Step 6 Preparation Of The Draft EIS
Who Prepares the Draft EIS?
The applicant always has the right to prepare the draft EIS. If the applicant refuses to prepare the draft EIS, the lead agency has the option of preparing the draft EIS, having it prepared by a consultant, or terminating its review of the action. If the agency decides to prepare the draft EIS, or have it prepared by a consultant, it can charge the applicant a fee to cover the direct costs of preparation (see 617.13). The lead agency has the ability to charge a SEQR fee for the review of an EIS, if it does not charge a fee for its preparation.
Basic Components of a Draft EIS
All draft EIS's must contain a cover sheet that includes the information specified in 617.9(b)(3), a Table of Contents following the cover sheet, and an adequate and accurate summary of the statement.
The format of the draft EIS may be flexible; however all draft EIS's must include the following elements:
- a concise description of the proposed action, its purpose, public need and benefits, including social and economic considerations;
- a concise description of the environmental setting of the areas to be affected, sufficient to understand the impacts of the proposed action and alternatives;
- a statement and evaluation of the potential significant adverse environmental impacts at a level of detail that reflects the severity of the impacts and the reasonable likelihood of their occurrence;
- the draft EIS should identify and discuss the following impacts only where they are relevant and significant:
- reasonably related short term and long term impacts, cumulative impacts and other associated environmental impacts;
- adverse environmental impacts that cannot be avoided or adequately mitigated if the proposed action is implemented;
- any irreversible and irretrievable commitments of environmental resources that would be associated with the proposed action should it be imposed;
- any growth inducing aspects of the proposed action on solid waste management and its consistency with the state or locally adopted solid waste management plan;
- impacts of public acquisitions of land or interests in land or funding for non farm development on lands used in agricultural production and unique and irreplaceable agricultural lands within agricultural districts; and
- if the proposed action is in or involves resources in Nassau or Suffolk Counties, impacts of the proposed action on and its consistency with the comprehensive management plan for the special ground water protection area program; and
- measures to avoid or reduce both an action's impacts on climate change and associated impacts due to the effects of climate change such as sea level rise and flooding
- a description of the mitigation measures to minimize environmental impacts;
- a description and evaluation of the range of reasonable alternatives to the action that are feasible, considering the objectives and capabilities of the project sponsor. The description and evaluation of each alternative should be at a level of detail sufficient to permit a comparative assessment of the alternatives discussed. The range of alternatives must include the no - action alternative. The no action alternative discussion should evaluate the adverse or beneficial site changes that may occur, in the absence of the proposed action. The range of alternatives may also include, as appropriate, alternative:
- scale or magnitude
- use; and
- types of action
For private project sponsors, site alternatives may be limited to parcels owned by or under option to, a private project sponsor. See section 617.9(b)(5) for more details on environmental impact statements.