What does CEA designation do?
It affects the environmental review process of GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES which are funding, permitting or carrying out a development project under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).
What does CEA designation NOT do?
CEA designation does not affect the actions of private landowners. Private development can only be regulated by local zoning laws, and CEA designation is NOT zoning.
Why designate CEAs?
The Tug Hill Reserve Act requires that all participating towns without zoning must designate special areas as critical environmental areas.
In what ways are environmental reviews changed in a CEA?
Reviews are changed in two ways: 1) a longer and more comprehensive environmental assessment form must be completed by the governmental agency involved in the project, and 2) a coordinated review must be conducted by all governmental agencies involved in the project. A lead agency must be established and all other agencies involved must coordinate with this lead agency.
What if our own town government is somehow involved in funding, permitting or carrying out a project?
Your town board is already responsible for complying with the SEQRA environmental review process, so this would not change. Because lead agency status for projects automatically goes to the most local agency, your town board would have the option of being lead agency, should it choose to accept.
Can CEAs be changed in the future?
The town board may add, delete or change CEAs designated on the map by a simple resolution of the board upon public hearing. The town board may also withdraw from involvement with the Tug Hill Reserve Act or CEA designation at any time upon repealing the map.