Reasons for Exemption
15261(b) - Ongoing Project: The Division has determined that the project is statutorily exempt under the Ongoing Project (14 CCR 15261(b) exemption per the CEQA Guidelines because the Division identified the Coalinga oil field and issued permits in this oil field pre-CEQA (before April 5, 1973). New permits issued in this developed area of the Coalinga oil field are considered part of an ongoing project and exempt from further CEQA reviews.
Class 1 – Existing Facility: The Division has determined that the project is categorically exempt from CEQA under the “Class 1” (14 CCR §15301) exemption per the CEQA Guidelines and per DOGGR’s regulations (14 CCR §1684.1) because the well will be installed within an existing oil field and involves no expansion of use of the oil field.
Class 4 – Minor Alterations to Land: The Division has determined that the project is categorically exempt from CEQA under the “Class 4” (14 CCR 15304) exemption per the CEQA Guidelines because the project involves the minor alteration of the condition of land and/or vegetation within a densely developed oil field and does not require the removal of healthy, mature scenic trees.
Exceptions to Exemptions: The Division further finds that there are no exceptions to the otherwise-applicable categorical exemptions (PRC §21084; 14 CCR 15300.2(c)). There is no substantial evidence that there are any “unusual circumstances” associated with the proposed project that creates a reasonable possibility that the activity will have a significant effect on the environment and that there are no significant “cumulative impacts” resulting from successive projects of the same type in the same place. Therefore, this project is not subject to CEQA.