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Spitzer v. Farrell

Citation: 33 ELR 20217
No. No. 63, (N.Y., 06/05/2003)

The court holds that New York City's sanitation department took a requisite "hard look" under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and reasonably concluded that its 1999 waste plan requiring diesel-powered sanitation trucks to transport waste from New York City to facilities in New Jersey daily would not have a significant impact on air quality. In its negative declaration, the department evaluated a number of environmental issues, including air quality. The court first holds that although the SEQRA review could have been conducted without reliance on the federal Clean Air Act standards, here it was rational for the department, which is not an expert on air quality, to use such standards in its analysis. Further, when the department issued its negative declaration in 1999, the U.S Environmental Protection Agency had not yet completed the necessary studies or corrected the technological problems in determining the presence of particulate matter (PM) measuring 2.5 microns or less in diameter (PM2.5). Thus, based on the scientific information available at that time, the department rationally conducted a study of PM emissions based on PM measuring 10 microns or less in diameter without further specific reference to PM2.5.

Counsel for Appellants
Grace A. Goodman
Office of Corporation Counsel
100 Church St., New York NY 10007
(212) 788-0303

Counsel for Respondent
Lemuel M. Srolovic
Sive, Paget & Riesel
460 Park Ave., New York NY 10022
(212) 421-2150