Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Important Review and Construction Dates!

State Environmental Quality Review

New York's State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) requires all state and local government agencies to consider environmental impacts equally with social and economic factors during discretionary decision-making. More information about SEQR can be found here and here

UAlbany is currently preparing a Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement. It will describe the twenty construction projects that are being planned, including the construction 500 bed dormitories. It will also describe the impacts from this project. The University has stated that it will address the following impacts:
Impact on Land
• Impact on Water
• Impact of Drainage
• Impact on Air
• Impact on Climate Change
• Impact on Plants and Animals
• Impact on Aesthetic Resources
• Impact on Historical and Archeological Resources
• Impact on Open Space and Recreation
• Impact on Transportation
• Impact on Energy
• Impact on Noise and Odors
• Impact on Public Health and Safety
• Impact on Community Character and Land Use

The public release of the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement was scheduled for the end of September 2009. (The full schedule of the environmental review can be found here. As we know all too well, the University had not heard our views on these impacts until the September 17, 2009 meeting. I have asked John Giarrusso for a copy of any notes taken at that meeting. He said that he had none, and that none were taken. Perhaps you would like to remind him of the issues in writing!

After the Environmental Impact Statement is released, a public hearing has to be held. This was scheduled for the end of October 2009.

The preparation of a Final GEIS Completion notice is to be issued within 45 days of hearing.

Finally a Complete Findings Statement should be publicly available approximately 30 days after the issuance of FGEIS.

At the end of this process, the project can start if UAlbany makes a Negative Declaration, or a document that shows, in writing,the reasons why the identified environmental impacts will not be significant. If the University makes this decision, construction could start next February!

Let UAlbany know that Eagle Hill residents feel that construction of dormitories next to our homes will certainly have environmental impacts!

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