On Friday, January 16, 2015, C|M|LAW’s Steven W. Percy Distinguished Professor of Law, Heidi Gorovitz Robertson, published a blog post on Crain’s Cleveland Business’ Energy Report. The post was titled New York will ban hydraulic fracturing through a review requirement Ohio lacks. In it, Robertson wrote about the environmental review process carried out in New York state under that state’s Environmental Quality Review Act. The Act is known as a “little NEPA” law because it is largely modeled on the federal law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). New York’s law is a little different from the federal law, in an important way. Like the federal law, it requires state agencies to study the environmental impact of their actions before they take those actions. But unlike the federal law, New York’s version also requires the agencies to act on what they learn and to make decisions that will reduce or eliminate the adverse environmental impact. New York agencies undertook environmental review as required under their “little NEPA.” What they learned led them to administratively ban hydraulic fracturing.
Ohio does not have a “little NEPA” law. Although Ohio agencies certainly still do some environmental review, they are not required by a little NEPA law to do this, nor are they required to act on what they learn.
Professor Robertson’s post is available here.