The activity at the dock was already expanded beyond what O&G was doing in the past. Not only is stone from the quarry being hauled by truck to the dock to be loaded on barges, but asphalt is being offloaded from barges onto the dock and then loaded onto trucks to be carried back to Colarusso's headquarters on Newman Road. So if the haul road will enable this increased activity, why is the Greenport Planning, which has been granted lead agency status, apparently dismissing Hudson's concerns about the dock and everything between the dock and the western end of the haul road?
Because the haul road passes through two municipalities, the project is subject to coordinated review, which is described in the SEQR Handbook in this way:
Coordinated review is the process by which all involved agencies cooperate in one integrated environmental review. Coordinated review has two major elements: establishing a lead agency and determining the interests and concerns of involved agencies so these interests and concerns may be considered by the lead agency in the determination of significance and in scoping an environmental impact statement.As we know, in November, the Department of Environmental Conservation decided to make the Greenport Planning Board the lead agency. It falls to the Greenport Planning Board, as lead agency, "to decide whether an EIS (environmental impact statement) will be required and to decide the scope and acceptability of an EIS." As lead agency, the Greenport Planning Board also "has an obligation to consider the concerns of other involved agencies." The Hudson Planning Board is one of those "other involved agencies," so dismissing the Hudson Planning Board's concerns about what happens at the dock and between the dock and the western end of the haul roads seems completely inappropriate.
A few days ago, a reader brought this question and answer from page 179 the SEQR Handbook to my attention:
9. Does a municipal board have to consider extraterritorial environmental impacts, for example: impacts occurring in an adjoining municipality?
Yes. For example, a planning board reviewing a cellular communications tower visible from a neighboring community should consider the aesthetic impact of the tower on the neighboring community. A town planning board reviewing a big box development should consider the impact of the development on the community character of a neighboring village that might suffer business displacement as a result of the approval of the big box development. A third example would be a community reviewing a shopping plaza that generates traffic on an adjoining community's roadway system. In that case, the host community's review should consider the traffic on the adjoining community.This question and answer addresses the impacts of a project wholly within one municipality on a neighboring community. If SEQR should look at the impacts of traffic generated by a shopping mall on a neighboring community, then surely what happens when trucks leave the haul road at the western end and what happens at the dock should be part of the "whole action" subject to SEQR review.
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