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 repair anomalies along Gas Pipeline 301A. On November 10, 2021, PG&E provided the following information, “In 2019, PG&E performed an in-line inspection of gas transmission Line 301A. This inspection identified four (4) deformations that require repair within a scheduled time frame. It is imperative that PG&E repair these deformations. Left un-repaired, the deformations may grow in service to and lead to pipeline failure which could result in a hazardous release of gas.” The Project constitutes an emergency measure which is required for immediate health and human safety.
The Project includes the excavation of five Work Sites along Gas Line 301A to investigate anomalies (i.e., corrosion, dents, or other abnormalities that may compromise the integrity of the pipe) identified during prior in-line inspection of the pipeline. At each Work Site, one bell hole will be excavated to expose the pipe along with up to two sniff holes to facilitate repair of anomalies. In addition to the Work Sites, the Project will require overland access through annual grassland habitat. Following investigation and repair activities, site restoration will occur. Site restoration will include grading to pre-project contours and conditions and revegetation through application of a seed mix and native topsoil. The Project is expected to cause the temporary loss of 2.18 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 2020 041 04. Measures include: 1) Monthly Compliance Reports; 2) establishment of avoidance zones; 3) worker education; 4) burrow/crevice excavation; and 5) permanent habitat protection through the purchase of California tiger salamander upland habitat credits at the CDFW approved Sparling Ranch Conservation Bank.