WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN AN ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT?
Here's what the State Environmental Quality Review Act regulations (6 NYCRR Part 617.9) says must be included in an "environmental impact statement" (EIS); if you find any of these things are missing or are inadequate, you can comment accordingly:
. . . (b)(2) EISs must be clearly and concisely written in plain language that can be read and understood by the public. Within the framework presented in paragraph (5) of this subdivision, EISs should address only those potential significant adverse environmental impacts that can be reasonably anticipated and/or have been identified in the scoping process. EISs should not contain more detail than is appropriate considering the nature and magnitude of the proposed action and the significance of its potential impacts. Highly technical material should be summarized and, if it must be included in its entirety, should be referenced in the statement and included in an appendix.
(3) All draft and final EISs must be preceded by a cover sheet stating:
(i) whether it is a draft or final EIS;
(ii) the name or descriptive title of the action;
(iii) the location (county and town, village or city) and street address, if applicable, of the action;
(iv) the name and address of the lead agency and the name and telephone number of a person at the agency who can provide further information;
(v) the names of individuals or organizations that prepared any portion of the statement;
(vi) the date of its acceptance by the lead agency; and
(vii) in the case of a draft EIS, the date by which comments must be submitted.
(4) A draft or final EIS must have a table of contents following the cover sheet and a precise summary which adequately and accurately summarizes the statement.
(5) The format of the draft EIS may be flexible; however, all draft EISs must include the following elements:
(i) a concise description of the proposed action, its purpose, public need and benefits, including social and economic considerations;
(ii) a concise description of the environmental setting of the areas to be affected, sufficient to understand the impacts of the proposed action and alternatives;
(iii) a statement and evaluation of the potential significant adverse environmental impacts at a level of detail that reflects the severity of the impacts and the reasonable likelihood of their occurrence. The draft EIS should identify and discuss the following only where applicable and significant:
(a) reasonably related short-term and long-term impacts, cumulative impacts and other associated environmental impacts;
(b) those adverse environmental impacts that cannot be avoided or adequately mitigated if the proposed action is implemented;
(c) any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of environmental resources that would be associated with the proposed action should it be implemented;
(d) any growth-inducing aspects of the proposed action;
(e) impacts of the proposed action on the use and conservation of energy (for an electric generating facility, the statement must include a demonstration that the facility will satisfy electric generating capacity needs or other electric systems needs in a manner reasonably consistent with the most recent state energy plan);
(f) impacts of the proposed action on solid waste management and its consistency with the state or locally adopted solid waste management plan;
(g) impacts of public acquisitions of land or interests in land or funding for non-farm development on lands used in agricultural production and unique and irreplaceable agricultural lands within agricultural districts pursuant to subdivision (4) of section 305 of article 25-AA of the Agriculture and Markets Law; and
(h) if the proposed action is in or involves resources in Nassau or Suffolk Counties, impacts of the proposed action on, and its consistency with, the comprehensive management plan for the special groundwater protection area program as implemented pursuant to article 55 or any plan subsequently ratified and adopted pursuant to article 57 of the Environmental Conservation Law for Nassau and Suffolk counties;
(iv) a description of the mitigation measures;
(v) a description and evaluation of the range of reasonable alternatives to the action that are feasible, considering the objectives and capabilities of the project sponsor. The description and evaluation of each alternative should be at a level of detail sufficient to permit a comparative assessment of the alternatives discussed. The range of alternatives must include the no action alternative. The no action alternative discussion should evaluate the adverse or beneficial site changes that are likely to occur in the reasonably foreseeable future, in the absence of the proposed action. The range of alternatives may also include, as appropriate, alternative:
(c) scale or magnitude;
(f) use; and
(g) types of action.
For private project sponsors, any alternative for which no discretionary approvals are needed may be described. Site alternatives may be limited to parcels owned by, or under option to, a private project sponsor;
(vi) for a state agency action in the coastal area the action's consistency: with the applicable coastal policies contained in 19 NYCRR 600.5; or when the action is in an approved local waterfront revitalization program area, with the local program policies;
(vii) for a state agency action within a heritage area or urban cultural park, the action's consistency with the approved heritage area management plan or the approved urban cultural park management plan;
(viii) a list of any underlying studies, reports, EISs and other information obtained and considered in preparing the statement including the final written scope.
(6) In addition to the analysis of significant adverse impacts required in subparagraph (b)(5)(iii) of this section, if information about reasonably foreseeable catastrophic impacts to the environment is unavailable because the cost to obtain it is exorbitant, or the means to obtain it are unknown, or there is uncertainty about its validity, and such information is essential to an agency's SEQR findings, the EIS must:
(i) identify the nature and relevance of unavailable or uncertain information;
(ii) provide a summary of existing credible scientific evidence, if available; and
(iii) assess the likelihood of occurrence, even if the probability of occurrence is low, and the consequences of the potential impact, using theoretical approaches or research methods generally accepted in the scientific community.This analysis would likely occur in the review of such actions as an oil supertanker port, a liquid propane gas/liquid natural gas facility, or the siting of a hazardous waste treatment facility. It does not apply in the review of such actions as shopping malls, residential subdivisions or office facilities. [. . .]