Reasons for Exemption
Under CEQA Guidelines §15062, a lead agency must identify the rationale for making the determination that a project is exempt under CEQA. SMUD has determined that the Morrison Creek Valve Station Pipe Support Project is exempt under CEQA Guidelines §15301 (b), Existing Facilities, which allows for projects involving the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing utility facilities to be exempt under CEQA where negligible or no expansion of use occurs. The proposed project meets the criteria as the alteration of the existing pipe supports is a “minor alteration” as no expansion of the facility would occur. CEQA Guidelines §15302 (c), Replacement or Reconstruction, allows for an exemption where replacement/reconstruction of a utility system occurs, and in this case applies to the replacement of the pipe support structure. Finally, CEQA Guidelines §15303 (d), New Construction or Conversion of Small Structures, exempts from CEQA the construction of small utility infrastructure, such as the pipe supports. Therefore, the project is considered exempt in accordance with the aforementioned CEQA Guidelines §15301, §15302, and §15303.