Regulations Create a Bad Environment for New York Biz

Date: May 03, 2016

Senate Bill 6932 would reform the burdensome State Environmental Quality Review Act

Regulations Create a Bad Environment for New York Biz

New
York lawmakers could save small businesses a lot of time and money, a small
consolation prize after what has been an abysmal few months for Main Street
businesses here.

 Legislators
introduced a bill to reform the State Environmental Quality Review Act, which
has burdened entrepreneurs with unnecessary regulations and discouraged them
from pursuing projects that would benefit the community, said Mike Durant,
NFIB/New York state director.

 New
York is one of only 16 states that impose environmental planning laws,
according to the Empire Center for Public Policy’s report on the law.
Additionally, the state’s laws are some of the most restrictive and harmful to
small businesses in the country, the report states.

The
regulation requires businesses to fill out an environmental impact statement if
a project might have adverse effects on the environment. Federal law only
requires an individual to fill out this form if a project will negatively
affect the environment The ensuing review process is time consuming and
expensive, Durant said.

“The
uncertainty and delays of the SEQR process mean lost opportunity for job
creation and development that could help keep New York’s property taxes down,”
Durant said. “The lengthy process discourages small businesses, contractors,
developers, engineers and others from incurring up-front costs and making
investments in communities.”

Senate
Bill 6932 would simplify the SEQR process by approving time frames for the
review process, and it establishes a timeline that the lead agency and sponsor
adhere to during the process.

 It
also bans agencies from bringing up new environmental impact concerns during
the scoping process—which often needlessly extends a review—unless it is a
concern that could stop the project from moving forward. The bill is currently
being considered in committee, and it is uncertain when it could be brought to
the floor for discussion.

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