statement, as well as the local agency's response to such comments, to the extent that such comments raise issues not adequately resolved in the draft environmental statement.
- LOCAL AGENCY
- The governing body and/or any department, officer, agency, board, district or commission of the Town of Hyde Park, County of Dutchess, New York, which has authority to undertake or permit an action as defined herein.
- MINISTERIAL ACTION
- An action performed upon a given state of facts in a prescribed manner imposed by law without the exercise of any judgment or discretion as to the propriety of the action, such as the grant of a driver's license, although such law may require, in some degree, a construction of its language or intent.
- The Town of Hyde Park, County of Dutchess, New York.
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation rules and regulations, known as the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.
- Any agency, individual, corporation, governmental entity, partnership, association, trustee or other legal entity.
- STATE AGENCY
- Any state department, agency, board, public benefit corporation, public authority or commission.
- TYPICAL ASSOCIATED ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS
- Changes in one or more natural resources which usually occur because of impacts on other such resources as a result of natural interrelationships or cycles. For example, the diminution of a predator population is typically associated with the increase in a prey population.
Pursuant to § 8-0113, Article 8, of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law, the Town Board of the Town of Hyde Park, County of Dutchess, New York, adopts the following regulations for the purpose of implementing the provisions of Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law, which requires environmental quality review of public actions which may have significant effect on the environment. These shall be known and may be cited as the "Town of Hyde Park SEQR Regulations."
The state legislature has established state policy to encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment, to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and enhance human and community resources and to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems, natural, human and community resources important to the people of the state.
The basic purposes of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) are as follows: to incorporate environmental factors into the existing planning and decision-making processes of state, regional and local agencies at the earliest possible time; to have all agencies conduct their affairs with an awareness that they are stewards of the air, water, land and living resources; and to have agencies recognize that they have an obligation to protect the environment for the use and enjoyment of this and all future generations.
The SEQR regulations indicate that it is intended that the protection and enhancement of the environment, as well as human and community resources, should be given appropriate weight with social and economic considerations in public policy and that these factors be considered together in reaching decisions on proposed activities.
Accordingly, it is the intention of these regulations that a suitable balance of social, economic and environmental factors be incorporated in the planning and decision-making processes of local agencies. It is not the intention of SEQR that environmental factors be the sole consideration in decision-making.
Further, these regulations shall not deprive any agency of its existing jurisdiction or authority nor shall these authorize any agency to review and/or approve actions by other public agencies except as may be provided by other legislation.
It is also understood that the SEQR process is to be integrated into existing agency procedures so as not to result in unnecessary delays in planning and decision-making but to expedite agency decision-making and to assist agencies in making more informed decisions.
No decision to carry out or approve an action, other than an action listed in Article II, §§ 54-7, 54-8 and 54-9 hereof, shall be made by the local agency until there has been full compliance with all requirements of these regulations and Part 617 of Title 6 of NYCRR; provided, however, that nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting the following:
The conducting of contemporaneous environmental, engineering, economic feasibility, other studies and preliminary planning and budgetary processes necessary to the formulation of a proposal for action which does not commit the municipality to approve, commence or engage in such action.
The granting of any part of an application which relates only to technical specifications and requirements, provided that no such partial approval shall entitle or permit the applicant to commence the action until all requirements of these regulations and Part 617 of Title 6 of NYCRR have been fulfilled.
The local agency shall maintain files open for public inspection of all notices of completion, all draft and final environmental impact statements and all written determinations prepared or caused to be prepared by the local agency pursuant to these regulations.