Reasons for Exemption
The adoption of the regulations is exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) because it is not a “project” as that term is defined in the CEQA Guidelines (California Code of Regulations, Title 14, Section 15000 et seq.). A “project” is an activity “which has a potential for resulting in either a direct physical change in the environment, or a reasonably foreseeable indirect physical change in the
environment…” (CEQA Guidelines, § 15378(a)). The regulations finalize existing emergency regulations without any further substantial changes. The adoption of the regulations will have no direct effect on the environment and no reasonably foreseeable indirect impacts on the environment. There are no plan requirements in the proposed regulations from which any environmental impacts, direct or indirect, can be discerned. There are no standards or targets set in the proposed regulations on which to base an objective analysis of any potential impacts. To impute any general or specific environmental effects from the regulations would be entirely speculative, and CEQA does not require a lead agency to speculate as to potential impacts on a project. Accordingly, the adoption of the regulations is exempt from consideration under CEQA.