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The scope of environmental law extends beyond the federal statutes most people associate with protecting the natural world. At both the state and local level, governments have broad authority to protect the environmental integrity within their jurisdiction. State legislation such as New York’s State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) affect all government actions that may have a negative environmental impact. Furthermore, local governments, using tools originally created to enhance the value and safety of property are now using this authority, and other more novel methods, to mitigate negative environmental impacts. This article gives a brief synopsis on the background of local environmental law, and then discusses where municipal governments derive environmental lawmaking power.