§ 58-6Lead agency.
§ 58-7Environmental assessment and determination
§ 58-8Environmental impact statement.
§ 58-9Fees for review and preparation.
§ 58-10Information officer.
The lead agency is the agency (i.e., board, department, office, other body or officer) of the Town of Potsdam principally responsible for carrying out, funding or approving an action. The lead agency is responsible for determining whether an EIS is required for the action and for preparing and filing the EIS, if it is required.
Where more than one agency is involved, the lead agency is determined and designated as provided in Sections 6 and 7 of Part 617, except that for the following specific Type I and unlisted actions, in cases where a federal or state agency permit or approval is not necessary, the lead agency is:
Adoption, amendment or change in zoning or land use regulations: the Town Board.
Construction or expansion of town buildings, structures and other facilities, including highways within the town: the Town Board.
Variances: the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Purchase, sale and/or lease of real property by the town: the Town Board.
Planned unit development or cluster zoning: the Town Planning Board.
Site plan review and special use permits: the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Construction or expansion of a nonresidential facility: the Zoning Board of Appeals.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will be the town clearinghouse for lead agency designation. It will assist agencies and applicants to identify other federal, state and local agencies that may be involved in approving, funding or carrying out Type I and unlisted actions. The clearinghouse will make recommendations on designation of lead agencies for particular actions.
Environmental review of actions involving a federal agency will be processed in accordance with Section 16 of Part 617.
When any agency, department, body, board or officer of the Town of Potsdam contemplates directly carrying out, funding or approving any Type I action, a full environmental assessment form (EAF) must be prepared by it or on its behalf. When an unlisted action is contemplated, either a full or short-form EAF, as appropriate, must be prepared. The EAF forms given in Appendices A and B of Part 617 will be used as models but may be modified to meet the needs of particular cases. However, the final scope of such a modified EAF must be at least as comprehensive as the scope of the model forms.
When any person submits an application for funding or a permit or other approval of a Type I or unlisted action to any agency, department, body, board or officer of the Town of Potsdam, an EAF must accompany the application. For Type I actions, a full EAF must be prepared; for unlisted actions, either the full EAF or the short form may be used as appropriate. An applicant may choose to prepare a draft EIS in place of an EAF.
The lead agency must make a determination of environmental significance of the action. This determination must be based on the EAF or, with respect to unlisted actions, its own procedures, as the case may be, and on such other information as it may require. The criteria stated in Section 11 of Part 617 must also be considered by the lead agency in making its determination of significance. The determination must be made within 15 days of its designation as lead agency or within 15 days of its receipt of all information it requires, whichever is later.
For Type I actions, the lead agency must give public notice and file a determination of nonsignificance as provided in Subdivision 10(b) or Part 617. For unlisted actions, the lead agency must send a determination of nonsignificance to the applicant and maintain its own records thereof in accordance with Subdivisions 7(e) and 10(f) of Part 617.
If the lead agency makes a determination of nonsignificance, the direct action, approval or funding involved will be processed without further regard to SEQR, Part 617, or this chapter.
The time of filing an application for approval or funding of an action commences from the date the determination of environmental nonsignificance is made. If the applicant prepared a draft EIS in lieu of an EAF, the time of filing commences from the date the lead agency accepts the draft EIS as adequate is scope and content, and commences the public comment period.
If, based on review of the EAF and other information, the lead agency determines that the proposed action may be environmentally significant, then an EIS must be prepared.
If an EIS is required, the lead agency must proceed as provided in Sections 8, 9 and 10 of Part 617. The draft EIS will normally be prepared by the applicant. If the applicant fails to prepare a draft EIS or prepares a draft EIS which is unacceptable to the lead agency, the lead agency may either prepare a draft EIS itself, discontinue further processing until the applicant can provide an acceptable draft EIS or deem the application abandoned and discontinue review.
If a public hearing is held on the draft EIS, it must, whenever possible, be concurrent with any other hearing on the application.
The fees for review or preparation of an EIS involving approval or funding of an action will be fixed from time to time by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Potsdam.
Fees so fixed will be consistent with the limitations set by Section 17 of Part 617. When the EIS is prepared by the applicant, fees will reflect actual expenses of reviewing it. When the EIS is prepared by an agency on behalf of the applicant, fees will reflect the cost of preparation, including publication of notices, but not the cost of environmental review by the agency. However, the lead agency may not charge a fee for its determination of significance.
The Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Potsdam is hereby appointed Environmental Review Information Officer. Said officer shall provide short-form EAF documents to nongovernmental applicants as requested and other documents as may seem to said officer to be appropriate and shall provide such advice and assistance to governmental and nongovernmental applicants as may, to said officer, seem appropriate, to promote proper compliance with relevant federal, state and local laws and regulations concerning environmental review of proposed actions.