[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Albany 7-18-1983 by L.L. No. 2-1983 as Ch. IXB of the 1983 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the intention of the Common Council that the provisions of Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law (hereinafter referred to as "SEQR") and the regulations of the Department of Environmental Conservation promulgated thereunder as set forth in Part 617 of Chapter VI of Title 6 of the Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York (hereinafter referred to as "Part 617") be implemented in the City of Albany.
It is the further intention of the Common Council that the provisions of SEQR and Part 617 should be implemented and adopted by reference, unless otherwise set forth herein, as from time to time amended.
It is the further intention of the Common Council that the implementation of SEQR and Part 617 pursuant hereto by any agency of the City of Albany shall in no way be more protective of the environment than the implementation mandated by SEQR and Part 617, as from time to time amended.
It is the further intention of the Common Council that the terms and words used herein shall have the same meanings as such terms and words are defined in SEQR and Part 617, unless the context requires a different meaning.
There is hereby created in and for the City of Albany an Environmental Quality Review Board with the following duties and powers:
To act as a clearing house and provide assistance to any agency of the City of Albany in its attempts to comply with and implement SEQR and Part 617.
To coordinate the efforts of the various agencies of the City of Albany and act as the lead agency for the City of Albany in any action which involves more than one (1) such agency.
To adopt and distribute long and short environmental assessment forms.
To carry out the provisions of Part 617.8 through 617.12 upon the determination of any agency of the City of Albany or State of New York that any action within the meaning of Part 617 is either a Type I or unlisted action likely to have a substantial impact upon the environment.
To adopt for the City of Albany and its agencies a list of Type II actions in addition to those set forth in Part 617.13.
To adopt, after public hearing, such regulations as may be necessary to fulfill the mandates of this legislation.
To adopt a schedule of fees and costs in accordance with Part 617.17.
The Environmental Quality Review Board shall consist of the Mayor, the President of the Common Council, the Director of City Planning, the Albany Urban Renewal Agency Executive Director and the Corporation Counsel. Any member of the Board may from time to time designate a representative to attend in the member's absence any meeting of the Board.
No action, other than an exempt, excluded or Type II action, shall be carried out, approved or funded by any agency, board, body or officers of the City of Albany, unless it has complied with this chapter.
An environmental assessment form (hereafter referred to as an "EAF") shall be prepared by or on behalf of any agency, board, body or officer of the City of Albany in connection with any Type I action such agency, board, body or officer contemplates or proposes to carry out directly.
For an unlisted action, an EAF in a short or long form may be prepared to facilitate a preliminary determination of environmental significance.
An application for permit or funding of a Type I action shall be accompanied by an EAF and for an unlisted action may be accompanied by a short or long form EAF as may be needed to assist the appropriate agency or Environmental Quality Review Board in making a preliminary determination of environmental significance.
An applicant may prepare a draft environmental impact statement (hereinafter referred to as an "EIS") to accompany the application in place of the EAF.
In lieu of an EAF, the Environmental Quality Review Board may adopt different procedures for reviewing environmental significance of unlisted actions.
The appropriate agency or, in the case of the designation of it as the lead agency pursuant to §§ 181-3 through 181-9 hereof, the Environmental Quality Review Board shall make a preliminary determination of environmental significance of the action on the basis of the EAF, draft EIS or, with respect to unlisted actions, in accordance with its own procedures, as the case may be, and such other information it requires.
Such determination shall be made within fifteen (15) days of the determination by the agency of whether the provisions of § 181-2 hereof apply with respect to the Environmental Quality Review Board or within fifteen (15) days of the receipt of all information the agency or board requires, whichever is later.
For Type I actions, a determination of nonsignificance shall be noticed and filed as provided in Part 617.10(b).
For unlisted actions, a determination of nonsignificance shall be sent to the applicant and maintained in accordance with Part 617.7(e) and 617.10(f).
After a determination of nonsignificance, the action, including one involving a permit or funding, shall 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 shall commence to run from the date the preliminary determination of environmental nonsignificance is rendered or, if in lieu of an EAF the applicant prepares a draft EIS, from the date the applicant files a draft EIS acceptable to the appropriate agency or the Environmental Quality Review Board.
If the appropriate agency or the Environmental Quality Review Board determines that an EIS is required, the Environmental Quality Review Board shall proceed as provided in Part 617.8 and 617.10, and the individual agency shall refer the application to the Board for such action.
Commencing with the acceptance of the draft EIS by the Environmental Quality Review Board, the time for it to complete the SEQR process with respect to the same shall run concurrently with the time limitations applicable to processing the application for approval or funding of the action, and a public hearing on the draft EIS, if any, shall be held concurrently with any hearing to be held on such application.
The draft EIS shall be prepared by the applicant.
Failure by the applicant to prepare an EIS acceptable to the Environmental Quality Review Board shall, at the option of the Board, be deemed an abandonment and discontinuance of the application.
Environmental review of actions involving a federal agency shall be processed in accordance with Part 617.16.
If any clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part of this chapter shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in the operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or part thereof directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances and local laws or parts of local laws in conflict herewith are hereby repealed.
This chapter shall be in full force and effect from and after its passage, approval, recording and publication as provided by law.