If a Coordinated Review for a Type I or Unlisted Action results in the Lead Agency issuing a Negative Declaration, and there are no successful challenges from other Involved Agencies, the SEQR Process is considered to be complete.
However, if the Coordinated Review for a Type I or Unlisted Action results in the Lead Agency issuing a Positive Declaration, then an additional environmental study is generally required, often taking the form of a full EIS. There are specific requirements that must be followed by the Lead Agency in the preparation of a full EIS:
- SEQRA scoping activities (agency and public): The Lead Agency must undertake a process for obtaining comments from both other agencies and the public regarding the key elements that must be assessed in the EIS.
- Preparation of an environmental baseline analysis: The EIS must include a detailed description of the environmental setting in which the project is to take place. Elements of the environmental setting must include topography, soils, and geology; surface water and groundwater resources; air resources; terrestrial and aquatic ecology; special habitats; endangered, rare, or threatened species; cultural, historical and archaeological resources; land use and zoning; transportation and traffic facilities; community services; and socioeconomic character.
- Proposed Action: The EIS must include a detailed description of the elements of the proposed project including the location, size and scale of the construction; the exact location and dimensions of proposed structures and access roads; and limits of required clearing and grading.
- Evaluation of Project Alternatives: The EIS must include a description of the alternatives that were considered for the project, not only in terms of the selected site, but also the alternatives related to size, scale, and selected technologies. The alternatives analysis must also provide the rational for the selection of the preferred alternative.
- Identification and evaluation of potentially adverse environmental impacts: The EIS must identify all potentially adverse or unavoidable impacts of the proposed action including cumulative impacts, irreversible or irretrievable commitments of resources, the use and conservation of energy, and the impact on community character or services.
- Assessment of mitigation measures for unavoidable adverse impacts: For potentially significant adverse impacts that cannot be avoided, the EIS must include a description of specific measures aimed at avoiding or lessening the severity of the impact.
- Preparation of DEIS: A DEIS must be issued for review by the project sponsor, the Lead Agency, Involved Agencies and Interested Parties including the public.
- Coordination of public review/comment period: A formal period of time for review of the EIS must be undertaken. This can include formal public hearings and/or informational meetings. Comments can be accepted both at the hearings and in writing.
- Preparation of FEIS: After the formal review period for the DEIS, a FEIS is prepared and issued. The FEIS must include responses to relevant and substantial comments collected during the DEIS review period.
- Completion of SEQRA Findings Statement: A minimum of 10 days after the issuance of the FEIS, the Lead Agency must prepare a written findings statement. The findings statement will identify environmental impacts, mitigation measures, and also recommend whether or not the proposed project can proceed.