Type, Section or Code
California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 15269(b); Public Resources Code, section 21080, subdivision (b)(2)
Reasons for Exemption
Approval of this Project is statutorily exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA, Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) because the Project is subject to California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 15269, subdivision (b), “Emergency repairs to publicly or privately owned service facilities necessary to maintain service essential to the public health, safety, or welfare” and Public Resources Code, section 21080, subdivision (b)(2), “Emergency repairs to public service facilities necessary to maintain service”. “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 includes the replacement of a malfunctioning pressure limiting station and communications shelter with electronics within the Cross Valley Station (Station) where natural gas pressure is measured and regulated at the connection of Line 7053 to Line 85. The replacement is needed in order to make the Station safe and operational and to provide natural gas supply to customers in the City of Taft and community of Valley Acres in Kern County, California. The natural gas supply will be critical to meet the winter heating demand for these communities and as temperatures are decreasing, the need to complete the project is urgent. On December 14, 2020, the Permittee requested a change to the Project to be able to complete the Project as scheduled and as quickly as possible. This change will add an additional excavation area to access the pipeline, move and add additional Staging Areas, add cross compression as a Covered Activity, add equipment to be used at the site during construction, and allowing excavations to be inspected once per day on non-work days. The additional excavation area will increase the total Project footprint by 0.003 acre, but this increase will not increase the impacts to the Covered Species habitat because this area is within an existing disturbed roadway.
CDFW has determined that although this Amendment may result in an increase in take of the Covered Species, it will not cause an increase in Covered Species habitat impacts because the additional area in within existing disturbed roadway and the additional impacts of the taking will be minimized and fully mitigated through implementation of the Conditions of Approval. Because the impacts will be minimized and fully mitigated, there will be no increase in Project impacts to the Covered Species with this Amendment. Impacts will be minimized and fully mitigated through the implementation of measures required by Incidental Take Permit No. 2081 2020 047 04, as amended. Measures include: 1) Weekly Compliance Reports; 2) establishment of avoidance zones; 3) worker education; and 4) permanent habitat protection.