Over the past decade, the changing climate has contributed to an increase in the number of extreme weather events throughout the world. New York State is no exception. Here, we rely on plentiful water resources to provide our necessities such as agriculture, energy, and drinking water. However, this makes New York particularly vulnerable to these drastic weather conditions. The effects of climate change upon our community cannot be ignored.
Go to the head of the class if you know the difference between CAFE standards and CAFO standards: in January of 2011, new corporate average fuel economy ("CAFE") standards went into effect, requiring all automobile manufacturers to curb the amount of greenhouse gases ("GHGs") emitted from the tailpipes of Model Year 2012 cars. These revised CAFE standards were jointly designed by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA"), and issued under the motor vehicle program (Title II) of the Clean Air Act ("CAA"). Before this time, the annually-updated CAFE standards did not include a GHG curb, and GHGs were not regulated under any part of the CAA.
On April 13, 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published its proposed a draft New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) regulation under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) that will cover carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from new sources in the category defined as new "electric utility generating units," or EGUs.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("DEC") recently proposed amending its Short and Long Environmental Assessment Forms ("EAFs"), and is accepting public comment on the revised forms through April 8, 2011. These forms are used in the environmental review process that is required under the State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA"), ECL §§ 8-0101 et seq., for any state action, which includes approval of project permits. The project sponsor and the lead agency undertaking the environmental review will complete an EAF (either long or short depending on the proposed action) to determine whether a full environmental review is warranted, that is, whether the applicant will need to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS). Typically the Long EAF is used for Type I actions (these are actions, set forth in the regulations, that are more likely to require the preparation of an EIS), and the Short EAF is used for Unlisted Actions (which are actions that have not been listed in the regulations as Type I or Type II, and which are always subject to at least an environmental review). See 6 NYCRR §§ 617.4, 617.6.