Article II of these regulations presents lists of actions which simplify the task of determining whether or not a proposed action may have a significant effect on the environment. The lists, however, are not all inclusive and omission of an action from the lists does not mean it is exempt nor does it mean it is automatically an action requiring preparation of an environmental impact statement. The criteria set forth below shall be used to determine significance with respect to actions not listed.
An action may have significant effect on the environment if it can reasonably be expected to lead to one of the following consequences:
A substantial adverse change to ambient air or water quality or noise levels or in solid waste production, drainage, erosion or flooding.
The removal or destruction of large quantities of vegetation or fauna or the substantial interference with the movement of any resident or migratory fish or wildlife species, impacts on critical habitat areas or the substantial affecting of a rare or endangered species of animal or plant or the habitat of such a species.
The encouraging or attracting of a large number of people to a place or places for more than a few days relative to the number of people who would come to such place absent the action.
The creation of a material conflict with a community's existing plans or goals as officially approved or adopted.
The impairment of the character or quality of important historical, archaeological, architectural or aesthetic resources or of existing community or neighborhood character.
A major change in the use of either the quantity or type of energy.
The creation of a hazard to human health or safety.
A substantial change in the use or intensity of use of land or other natural resources or in their capacity to support existing uses, except where such a change has been included, referred to or implicit in a broad statement prepared pursuant to § 54-10 of these regulations.
The creation of a material demand for other actions which would result in one of the above consequences.
Changes in two or more elements of the environment, no one of which is substantial but when taken together result in a material change in the environment.
For the purpose of determining whether an action will cause one of the foregoing consequences, the action shall be deemed to include other contemporaneous or subsequent actions which are:
The significance of a likely consequence, whether it is material, substantial, large, important, etc., shall be assessed in connection with its setting, urban or rural; its probability of occurring; its duration; its irreversibility; its controllability; its geographic scope; and its magnitude, degree of change or its absolute size.
The environmental effects of actions proposed to be undertaken by the local agency itself, whether or not such actions receive funding assistance from other agencies, shall be screened initially and handled as follows:
If the local agency determines that an action proposed by the local agency will not have a significant effect on the environment, the local agency shall prepare, file and circulate such determination as provided in § 54-14, thereafter, the proposed action may be processed without further regard to these regulations.
If the local agency determines that the proposed action may have a significant effect on the environment, the local agency shall prepare, file and circulate such determination as provided in § 54-14, thereafter, the proposed action shall be reviewed and processed in accordance with the provisions of these regulations and Part 617 of Title 6 of NYCRR.
An initial determination of environmental effects for actions undertaken by the others but requiring the issuance of a lease, permit, certificate or other entitlement by the local agency shall be processed as follows:
For the purpose of assisting in the determination of whether an action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment, applicants for permits or other approvals shall file a written statement with the local agency, setting forth the name of the applicant; the location of the real property affected, if any; a description of the nature of the proposed action; and the effect it may have on the environment.
Applicants may include a detailed statement of the reasons why, in their view, a proposed action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment. Where the action involves an application for a permit or other approval, the statement shall be filed simultaneously with such application.
The statement provided herein shall be upon a form prescribed by resolution of the local agency and shall contain such relevant information as shall be required in the prescribed form, as well as drawings, sketches and maps, if any, together with any other explanatory material required by the local agency.
Upon receipt of a complete application and a statement, the local agency shall cause a notice thereof to be posted on the signboard, maintained by the local agency, if any, and may also cause such notice to be published in the local agency's official newspaper, if any, or in a newspaper having general circulation within the local agency's jurisdiction, describing the nature of the proposed action and stating that written views thereon of any person shall be received by the local agency no later than a date specified in such notice.
The local agency shall render a written determination on such application within 15 days following receipt of a complete application and statement; provided, however, that such period may be extended by mutual agreement of the applicant and the local agency.
The determination shall state whether such proposed action may or will not have a significant effect on the environment. The local agency may hold informal meetings with the applicant and may meet with and consult any other person for the purpose of obtaining aid in making a determination on the application.
The time limitations provided in these regulations shall be coordinated with, to the extent practicable, other time limitations provided by statute or local law, ordinance or regulation.
Every application for determination shall be accompanied by a reasonable fee, as set forth by the local agency, to defray the expenses incurred in rendering such determination.
A written statement setting forth the local agency's initial determination shall be prepared and filed with:
The Regional Office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Clerk of the municipality.
The Clerk of the local agency.
The Dutchess County Environmental Management Council.
The Dutchess County Department of Planning.
The applicant where the action involves issuance of a public permit or public approval.
Other agencies involved with the proposed action.
Following a determination that an action under consideration may have a significant effect on the environment, no agency shall approve, commence or engage in such action until the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 procedures have been followed, § 54-10, or the lead agency procedures have been followed, § 54-29, or the environmental impact statement and decision-making procedures of Articles IV and V of this chapter have been followed, whichever of such procedures is applicable.