Type, Section or Code
California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 15269, subd. (c); Public Resources Code Sec. 21080, subd. (b)(4)
Reasons for Exemption
Approval of this Project is subject to the statutory exemption for “Specific actions necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency” (Emergency Project; Pub. Resources Code, §21080, subd. (b)(4)) under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA; Pub. Resources Code, §21000 et seq.). “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 is necessary to address the absence of Band-14 coverage in and around Pinnacles National Park, a remote area in San Benito County. The Office of Emergency Services has identified the Project Area as one of the 13 most important new sites in northern California and expect it to be active by the end of the year. The Project Area has been identified as the only possible site with the coverage capability around the Pinnacles area, including E911 (emergency services) coverage. The Project constitutes an emergency measure which is required for immediate health and human safety.
The Project includes improvements to an existing 1.31 mile-long access road, installation of underground power and telecommunications utility lines by trenching along the access road, installation of four culverts and riprap along the access road to address surface water flow at the Project site, and a construction staging area. Construction and installation of the associated telecommunications tower is not included in this Incidental Take Permit and the footprint of the tower is not included in the Project Area. The Project is expected to cause the permanent loss of 2.56 acres and temporary loss of 0.49 acre of habitat for the Covered Species.
Impacts will be minimized and fully mitigated through the implementation of measures required by Incidental Take Permit No. 2081-2021-058-04. Measures include: 1) Monthly Compliance Reports; 2) establishment of avoidance zones; 3) worker education; 4) burrow/crevice excavation; and 5) permanent habitat protection.