Type, Section or Code
Class 1 (§ 15301), Class 2 (§ 15302), Class 3 (§ 15303), and Class 4 (§ 15304)
Reasons for Exemption
Section 15303 exempts the construction and location of limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures and the installation of small new equipment and facilities in small structures. The battery cabinets, accessory equipment, water tank, and Project substation are non-habitable, small structures with a total footprint of approximately 20,565 square-feet. While the Section 15303 categorical exemption does not specifically address battery energy storage facilities in the listed examples, the total footprint of the Project is less than the maximum allowable for habitable commercial structures on a legal parcel in an urbanized area (i.e., up to for commercial buildings not exceeding 10,000 square-feet or 40,000 square-feet total). The Project will not involve the use of significant amounts of hazardous substances, all necessary public services and facilities are available, and the Project site and surrounding area are not environmentally sensitive. Section 15303(d) exempts electrical and other utility extensions of reasonable length to serve new, small structures and applies to the gen-tie line connecting the Project substation to the PG&E substation, which would span approximately 100 feet and be mounted on one new approximately 70-foot-tall monopole on the Project site, and fiber optic cables for telecommunications installed underground to connect the Project site to the immediately-adjacent PG&E substation. Section 15303(e) exempts accessory (appurtenant) structures and applies to water storage tanks, electrical equipment, Project substation, and perimeter fencing are all accessory or appurtenant to the primary battery energy storage use.
Section 15304 exempts minor alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation, including grading on land with a slope of less than 10 percent pursuant to the example provided in Section 15304(a), and minor trenching and backfilling where the surface is restored pursuant to Section 15304(f). This exemption applies to the removal of nine non-native trees to allow widening of an access driveway. The trees are located on private property in an urbanized area, along a private access drive, and are not near any designated scenic routes. The trees are not scenic and their removal does not conflict with any applicable zoning or other regulations governing scenic quality.
Sections 15301 and 15302 apply to PG&E’s reconductoring of an approximately one-mile segment of existing 60 kV power line located in the city of Stockton near the Project site. Section 15301 exempts the operation, repair, and maintenance of existing structures, facilities, and mechanic equipment where there is negligible or no expansion of use including, pursuant to Section 15301(b), exiting facilities of investor and publicly owned utilities used to provide electric power. Section 15302 exempts the replacement or reconstruction of existing structures and facilities located on the same site as the structure replaced and for substantially the same purpose and capacity. The reconductoring consists of replacement of existing conductors and replacement of existing wood support poles with light-duty steel poles within the existing alignment, which generally extends along the southern right-of-way of East Hazelton Avenue between B Street to the east and El Dorado Street/PG&E’s Stockton A Substation to the west. The reconductored transmission line would look substantially similar to the existing transmission line and be mounted on poles at a similar height. It would continue to provide electrical service to the surrounding area with no change in capacity or area served.