Reasons for Exemption
Pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), South Coast AQMD, as Lead Agency, has reviewed the proposed project pursuant to: 1) CEQA Guidelines Section 15002(k) – General Concepts, the three-step process for deciding which document to prepare for a project subject to CEQA; and 2) CEQA Guidelines Section 15061 – Review for Exemption, procedures for determining if a project is exempt from CEQA. Because the physical changes that may occur as a result of implementing portions of the proposed project would only require minimal construction activities and cause negligible physical impacts, it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that any physical actions that may be associated with the proposed project may have a significant adverse effect on the environment. Therefore, the proposed project is exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15061(b)(3). Further, the overall purpose of this project is to improve the environment of the ECV community and nearby areas, and all of the action items within the ECV CERP Amendments support this goal, the action items are also categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15308.
The ECV CERP Amendments contain the following action items, which are speculative at this time as they require collaboration with other entities, might have some secondary air quality impacts: 1) funding paving of unpaved roads and mobile home parks and installing home air filtration and purifier systems and 2) replacing agricultural open burning with alternative equipment or services such as chippers and grinders. However, activities associated with those action items are subject to existing South Coast AQMD rule requirements. For instance, South Coast AQMD Rules 403, 1120 and 1186 cover paving-related activities and South Coast AQMD Rule 1133.1 covers chipping and grinding activities. These existing South Coast AQMD rules not only require reducing any potential air quality impact to the minimum, but also have gone through CEQA review during the rulemaking process. If a discretionary action triggering CEQA is needed to implement those action items, a CEQA review will be conducted at that time.
The proposed amendments to the AB 617 ECV CERP contain action items involving feasibility and planning studies, because information needs to be collected to make an informed decision about further actions such as rule development. However, these action items neither prescribe or commit to specific rule requirements, nor require advance approval or adoption of future actions because they require an open public process. Thus, the proposed amendments contain action items involving feasibility or planning studies which are statutorily exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15262. The proposed amendments also contain action items requiring minor physical modifications to existing structures or buildings, such as installing home air filters or monitoring equipment, which are categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15301.The proposed amendments contain action items involving the collection or exchange of information or data obtained from inspections and air monitoring, which are categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15306. The proposed amendments contain action items involving inspections requiring performance or compliance checks, which are categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15309. The proposed amendments also contain action items relying on enforcement activities which are categorically exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15321. Finally, there is no substantial evidence indicating that any of the exceptions to the categorical exemptions apply to the proposed project pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 15300.2 – Exceptions. Therefore, the proposed project is exempt from CEQA.
Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino