Reasons for Exemption
The San Mateo County Resources Conservation District (RCD), working alongside the Loma Mar Mutual Water & Improvement Company (LMMWIC), plan to replace approximately 1.2 miles of LMMWIC’s water system pipelines which are leaky and subject to catastrophic failure. LMMWC supplies water to 36 hookups and this new water distribution system would connect these hookups to four new 4,995-gallon water tanks that were installed in 2019, which replaced a failing 40,000-gallon water storage tank. This project would also upgrade the intake system to meet current standards, install water meters, and provide a generator and power bank backup to maintain drinking water supply during power outages.
The goals for the Project are to: 1) provide immediate relief for community of Loma Mar by providing water savings and system reliability, 2) improve water security for the community in the face of the ongoing and future droughts by installing a new highly efficient and resilient water system, and 3) reduce diversions due to system leaks and failures, limiting impacts on Pescadero Creek for the benefit of native steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch). The Project goals will be accomplished through open-cut trenching and/or directional drilling along existing roadways to replace the failing pipelines. This will improve water security in the face of drought and climate change by providing a secure backup generator system, installing a new pump system, reducing persistent leaks, and lowering the chance of additional catastrophic leaks in the LMMWIC system that can result in the loss of water for the community. This project will help protect streamflow in Pescadero Creek, especially during the summer months when stream flows are at their lowest levels. These efforts will protect habitat for native steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) and coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch).
Class 1 (CEQA State Guidelines, Section 15301)
Class 1 consists of the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion of existing or former use. The types of “existing facilities” itemized below are not intended to be all-inclusive of the types of projects which might fall within Class 1. The key consideration is whether the project involves negligible or no expansion of use.
Examples of this exemption that this project is most related to include, but not limited to:
(d) Restoration or rehabilitation of deteriorated or damaged structures, facilities, or mechanical equipment to meet current standards of public health and safety, unless it is determined that the damage was substantial and resulted from an environmental hazard such as earthquake, landslide, or flood;
The project will replace approximately 1.2 mi of an existing water system pipelines that have deteriorated and have experienced chronic leaks and catastrophic storage losses. The project will also replace outdated water treatment facilities. There will be no expansion of use for the LLMWIC’s water system through this project.
Class 2 (CEQA State Guidelines, Section 15302)
Class 2 consists of replacement or reconstruction of existing structures and facilities where the new structure will be located on the same site as the structure replaced and will have substantially the same purpose and capacity as the structure replaced, including but not limited to:
The following bullets list the criteria for projects to meet Categorical Exemption 15302 as described in the CEQA Statute and Guidelines
(c) Replacement or reconstruction of existing utility systems and/or facilities involving negligible or no expansion of capacity.
The project will replace existing waterlines and water treatment plant components that have deteriorated within the LMMWIC water system. The new lines and components will serve the same purpose as the existing system and will have similar capacity.
(f) Addition of safety or health protection devices for use during construction of or in conjunction with existing structures, facilities, or mechanical equipment, or topographic features including navigational devices;
The project will install a new generator and/or battery backup to maintain drinking water supply during power outages and protect public health.
Class 4 (CEQA State Guidelines, Section 15304)
Class 4 consists of minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees except for forestry or agricultural purposes.
Examples of this exemption that this project is most related to include, but are not limited to:
(f) Minor trenching and backfilling where the surface is restored;
The project includes minor trenching and backfilling that will impact less than 1-acre of land. Best management practices will be implemented during construction and all surfaces will be restored to pre-project condition.