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Title: Section 97.12 - Contents of environmental impact statements

97.12 Contents of environmental impact statements.

(a) Environmental impact statements are to be clearly written in a brief and concise manner capable of being read and understood by the public. Within the framework presented in subdivision (d) of this section, such statements should address in detail only the specific significant environmental impacts which can be reasonably anticipated. They should not contain more detail than is appropriate considering the nature and magnitude of the proposed action, the significance of its potential impacts and the existing resources and capability of the agency responsible for the statement. Highly technical material shall be summarized, and if it must be included in its entirety, it shall be referenced in the statement and included in an appendix.

(b) Draft and final environmental impact statement shall be preceded by a cover sheet stating:

(1) whether it is a draft or final;

(2) the name or other descriptive title of the action;

(3) the location (county and town, village or city) of the action;

(4) the name and address of the agency which required its preparation and the name and telephone number of a person at the agency to be contacted for further information;

(5) identification of individuals or organizations which prepared any portion of the statement; and

(6) the date of its completion.

(c) If a draft or final environmental impact statement exceeds 10 pages in length, it shall have a table of contents following the cover sheet and a precise summary which adequately summarizes the statement, focusing on issues of controversy, matters to be decided and major conclusions.

(d) The body of all draft and final environmental impact statements shall contain at least the following:

(1) a description of the proposed action, its purpose and need;

(2) a description of the environmental setting;

(3) a statement of the environmental impact of the proposed action, including its short- and long-term effects, and typical associated environmental effects; (4) an identification of any adverse environmental effects which cannot be avoided if the proposed action is implemented;

(5) a description and evaluation of reasonable alternatives to the action which would achieve the same or similar objectives (the description and evaluation should be at a level of detail sufficient to permit a comparative assessment of the alternatives discussed; the no-action alternative must be also discussed and evaluated);

(6) an identification of any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of resources which would be involved in the proposed action should it be implemented;

(7) a description of mitigation measures proposed to minimize the adverse environmental impacts;

(8) a description of any growth-inducing aspects of the proposed action;

(9) a discussion of the effects of the proposed action on the use and conservation of energy;

(10) a list of any underlying studies, reports and other information obtained and considered by the agency in preparing the statement;

(11) (for final EIS only) copies or a summary of the substantive comments received in response to the draft environmental impact statement and the agency's response to such comment;

(12) all changes made to the draft EIS incorporated in the final EIS shall be specifically indicated and identified as such; and

(13) for State agency actions in the coastal area, an identification of the coastal policies of Executive Law, article 42, as contained in 19 NYCRR 600.5 which are applicable to such actions and a discussion of the effects of the proposed action on such applicable policies; except when that State agency action in the coastal area is within the boundaries of an approved local waterfront revitalization program area, and the action is one identified by the Secretary of State pursuant to section 916(1)(a) of the Executive Law, the identification and discussion shall instead be of the effects of the proposed action on the applicable policies and purposes of such an approved local waterfront revitalization program.

(e) An environmental impact statement may incorporate by reference all or portions of other documents which contain information relevant to the statement. The referenced document shall be made available to the public in the same places where the agency makes available copies of the statement. When a statement uses incorporation by reference, the referenced document shall be briefly described as a part of the annotated bibliography of the EIS and its date of preparation provided.

(f) A final EIS may consist of: the draft EIS, including any necessary revisions to it, copies or a summary of the substantive comments received and their source (whether or not the comments were received in the context of a hearing), and the substantive responses of the department, if it is lead agency, to the comments. All revisions made to the draft EIS shall be specifically indicated and identified as such in the final EIS.


VOLUME A-2 (Title 10)