New York Water Law
Lake and clouds
      Blog Home      Index of Posts      About the NYS DEC      About the DRBC      About the SRBC

January 3, 2016

Appeals Court Finds Painted Post Water Sales Are Subject to SEQRA Review

On New Year's Eve, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department in Rochester decided in favor of the petitioners in the long-drawn out lawsuit challenging a bulk water sale agreement entered into by the Village of Painted Post.

The case, Sierra Club v. Village of Painted Post, 134 A.D.3d 1475 (4th Dep't 2015) involved a challenge by Sierra Club, People for a Healthy Environment, Inc., Coalition to Protect New York and five local residents to the decision of the Village to sell up to 1.5 million gallons of water per day from its municipal water system to SWEPI, LP, a subsidiary of Shell Oil Company. I worked with attorney Richard J. Lippes from Buffalo to represent the petitioners.

On remittitur from the court of appeals, the Fourth Department affirmed the decision of the trial court. The ruling of the appeals court was significant in three respects. First, the court ruled that the bulk water sale agreement was invalid because the Village failed to conduct a review of the impacts of the sales under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA). The court rejected respondents' contention that the withdrawal and sale of surplus water from a municipal water supply is not an "action" for SEQRA purposes. Second, the Court invalidated the accompanying lease of Village land for construction of a rail-loading facility to ship water to Pennsylvania. The court invalidated the lease even though the Village had conducted an environmental review of the lease because the Village's review of the lease was segmented from its review of the bulk water sale agreement, and such segmentation is not allowed under SEQRA. Finally, the court ruled that the Susquehanna River Basin Compact does not pre-empt New York's SEQRA law and that the Susquehanna River Basin Commission was not a necessary party to the proceeding.

Sandra Steingraber gives an excellent overview of the court decisions in the Painted Post lawsuit in Ecowatch. See The People Win Over Shell in Fracking Water Withdrawal Case.

See Judge Enjoins Painted Post Water Sales and Court of Appeals Finds Petitioners Have Standing in Painted Post Case for more information about the trial court and court of appeals decisions in the case. The papers in the case are posted here.

Posted by Rachel Treichler on 01/03/16, updated 06/29/16.

 

 

Copyright 2016, Rachel Treichler

 

   


About NY Water Law

New York Water Law covers legal developments relating to water usage in New York and in jurisdictions that may be influential in New York. The author, Rachel Treichler, practices law in the Finger Lakes region.
Contact the Author
Law Office of Rachel Treichler

Search NY Water Law

Enter search terms:
Click to read our RSS feed
Enter email address to receive notices of new content delivered by FeedBurner:

Index of Posts

Index of Posts by Month

Water Law Links

Acequias and Adjudication
Aguanomics
American Water Resources
AquaLog
Arizona Waterblogged
Bluedaze Blog
CELP
Circle of Blue
Coyote Gulch
Croton Watershed Coalition
E&E Law Monitor
Elizabeth Royte Notes
ESA Blawg
Great Lakes Law Blog
Great Lakes on the Ground
Green Blawg
International Water Law Blog
Lake Scientist
Lakeside Views
Law of the Land Blog
Legal Planet
Marcellus Effect Blog
NRDC Switchboard
NY Water Resources Institute
Oklahoma Water Law
Ohio Environ. Law Blog
Pace GreenLaw
Rancho Los Malulos
Steven Solomon's Water Blog
SPR Environmental Law Blog
The Reef Tank
Thirsty in Suburbia
NYT Toxic Waters Series
Water Law Blog
Water Sustainability Project
Water Wiki
Watercrunch
Watering the Desert
Watershed Post
WaterWired
WesternWaterBlog

 

[Valid RSS]


















This blog is published for educational purposes only. The matters discussed in the blog are general
in nature and are incomplete descriptions of the law. Nothing in this blog constitutes legal advice or an offer of legal advice.
You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.