LPC’s Environmental Review Department assists federal, state, and city agencies whose projects are subject to the environmental review process. The department offers guidance and information about impacts those projects may have on the city’s archaeological and architectural resources. Architectural resources generally include historically important buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts. Archaeological resources are physical remains that are found beneath the surface, such as burials, foundations, artifacts, wells and privies.
As part of the review process, the Environmental Review Department combines findings from LPC’s Research and Archaeology departments into its final comments. Both departments identify properties, districts, or sites that may be eligible for landmark designation, are already landmarked, or are eligible for or listed on the state and national registers of historic places.
Not all projects require archaeology reviews. In cases where no in-ground construction or excavation is proposed or will result from the project, an archaeological review may not be necessary.
The Environmental Review Department’s comments provide information regarding significant properties or sites and findings of potential impacts uncovered during the review process, if any. If the proposed project significantly impacts these properties or sites, the Environmental Review Department works with the lead agency to mitigate or reduce the impact as much as possible.
LPC environmental review may sometimes involve projects affecting landmarked properties and require an LPC permit, or require a review only from state and federal agencies. For example, if a City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) project affects a landmarked property that’s under review for an LPC work permit, there is no need to complete the LPC permit process prior to completing the environmental review. The Environmental Review Department’s comments will indicate that the LPC permit process is under way.
If a project involves only state and federal funding or permitting and does not involve any city permits or funding, the Environmental Review Department must be contacted to determine whether the project affects an existing landmark or a property that’s eligible for landmark status.
If you’re a city, state, or federal agency, you can ask the Environmental Review Department to determine a project’s compliance with city, state, and federal environmental standards.
The Environmental Review Department issues written determinations by email for applicants to submit to the Buildings Department for NYC ECC exemptions.
The following categories of historic properties are exempt from NYC ECC as per the 2016 update to the Code that became effective on October 3, 2016: (see: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/buildings/codes/2016-energy-conservation-code.page).
Any building that is (a) listed on the National Register of Historic Places or on the State Register of Historic Places, (b) determined by the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to be eligible for listing on the State Register of Historic Places, (c) determined by the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to be a contributing building to an historic district that is listed or eligible for listing on the State or National Registers of Historic Places, or (d) otherwise defined as an historic building in regulations adopted by the State fire prevention and building code council.
Buildings that are designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as individual landmarks or located within New York City historic districts are not exempt from the NYC EEC unless they also meet at least one of the above criteria (i.e., listed or determined eligible for the National Register).
To apply for a NYC ECC determination, email NYCECCER@lpc.nyc.gov with the following information in the subject line of the email: address, borough, block and lot, and whether the property is residential or commercial. A screenshot of the property listing in the New York State Historic Preservation Office’s database (Cultural Resource Information System or CRIS) is helpful but not required. See: http://nysparks.com/shpo/online-tools/
A response will be issued within 7-10 business days by email.