SEQR Classification and Lead Agency Coordination & Review

Projects subject to the SEQR process are classified as Type I, Type II or Unlisted. Projects expected to exceed one or more of the various thresholds listed in 6 NYCRR Part 617.4(b) are classified as Type I and are presumed to have the potential for significant adverse impacts to the environment. Such projects require a Coordinated Review, and oftentimes a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required. Projects that meet the development descriptions in Part 617.5(c) are classified as Type II and are presumed to have little or no adverse impact, and no formal review under SEQR is required.

Projects that do not meet the parameters for either Type I or Type II classification are classified as “Unlisted.”

SEQR Type I Actions

Type I actions require a Coordinated Review which involves the formal establishment of a Lead Agency and consists of the following steps:

  • The agency desiring to be Lead Agency circulates a letter of intent and Part 1 of a Long EAF to other Involved Agencies (Involved Agencies are agencies that must also issue a permit or approval for the action).
  • After a 30-day period during which Involved Agencies can object to the choice of Lead Agency or to various aspects of the project, the Lead Agency is established.
  • The Lead Agency then completes Parts 2 and 3 (if necessary) of the Long EAF, and completes an environmental assessment of the action.
  • If the Lead Agency determines the action would not result in significant adverse impact to the environment, a Negative Declaration is issued. If there are no objections or challenges to this determination, the SEQR Process is considered to be complete.
  • If the Lead Agency determines the action could result in significant adverse impact to the environment, a Positive Declaration is issued. A Positive Declaration is filed with Involved Agencies and the Environmental Notice Bulletin. A Positive Declaration generally requires additional environmental review, and oftentimes, a full Environmental Impact Statement.

SEQR Type II Actions

Actions classified as Type II are not subject to formal review under SEQR and have no specific filing requirements. However, it is generally good practice for the project sponsor or reviewing agency to file a letter or memorandum in the project files indicating which citation in NYCRR 617.5 is the primary factor in determining the Type II classification.

SEQR Unlisted Actions

Unlisted actions require, at a minimum, the preparation of a Short EAF. A Coordinated Review (as described above) is optional for Unlisted Actions. If the Short EAF does not provide sufficient project information to allow for a determination of significance (i.e., Positive Declaration or Negative Declaration), the project sponsor can elect to utilize the Long EAF and undertake a Coordinated Review.