Model Laws and Protocols

Model Protocols: Accounting for the Effects of Climate Change in Environmental Review and Planning Documents

The Sabin Center has developed model protocols describing how decision-makers can account for the impacts of climate change when conducting environmental reviews and related planning activities (such as resource assessments). These protocols are intended to provide guidance to federal, state, and local agencies, environmental consultants, and other stakeholders who are involved in planning and environmental review processes.

Model Municipal Ordinances

The Model Municipal Ordinance project aims to create best practices for municipal ordinances—covering green buildings, wind, and solar resources—which avoid the drafting problems and legal pitfalls that often plague other ordinances. The Sabin Center has drafted model ordinances for green buildings, commercial wind, and residential solar.

Local Law Provisions for Climate Change Adaptation by Justin Gundlach and Dane Warren (May 2016)

In September 2014, New York enacted the Community Risk and Resiliency Act which requires in part that the New York Department of State and the Department of Environmental Conservation create model local laws relating to climate change adaptation for use by local governments. The Sabin Center for Climate Change Law has assembled existing and suggested local law provisions that reflect diverse approaches to adaptation to climate-enhanced flood risk in an effort to: assist the State with drafting model local laws for adaptation; encourage the State to incorporate a broad range of adaptation strategies, including retreat from areas of high flood risk; and assist local governments with implementation of these programs. While many of the approaches reflected in this paper deal with coastal local laws, local governments could adopt similar strategies and language in riverine floodplains.

This document is not a single, comprehensive “model local law” that a local government might adopt in full. Rather, it is a collection of useful statutory options—one that takes note of local law provisions enacted by local governments in New York State, as well as relevant state laws enacted in New York and other jurisdictions. Where different local governments have used similar statutory language, this paper only includes one version. Throughout, citations to particular laws and regulations are hyperlinked for ease of access. The paper is organized into three sections: Permitting Review, Targeted Development Restrictions and Prudent Development, and Protection/Armoring. Those sections follow a brief description of model legislative language that relates to sea level rise