Survey: 2010 Environmental Law

This Article will discuss notable developments in the law relating to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) for the survey period in 2010.  While early 2010 saw no major cases from the Court of Appeals or groundbreaking law from appellate division courts, it did see the potential emergence from lower court decisions of the practical contours of the Court of Appeals’ 2009 standing decision in Save the Pine Bush, Inc. v. Common Council of the City of Albany.  Two cases address the unusual issue of what types of agencies are subject to SEQRA, several deal with issues of ripeness, prematurity, and equitable remedies, and other decisions concern challenges to major New York City rezoning and developments. While no court addressed climate change/greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) analysis under SEQRA, early 2010 saw significant technical guidance issued by New York City on the issue that may shape future practice in that area, particularly within New York City, while raising significant questions regarding mitigation.

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Mark A. Chertok is a partner, and Ashley S. Miller an associate, at Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C., in New York, NY (www.sprlaw.com). Both authors practice environmental law at the firm.

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