Reasons for Exemption
The District believes the project including activities to implement same are covered by existing environmental documents including those certified for the Poso Creek Integrated Regional Water Management Plan, which allows for banking and exchange programs between the Parties under the 25-Year Goundwater Banking, Transfer, and Exchange Program. Furthermore, the district has determined that the project does not constitute a project under the CEQA, and that to the extent such activities could possibly consitute a project, the project is exempt under CEQA. This determination is based upon the general rule that CEQA applies only to projects that have a potential for causing significant effect on the environment b/c, (i) the project will use existing facilities and would not require any construction or grading, (ii) the project does not create, require or constitute a new permanent source of water supply, and will not result in any growth inducing or cumulative environmental impacts, (iii) there will be no land use changes as a result of the project, and (iv) no new lands will be brought into production as a consequence of transfer water deliveries. Additionally, the district has determined that the delivery, storage and return of transfer water will utilize the operation of existing facilities, and there will be no expansion of use beyond that existing as of the date of this Agreement. Therefore, the class 1 existing facilities exemption (15301), and the common sense exemption apply (15061b3). Moreover, water transfers occurring for a period of one year or less are statutorily exempt from CEQA (water code section 1729).