Among the many sweeping changes made in recent years to New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”), including pending SEQRA amendments and a revised SEQRA handbook, are the adoption of revised model environmental assessment forms (EAFs). The new forms were adopted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYCDEC) back in January of 2012 and become effective as of Monday, October 7, 2013. The new EAFs can be found on NYCDEC’s website by clicking here.
The new forms are the first update to the short and full EAFs in over two decades and will replace the existing forms located in the Appendices to 6 NYCRR 617.20. In an attempt to modernize the areas of inquiry covered by the forms, the new forms address trendy subjects in the land use development arena including such topics as brownfields, energy efficiency and climate change. Although the forms are lengthier and require more specific information on a wider array of environmental and development issues, they also reflect advances in computer technology as evidenced by their more user-friendly design.