The State Smart Growth Public Infrastructure Policy Act, Environmental Conservation Law, Article 6 (Smart Growth Act), is intended to maximize the social, economic, and environmental benefits from public infrastructure development, while minimizing unnecessary environmental degradation, disinvestment in urban and suburban communities, and loss of open space facilitated by the development of new or expanded public infrastructure that is inconsistent with smart growth criteria. Smart growth criteria advance projects that use, maintain or improve existing infrastructure; and those located in municipal centers or developed areas, and consistent with a municipal land use plan.
Projects that are consistent with smart growth criteria promote sustainability by strengthening existing and creating new communities which reduce greenhouse gas emissions and do not compromise the needs of future generations. These projects should be built to mitigate future physical climate risk due to sea level rise, storm surges and flooding.
Under the Smart Growth Act, the state infrastructure agencies, like EFC, may not approve, undertake, support or provide financial assistance to a public infrastructure project unless, to the extent practicable, the project is consistent with smart growth criteria. EFC undertakes a smart growth review of every project it funds to determine that it meets smart growth criteria to the extent practicable.
A Smart Growth Assessment Form is required to be completed by all applicants for EFC financial assistance, unless the assistance is made available through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA). If the applicant is applying for assistance through the CFA, it must answer all smart growth questions applicable to the applicant's project on the CFA.
EFC will solicit and consider comments from representatives of and organizations within communities that may be affected by the project. The comment period will be noticed in the State Environmental Notice Bulletin.
Submission of an insufficient or untimely Smart growth Assessment Form or insufficient answers to smart growth questions on the CFA, may lengthen the review of an application for EFC financial assistance.