Type, Section or Code
California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 15269, subd. (b); Public Resources Code, section 21080, subd. (b)(4)
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)(4), “Emergency repairs necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency”. “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 inspection and repair of the coating of two approximately 50 foot long segments of the 26-inch natural gas pipeline (Line) 85 located at Mile Post (MP) 75.75 and MP 75.94 where anomalies have been identified and the installation of an underground mainline valve and inline inspection activities. The repairs are needed urgently to protect the integrity and safety of the pipeline as well as to ensure service to natural gas customers is not impacted in winter of 2021. Additionally, repairs are needed urgently to reduce potential impacts to other pipelines in the vicinity of the California Aqueduct, and possibly to the California Aqueduct itself.
On June 23, 2021, the Permittee requested changes to the Project to be able to complete the Project as scheduled and to control gas pressure in Line 85 while performing the other necessary repairs. These changes will add an additional excavation area to access the pipeline for mainline valve (MLV) installation, add additional staging and parking areas, add MLV installation, pressure-control fitting (stopple) installation, and a robotic inspection tool launcher/receiver (LR) barrel installation on the pipeline as Covered Activities, and add equipment to be used at the site during construction. The additional MLV Work Area and staging/parking areas will increase the total Project footprint by 0.07 acre, but this will not result in an increase to the impacts to Covered Species habitat because these areas are 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 Work Areas are 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. 2081-2020-043-04, as amended. Measures include: 1) Monthly Compliance Reports; 2) establishment of avoidance zones; 3) worker education; and 4) permanent habitat protection.