Tompkins County
New York

Resolution
7374
Recommended
Feb 1, 2018 9:30 AM

Approving Revisions to Policy 09-33 of the Tompkins County Government Administrative Policy Manual - Complying with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA)

Information

Department:County AdministrationSponsors:
Category:AdministrativeFunctions:Administrative Manual Policy

Attachments

  1. Printout
  2. SEQRA Policy_track for PDEQ 11-22-17 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  3. SEQRA Policy_11-22-17 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  4. SEQRA Energy Addendum 11-22-17 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  5. SEQR Policy Cover memo PDEQ 11-22-17 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  6. SEQRA Energy Addendum Track Changes 11-22-17 (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  7. Memo - Policy 09-33 – Complying with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)
  8. Template_ChangeRequestForm_SEQR Policy III (This file has not yet been converted to a viewable format)

Resolution/Document Body

              WHEREAS, it is in the interest of Tompkins County government to have policies and procedures that are current, accurate, and consistent, and

 

              WHEREAS, Administrative Policy 09-33 regarding procedures for processing County actions in compliance with the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) has not been updated since 2003 and required revisions to more accurately reflect procedures to comply with SEQRA and to improve proposed projects and protect the environment, and

 

              WHEREAS, Administrative Policy 09-33 has been reviewed and processed according to the guidelines of Policy 01-04: Modifying the Administrative Manual: The Policies and Procedures of Tompkins County Government, and

 

              WHEREAS, this policy also has been reviewed by the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee, the Facilities and Infrastructure Committee, and the Government Operations Committee, now therefore be it

 

                      RESOLVED, on recommendation of the Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality, the Facilities and Infrastructure, and the Government Operations Committees, That the proposed revisions to Administrative Policy 09-33 regarding compliance with SEQRA are hereby adopted.

SEQR ACTION: TYPE II-20

 

Meeting History

Nov 2, 2017 3:00 PM  Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. Younger briefly reviewed the process followed for bringing forward the proposed changes to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) policy as recommended by the Department.

As detailed in the Change Request Form, Ms. Jurkowich reviewed the major changes in the policy. She said the policy with the proposed amendments was reviewed by the Environmental Management Council as well and in response to their concerns the SEQRA Energy Addendum was prepared.

At this time, it was MOVED by Mr. McKenna, seconded by Mr. Sigler, to recommend the resolution.

Ms. Chock suggested having a table included in the policy that outlines the various times for review and the comment period for Unlisted and Type I actions. In addition, she expressed concern with the seven-day period for Unlisted actions not requiring an environmental impact statement and that it should be extended. Ms. Jurkowich said she would support changing it to 15 days. Ms. Jurkowich said she would also provide clarifying language as necessary in this section of the policy.

Ms. Kiefer said she would like to restore language from the Legislative Policy Statement from the original policy and to reorder some sections of the policy.

Following further discussion, Ms. Robertson asked that the motion to recommend the resolution be withdrawn to allow Committee members to meet with appropriate staff to discuss any proposed changes to the policy and to bring the resolution and policy back to the Committee next month. The Committee agreed.

Ms. Robertson requested the word “may” following the word “…systems” to be added to paragraph six of the Energy Addendum.

RESULT:WITHDRAWN NOT FINALNext: 12/7/2017 3:00 PM
Dec 7, 2017 3:00 PM  Planning, Development, and Environmental Quality Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. Jurkowich briefly reviewed her memorandum to the Committee and the proposed changes included in it.

Ms. Kiefer believes thirty days should be the minimum number of days for notification and made a MOTION to replace Section F of the Policy (pages 5 and 6) with the following:

F. Referral of Unlisted and Type I Actions to Department of Planning and Sustainability and Environmental Management Council The Responsible Agency shall notify the Department of Planning and Sustainability, the Environmental Management Council (EMC), other appropriate Advisory Boards, and the County Legislator representing the district in which the project is located by submitting to them a copy of the Environmental Assessment Form, the initial determination of significance (Negative, Positive, or Conditioned Negative Declaration), a project description indicating the location of the Action, and the deadline for comments. This notification shall be submitted no less than thirty (30) calendar days prior to any formal consideration of the Action by the appropriate Program Committee(s) or, in the case of actions where the County Legislature is not the Lead Agency, prior to any final decision

Actions (whether Unlisted or Type I) that could involve an unusual or substantial impact would require appropriately longer periods for review. In such cases, the EMC and other appropriate Advisory Boards may make a request to the Chair(s) of the appropriate Program Committee(s) or, in the case of actions where the County Legislature is not the Lead Agency, the head of the appropriate county agency for additional time to complete the review.

When, in the opinion of the County Administrator, circumstances require speedy action precluding the normal review process, the County Administrator, with the concurrence of the Chair of the County Legislature, is authorized to disregard the provisions of this "Referral of Unlisted and Type I Actions to Department of Planning and Sustainability and Environmental Management Council" section, and bring resolutions directly to the County Legislature by requesting the chair of an appropriate Program Committee to place on a County Legislature agenda a resolution authorizing the Action. Even if this section is bypassed to ensure speedy action, the County shall adhere to all SEQRA regulations.

MOTION FAILED due to lack of second.

Ms. Chock made a MOTION to change “seven days” for review to “nine days” for review; MOTION FAILED due to lack of second.

Ms. Chock hopes training will be provided for staff who this will likely involve. Ms. Jurkowich stated if this Policy is approved the Planning and Sustainability Department will be providing training for those Departments this pertains to.

Ms. Kiefer referred to the memorandum and stated the State Type II list applies to large counties and municipalities and gives staff the opportunity and freedom to review the SEQRA Action as an unlisted action instead of just blindly saying there is no problem.

It was MOVED by Ms. Kiefer, seconded by Mr. McKenna, to amend the policy to include the sentence at the conclusion of the paragraph on pages 4 and 5 - D(1): Determining Action Type: Type II Actions as follows: “However, since the DEC Type II List is designed to apply statewide, the scale and size of the list included may not be appropriate for Tompkins County and the Responsible Agency may choose to review it as an Unlisted Action.” A voice vote resulted as follows: Ayes - 4, Noes - 1 (Robertson). MOTION CARRIED.

RESULT:RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:David McKenna, Member
SECONDER:Michael Sigler, Member
AYES:Martha Robertson, Dooley Kiefer, Michael Sigler, David McKenna, Carol Chock
Dec 12, 2017 3:00 PM  Facilities and Infrastructure Committee Regular Meeting

Ms. Younger explained the procedures involved in updating the Administrative Manual Policy.

Ms. Jurkowich explained she was not supportive of the change made to the Policy by the Planning, Development and Environmental Quality Committee on page 4.

In response to Ms. Black's inquiry, Ms. Jurkowich stated the County Attorney had not provided feedback to the Planning, Development and Environmental Quality Committee regarding the change made at that meeting to the Policy.

It was MOVED by Mr. Klein, seconded by Ms. Black, to amend the policy by removing the sentence at the conclusion of the paragraph on pages 4 and 5 - D(1): Determining Action Type: Type II Actions as follows: “However, since the DEC Type II List is designed to apply statewide, the scale and size of the list included may not be appropriate for Tompkins County and the Responsible Agency may choose to review it as an Unlisted Action.” A voice vote on the amendment resulted as follows: Ayes - 3, Noes - 0, Excused - 1 (McKenna), Absent - 1 (Sigler). MOTION CARRIED.

RESULT:RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Shawna Black, Member
SECONDER:Daniel Klein, Member
AYES:Glenn Morey, Daniel Klein, Shawna Black
ABSENT:Michael Sigler
EXCUSED:David McKenna
Feb 1, 2018 9:30 AM  Government Operations Committee Regular Meeting
draft Draft
RESULT:RECOMMENDED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Deborah Dawson, Vice Chair
SECONDER:Michael Lane, Member
AYES:Daniel Klein, Deborah Dawson, Rich John, Michael Lane, Amanda Champion