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Nearly 2000 judicial opinions were issued under the State Environmental Quality Review Act ("SEQRA") between its enactment in 1975 and the end of 2000. Almost 700 were issued from 1990 (when the author began undertaking an annual review of SEQRA cases for the New York Law Journal) through 2000. These numbers are large enough to serve as a basis for a statistically valid review of case outcomes.

This article is divided into five parts. Part I presents statistics on the SEQRA cases. Part II reviews the history of how the Court of Appeals has decided SEQRA cases. Part III lists some of the issues that have been litigated over the years and breaks them down into the resolved issues, the open issues yet to be resolved, and the persistently gnawing issues that are not likely to be resolved. Part IV identifies the legal nemeses of the various participants in the SEQRA process. Part V attempts to distill the caselaw under SEQRA into one sentence.


Environmental Law | Law