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Sierra Club v. Village of Painted Post

ELR Citation: 46 ELR 20005
Nos. 13-01558, (N.Y. App. Div., 12/31/2015)

A New York appellate court upheld a lower court decision invalidating a water sales agreement that would have allowed a town to sell approximately one million gallons per day from its water supply to an energy company for drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania. Despite the town's conclusion to the contrary, the water agreement was subject to review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The court rejected the town's contention that the withdrawal and sale of surplus water from a municipal water supply is not an "action" for SEQRA purposes. Nor does the Susquehanna River Basin Compact preempt SEQRA review, as nothing in SEQRA conflicts with the compact. Accordingly, the court rejected the town's argument that the case should have been dismissed for failing to join the Susquehanna River Basin Commission as a necessary party.