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Understanding SEQR Terminology

You may have heard of SEQR (pronounced “SEEKER”), the State Environmental Quality Review Act. It requires all New York projects in need of state or local funding/approvals to examine their environmental impacts—meaning that districts must comply for most capital initiatives. Whether you’re undertaking your first SEQR process, or it’s been several years since the last one, we’ve put together some handy definitions.

EAF
The Environmental Assessment Form is the paperwork used to document and evaluate environmental impacts.

Involved Agencies
Governmental entities that fund, approve, or otherwise undertake some aspect of the project.

Interested Agencies
Entities that do not have funding, approval, or undertaking decisions but can contribute to SEQR review due to some interest or expertise.

Lead Agency
A single involved agency selected by all of the involved agencies to conduct the SEQR review.

Type I Action
A project that is more likely to result in a significant adverse environmental impact and meets certain criteria defined by SEQR regulations.

Type II Action
A project that has been pre-determined not to have a significant environmental impact and meets certain criteria defined by SEQR regulations. No SEQR review needed.

Unlisted Action
A generally smaller project that is less likely to result in a significant adverse environmental impact (all projects that are neither Type I nor Type II).

Segmentation
Consideration of only a subset of the project scope. Segmentation is contrary to the intent of SEQR, and the entire set of activities or steps for the project must always be evaluated.

Coordinated Review
A single SEQR review with input from Involved & Interested agencies (required for Type I; optional for Unlisted).

Uncoordinated Review
SEQR review without input from Involved & Interested agencies (only for Unlisted actions).

Negative Declaration (“Neg Dec”)
Determination of no significant adverse impact to the environment resulting from the project. Closes SEQR process.

Positive Declaration (“Pos Dec”)
Determination of at least one significant, adverse impact to the environment resulting from the project.

EIS (Environmental Impact Statement)
A document that is required once a Pos Dec is issued in order to investigate anticipated environmental impacts in detail.

SHPO (State Historic Preservation Office)
An organization that helps identify potential impacts to historic buildings & places as well as to archaeological artifacts.