The CPV Valley Energy Center was approved under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA), which is designed to review the potential environmental impacts associated with a project. The SEQRA process emphasizes the importance of protecting the environment and maintaining natural resources. New York state law requires completion of the SEQRA process before any other state permits can be issued.
The SEQRA process begins with the preparation of an Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) to define in a broad sense, the significance of the project and the scope of environmental analysis required to adequately review the project. There is then a determination of which agency will take the lead to review the project. The agency can be either a local government entity such as a Town Board or Planning Board, or a State entity, such as the State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). Should a local government entity act as Lead Agency for the environmental review of the project, the DEC would still play a prominent role in the process.
Once Lead Agency status is determined, the next step is for the Lead Agency to make a Declaration, based on the information provided in the EAF, which will specify the significance of environmental studies that will be performed to analyze the project.
When a Positive Declaration has been made, the next step is to develop a Scope for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). The DEIS is a much more in-depth look at the project and the actions that will be undertaken to eliminate or mitigate adverse environmental concerns, social or economic issues associated with the proposed project, as well as identifying what types of studies might need to be undertaken.