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Glossary

CEQR Glossary

Action Scenario or Condition: See With-Action Scenario or Condition.

Action: That which is to be approved, funded, or undertaken at the discretion of a city agency. An action (or set of actions), if approved, would allow a project to proceed.

Action-with-Mitigation Condition: Scenario of the future with the proposed action and any proposed mitigation measures in place that avoid or eliminate identified significant adverse impacts of the project.

Build year: The year a proposed action would be substantially operational; this is the year for which the action's effects are predicted in environmental analyses.

CEQR: CEQR is New York City's (NYC) process for implementing SEQRA, and cannot be less stringent than its state counterpart. CEQR adapts and refines the state rules to take into account the special circumstances of New York City. CEQR is governed by SEQRA, NYC's Executive Order No. 91 (43 RCNY, Chapter 6), and the CEQR Rules of Procedure (62 RCNY, Chapter 5).

Conditional Negative Declaration: A lead agency's written statement and determination that an action may have a significant adverse effect on the environment, but that all such effects can be eliminated or avoided by specific changes in the action or mitigation imposed by the lead agency, if implemented. To issue a conditional negative declaration, the action must be unlisted and involve an applicant. 6 NYCRR.617.2(h).

DEIS: Draft Environmental Impact Statement. See Environmental Impact Statement.

Determination of Significance: Based on the information presented in an EAS, the decision made by the lead agency whether or not a project significantly and adversely impacts the environment. The three types are: Negative DeclarationPositive Declaration, or Conditional Negative Declaration.

Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS): An environmental assessment statement is a form used to describe the proposed action, its location, and contains a first level of analysis of the environmental review impact areas to determine potential effects on the environment. It is used by a lead agency to inform the Determination of Significance.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS): An environmental impact statement (EIS) is a disclosure document that provides a complete analysis of all appropriate impact areas and provides a means for agencies, project sponsors, and the public to consider an action's significant adverse environmental impacts, alternatives, and mitigations. An EIS facilitates the weighing of social, economic, and environmental factors early in the planning and decision-making process. A draft EIS (DEIS) is the initial statement that is circulated for public review and comment, which are then incorporated (as appropriate) into the DEIS to produce a final EIS (FEIS). The FEIS is the disclosure document upon which the lead and involved agencies base their decisions as set forth in a Statement of Findings.

FEIS: Final Environmental Impact Statement. See Environmental Impact Statement.

Generic action: A program or plan that has wide application or affects a large area or range of future policies. It may also be referred to as a "programmatic action."

Increment: The difference(s) in conditions between the future without the project in place (No-Action condition) and the future with the project in operation (With-Action condition). The environmental assessment examines this difference to determine whether a project has the potential to significantly and adversely impact the environment.

Interested agency: An agency that requests, or is requested, to participate in the environmental review because of special concerns or expertise. Interested agencies do not have the jurisdiction to directly approve, fund or undertake a discrete action.

Involved agency: An agency, other than the lead agency, with jurisdiction to fund, approve, or undertake an action.

Lead agency: The agency principally responsible for carrying out, funding, or approving an action; therefore, the agency responsible for determining whether an environmental review is required.

Mitigation: Measures to minimize or avoid an action's significant adverse impacts to the fullest extent practicable.

MOEC (Mayor's Office of Environmental Coordination): The Mayoral Office that coordinates the environmental review process in New York City. MOEC provides assistance to all City agencies in fulfilling their environmental review responsibilities and maintains a repository of City environmental review documents.

Negative Declaration: A written document issued when the lead agency determines that there would not be a significant impact on the environment as a result of the project. See 6 NYCRR 617.2 (y).

NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act of 1969): If a federal agency funds part of a project, approves a permit, or undertakes a project, that agency must comply with NEPA before taking its action. NEPA requires all federal agencies to evaluate the environmental consequences of proposed actions and to consider alternatives.

No-Action Scenario or Condition: Scenario of the future without the proposed action, used as a baseline against which incremental changes generated by an action are evaluated in environmental review.

Notice of Completion: A written document issued by the lead agency that a DEIS or FEIS has been completed.  It contains prescribed information about the environmental review and, for a DEIS, information about the public comment period.

NYCRR: The official compilation of New York Codes, Rules and Regulations.

Positive Declaration: A written document issued by the lead agency when it determines there is the potential for significant adverse impacts in one or more technical areas as a result of the project. A positive declaration leads to the preparation of a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). See 6 NYCRR 617.2 (ac).

Project: The result of an action or set of actions that is approved, funded, or undertaken at the discretion of a city agency.

Project site: The site that would be directly affected by a proposed action.

Public Comment Period: The period of time that must elapse after the issuance of a draft document when the public may review and comment on the draft. It generally must be a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days.

For a draft scope of work, the public comment period begins at the issuance of the draft scope. A public meeting must be held between thirty (30) and forty-five (45) calendar days after its issuance and the comment period remains opens for a minimum of ten (10) calendar days after the public meeting.

For a DEIS, the public comment period begins at the issuance of the Notice of Completion for the DEIS. A public hearing must be held between fifteen (15) and sixty (60) calendar days after the issuance of the Notice of Completion and the comment period must remain open for at least thirty (30) calendar days or for a minimum of ten (10) calendar days after the public hearing, whichever is later.

Reasonable Worse Case Development Scenario (RWCDS): This is the development scenario that is more likely to occur given conditions at the potential project site. From the range of possible scenarios that are considered reasonable and likely, the scenario with the worst environmental consequences should be analyzed in an environmental assessment. The use of a RWCDS ensures that, regardless of which scenario actually occurs, a project's impacts would be no worse than those considered in the environmental review.

RCNY: Rules of the City of New York.

Scope of Work: A document that identifies in detail all topics to be addressed in the EIS, including the methods for study, possible alternatives to the proposed action, and mitigation measures.

State Environmental Quality Review Act: (SEQRA): Article 8 of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law. SEQRA requires that state and local governmental agencies assess environmental effects of discretionary actions before undertaking, funding or approving such actions, unless they fall within certain statutory or regulatory exemptions from the requirements for review. SEQRA is implemented by 6 NYCRR Part 617.

Statement of Findings: A Statement of Findings is a written statement prepared by each involved agency after an FEIS has been filed that considers the relevant environmental impacts presented in an EIS, weighs and balances them with social, economic, and other essential considerations, provides a rationale for the agency's decision, and certifies that the CEQR requirements have been met.

Study area: The geographic area likely to be affected by the pro-posed action for a given technical area, or the area in which impacts of that type could occur. This is the area subject to assessment for that technical area.

Type I Action: An action that is more likely to have a significant adverse impact on the environment than other actions or classes of actions. A list of Type I actions appears in the SEQR regulations at 6 NYCRR 617.4 and are supplemented with a city-specific list found at 43 RCNY 6-15.

Type II Action: An action that has been either found categorically not to have significant adverse impacts on the environment or statutorily exempted from review under SEQRA, and correspondingly, CEQR. No action or class of actions listed as Type II in 6 NYCRR 617.5 requires further review under CEQR.

ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure): The procedure by which uses, development, or improvement of real property subject to city regulation are reviewed pursuant to NYC Charter Section 197-c.

Unlisted Action: An action that is neither a Type I Action nor a Type II Action.

With-Action Scenario or Condition: Scenario of the future with the proposed action in place, used to compare with the No-Action condition to assess effects on the environment due to the project. It may also be referred to as the "Action Condition."

Reports & Manuals
CEQR Calendar
Calendar
Citywide calendar of CEQR events
CEQR Links
> Council on Environmental Quality (NEPA)
> N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation (SEQRA)