The courts decided 46 cases under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) in 2018. However, the most important action under SEQRA was in the Legislature, followed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Legislative Action

On July 18, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, L. 2019 ch. 106. Tucked in the back as Section 7(2), apparently not to be codified in the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) or elsewhere, is this provision:

In considering and issuing permits, licenses, and other administrative approvals and decisions, including but not limited to the execution of grants, loans, and contracts, all state agencies, offices, authorities and divisions shall consider whether such decisions are inconsistent with or will interfere with the attainment of the statewide greenhouse gas limits established in article 75 of the [ECL]. Where such decisions are deemed to be inconsistent with or will interfere with the attainment of the statewide greenhouse gas emission limits, each agency, office, authority or division shall provide a detailed statement of justification as to why such limits/criteria may not be met, and identify alternatives or greenhouse gas mitigation measures to be required where such project is located.

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