Type, Section or Code
California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 15269, subd. (c); Public Resources Code, section 21080, subd. (b)(4)
Reasons for Exemption
Approval of this Project is subject to the statutory exemption for “Specific actions necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency” (Emergency Project; Pub. Resources Code, §21080, subd. (b)(4)) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; Pub. Resources Code, §21000 et seq.). “Emergency” is defined as “A sudden, unexpected occurrence, involving a clear and imminent danger, demanding immediate action to prevent or mitigate loss of, or damage to, life, health, property, or essential public services” (Pub. Resources Code, §21060.3).
The Project, as amended, includes the investigation, excavation, repair, site cleanup, and remediation to two segments of the 12-inch M-55 pipeline that carries heavy crude oil approximately 17 miles from Kern County to the Torrance refinery in the city of Torrance, California. The segments where repairs will be conducted are comprised of partially buried pipeline spanning stream channels. Partially buried pipeline segments are exposed from soil erosion and vulnerable to accelerated corrosion or coating degradation. Therefore, the repairs to the two segments of the M-55 pipeline are required to avoid potential leaks or spills into streams.
On February 13, 2023, CDFW received the official request from the Permittee for a Minor Amendment (Amendment No. 3) to the ITP, as amended, to extend the expiration date of the ITP, as amended, from March 1, 2023, to March 1, 2026, in order to purchase Covered Species credits from a CDFW-approved mitigation or conservation bank. This request will also require the extension of the date in which Condition of Approval 8 is to be completed from 42 months of the effective date of this ITP, as amended, to by March 1, 2026. An email requesting this change was received on February 3, 2023. CDFW received the corresponding fee from the permittee on March 3, 2023. The Covered Activities associated with the Project were completed on January 8, 2020.
CDFW has determined that Amendment No. 3 will not result in an increase in take of the Covered Species and will not increase Covered Species habitat impacts, therefore, there will be no increase in Project impacts to the Covered Species with Amendment No. 3. Impacts will be minimized and fully mitigated through the implementation of measures required by Incidental Take Permit No. 2081 2019 010 04, as amended. Measures include: 1) Weekly Compliance Reports; 2) establishment of avoidance zones; 3) worker education; and 4) permanent habitat protection.