Reasons for Exemption
The Agency’s approval of the Resolution does not qualify as a “project” subject to CEQA because it constitutes (1) continuing administrative or maintenance activities, such as general policy and procedure making; (2) government fiscal activities that do not involve any commitment to any specific project that may result in a potentially significant physical impact on the environment; and (3) organizational or administrative activities of a public agency that will not result in direct or indirect physical changes in the environment. (State CEQA Guidelines, §§ 15060(c)(3).) Moreover, the approval of the Resolution does not qualify as a “project” because it does not have a potential to result in either a direct, or reasonably foreseeable indirect, physical change in the environment. (State CEQA Guidelines, § 15378(a).)
Alternatively, the Agency’s approval of the Resolution is statutorily exempt from CEQA under State CEQA Guidelines section 15262, as the Resolution concerned “feasibility or planning studies for possible future actions [that] the agency … has not approved, adopted, or funded.” (State CEQA Guidelines, § 15262.) Notably, although the Resolution provides for some funding for the environmental planning costs associated with the Delta Conveyance Project, it provides for no funding for the construction of the Delta Conveyance Project, nor does it otherwise commit the Agency to the Delta Conveyance Project.
Furthermore, the Agency’s approval of the Resolution is exempt from CEQA under the common sense exemption set forth in State CEQA Guidelines section 15061(b)(3), as it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment. None of the exceptions to this exemption identified in CEQA Guidelines § 15300.2 exist here.