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The most controversial decision in New York environmental jurisprudence is almost certainly Society of the Plastics Industry v. County of Suffolk (Plastics),1 in which the Court of Appeals ruled in 1991 that plaintiffs in suits under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) must show that they are affected differently than the public at large. In the 18 years since that decision, the New York Attorney General, the State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State and New York City bar associations, and numerous environmental groups all filed amicus briefs or issued reports calling for the reversal of the decision. Albany Law School held an all-day conference in 2002 on the subject. The State Legislature came close to amending SEQRA to effect a reversal. Yet the Court of Appeals rejected all entreaties to revisit the decision.

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