Opinion by Lynne Jackson
In 1978, when Save the Pine Bush began suing the City of Albany over proposed developments in the Pine Bush, the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), was not in effect. We could not use SEQRA in court, so, instead our initial lawsuits were over sewers.
Fortunately SEQRA took effect soon after we started to protect the Pine Bush. We used SEQRA for the 30 years to bring municipalities to court over their approvals of projects. It is because of citizens’ use of SEQRA that we have any Pine Bush left today. SEQRA is essential to protecting our ecosystems and our environment.
Now, the State proposes to change the rules — to “streamline” the process.
No evidence has been put forward as to why “streamlining” is needed. No anecdotes of why some mega-mall was held up because of the required environmental review by SEQRA or how SEQRA has affected the construction of any project whatsoever. Yes, many Pine Bush developments were stopped because of citizen’s using SEQRA. SEQRA worked because those projects would have been devastating to the Pine Bush, and should not have been approved.
SEQRA is an essential law to protect the environment, and to ensure that projects built are good for people and good for the environment. Why weaken the law now? Our environment is under attack by the current Washington administration, why weaken this important law now?
Write or email DEC by May 19, 2017, to have your views heard on SEQRA. Read about the changes at the DEC website at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/83389.html
Make Your Voice Heard!
Send your comments regarding SEQRA
by May 19
James J. Eldred
NYS DEC – Division of Environmental Permits 625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-1750
Read about the proposed changes at:
Published in May/June 2017 Newsletter
Save the Pine Bush Newsletter