Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Legislative Problem to Address

from a recent email:

After communicating the Director of DEC Region 3, Willie Janeway, I’ve now identified an underlying problem that needs to be dealt with from a legislative standpoint. Article 8 and SEQRA were intended by the Legislature to apply to all boards, commissions, agencies, departments, etc., but when one of these entities violates the law (or, in the case of DPS, falsifies documents), there unfortunately are no enforcement provisions. As Mr. Janeway said to me, his department has no power over other governmental institutions and the only recourse is for a private individual to file an Article 78 which is time consuming and very costly – hence this rarely happens. Another problem with Article 78 is that it has a narrow window of just 120 days.

The State is looking to update SEQRA, but even before that process is complete (which might take years), I believe the State legislature should empower DEC for SEQRA enforcement against other agencies, which would hopefully eliminate violations. Also, there should not be a time limit of the DEC’s enforcement time.

Sincerely,

Marvin Baum

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