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Save the Pine Bush, Inc. v. Common Council of Albany

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20243
Nos. No. 134, (N.Y., 10/27/2009)

New York's highest court overturned a lower court decision annulling a city's State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) determination regarding a proposed municipal project. An environmental group argued that the EIS was deficient for failing to evaluate possible threats to protected species. The city argued that the group and its members lacked standing. But a person who can prove that he or she uses and enjoys a natural resource more than most other members of the public has standing under SEQRA to challenge government actions that threaten that resource. Applying that rule to this case, the environmental group and its members have standing. Nevertheless, the city complied with SEQRA. The government was not required to scrutinize every possible environmental issue, and the EIS' failure to discuss the possible impact of rezoning on certain rare species was therefore not a fatal flaw.