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The courts decided 37 cases under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) in 2010. That is the lowest number since this column began its annual survey of SEQRA cases in 1990. The second lowest number was 45 in 2009. This trough is most likely caused by the economic recession, as SEQRA activity primarily relates to real estate development.

As is usually the case, defendants were much more likely to win in cases where an environmental impact statement (EIS) had been prepared than when there was no EIS. Of the 16 cases with an EIS, defendants won 13 (81 percent); of the 19 cases without an EIS, defendants won 13 (68 percent). (The remaining cases were unclassifiable.) Thus preparing an EIS continues to be generally the safest course from a litigation perspective.


Environmental Law | Law


Sabin Center for Climate Change Law