New York courts are showing impatience with local governments that withhold or stretch out approval of projects without valid environmental grounds. In seven cases last year under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), courts overturned municipal actions that rejected projects or delayed approvals.

In all, the courts decided 46 cases under SEQRA in 2023. Where the government agency had decided that an environmental impact statement (EIS) was not needed, that choice was upheld in 23 cases and overturned in eight. Where an EIS had been prepared, the EIS was upheld in 11 and found inadequate in only one. The remaining three cases cannot be classified in this manner.