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New York Environmental Legal Research Guide: State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)

A legal resource guide for information relating to New York State and New York City environmental law including primary and secondary source materials, quick links, and database resources.

The State of New York passed the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR or SEQRA) in 1975. According to the DEC's SEQRA Handbook, the law was passed to "declare a state  policy which will 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." Under the law and its implementing regulations, all state and local government agencies must consider environmental impacts equally with social and economic factors when engaging in decision-making. Any actions that would have a potentially adverse impact to the environment require the preparation of an environmental impact statement. The law is modeled after the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.

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