Arden-Watt Substation Project


SCH Number
Public Agency
Sacramento Municipal Utility District
Document Title
Arden-Watt Substation Project
Document Type
NOE - Notice of Exemption
Document Description
SMUD is proposing to replace existing substation equipment at the ArdenWatt substation including a 12.5 MVA transformer, switchgear, 69 kV switch pole, and 69 kV tap pole. Approximately 3 to 5 feet of soil will be excavated to install the new transformer and associated substation equipment and will be backfilled with compacted Class 11 Aggregate Base. The ground conditions in the substation area are made up of crushed gravel. To properly bring the substation up to present standards, the civil engineering work will also be updated. This work includes adding an oil containment pit, with oil minder sump control, a transformer/switchgeaslab, and a battery slab. Additionally, some of the underground conduit will need to be replaced which house the 12kV feeder getaways. The substation gate will be replaced and minor modifications will be made to the driveway. Crushed rock will added to the west side of the exterior of the substation wall to provide grounding insulation. Additional grounding will be added throughout the substation, including grounding around the new equipment, placed 18 inches from the foundations. Four grounding wells will be installed down to a depth of 125 feet. The purpose of these wells is to provide electrical grounding for safety purposes. These are not water wells. The upgraded substation equipment will not create a need to increase the existing footprint. The site of the substation is listed as low density residential in the City of Sacramento's General Plan. The area served by this substation will temporarily be served by other substations and customers service will not be interrupted. Construction is anticipated to start in September 2020 or soon thereafter and last for approximately 9 months.

Contact Information

Rob Ferrera
Agency Name
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Contact Types
Lead/Public Agency

Agency Name
Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Contact Types
Project Applicant


Other Location Info
Sacramento County - The project site is located at 3824 Arden Way in Sacramento, CA. The area surrounding the proposed project is primarily urban residential.

Notice of Exemption

Exempt Status
Categorical Exemption
Type, Section or Code
(CEQAPRC §21080(b)(9), 21084; CEQA Guidelines §15301(b) Existing Facilities, §15302, Replacement or Reconstruction &....
Reasons for Exemption
Under CEQA Guidelines§ 15062, a lead agency must identify the rationale for making the determination that a project is exempt under CEQA. SMUD has determined that the Arden-Watt Substation Project is exempt under CEQA Guidelines §15301 (b}, Existing Facilities which reads "Class 1 consists of the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion of use beyond that existing at the time of the lead agency's determination" and "(b) existing facilities of both investor and publicly-owned utilities used to provide electric power, natural gas, sewerage, or other public utility services" ... ,§ 15302, Replacement or reconstruction, which reads, "Class 2 consists of replacement or reconstruction of existing structures and facilities where the new structure will be located on the same site as the structure replaced and will have substantially the same purpose and capacity as the structure replaced ... " and "(c) Replacement or reconstruction of existing utility systems and/or facilities involving negligible or no expansion of capacity, and §15303(d), New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures which reads "Class 3 consists of construction and location of limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures; installation of small new equipment and facilities in small structures; and the conversion of existing small structures from one use to another where only minor modifications are made in the exterior of the structure ... " and "(d) Water main, sewage, electrical, gas, and other utility extensions, including street improvements, of reasonable length to serve such construction." Lastly, the common sense exemption which states that "CEQA applies only to projects which have the potential for causing· a significant effect on the environment. Where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment, the activity is not subject to CEQA." The Arden-Watt Substation Project involves the replacement of existing substation equipment and underground conduit, and construction of an oil containment pit with oil minder sump control and a battery slab within the existing footprint, and therefore is considered exempt in accordance with CEQA Guidelines § 15301, §15302, §15303, and §15061.


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