Type, Section or Code
California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 15269, subd. (b); Public Resources Code, section 21080, subd. (b)(4)
Reasons for Exemption
Approval of this Project is statutorily exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA, Pub. Resources Code, § 21000 et seq.) because the Project is subject to California Code of Regulations, Title 14, section 15269, subdivision (b), “Emergency repairs to publicly or privately owned service facilities necessary to maintain service essential to the public health, safety, or welfare” and Public Resources Code, section 21080, subdivision (b)(4), “Emergency repairs necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency”. “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 includes repair of two approximately 50-foot sections of high-pressure gas pipeline to prevent pipeline failure at two separate Work Sites, eTS 43141 Line 225 MP 3.28 (L225 Site) and eTS 44051 Line 85 MP 49.9 (L85 Site). The Project also includes the installation of anodes at the Work Sites to provide cathodic protection of the pipelines. In issuing the ITP, CDFW found, among other things, that Permittee’s compliance with the Conditions of Approval of the ITP would fully mitigate Project impacts of the taking on the Covered Species and that issuance of the ITP would not jeopardize the continued existence of the Covered Species.
On January 24, 2023, CDFW received a request from the Permittee for a minor amendment to the ITP and the corresponding fee payment on January 27, 2023. The request included updating the Permittee’s Contact Person and extending the expiration date of the ITP from January 31, 2023 to July 31, 2023 because the Project was delayed by Gas Control Outage Coordination (GCOC) as it could impact customers during months with high demand. CDFW issued Minor Amendment No. 1 on February 22, 2023. In issuing the ITP and Minor Amendment No. 1 (collectively the ITP, as amended), CDFW found, among other things, that Permittee’s compliance with the Conditions of Approval would fully mitigate impacts to the Covered Species and would not jeopardize the continued existence of the Covered Species.
On May 5, 2023, CDFW received a request from the Permittee for a major amendment to the ITP, as amended, and the corresponding fee payment on May 12, 2023. The request includes expanding the Work Area at the L225 Site to allow for replacement of an approximately 150-foot segment of pipeline. Upon exposure of a 50-foot segment of pipe for inspection and recoat at this location, it was determined the current condition of the pipe segment has approximately 40% wall loss deterioration in sections and an immediate replacement of a segment of approximately 150 feet of L225 is needed. In addition to an expanded footprint, the Permittee is requesting to add additional repair activities, equipment, and Covered Activities associated with pipe replacement. Permittee is also requesting to update the Principal Officer and extend the ITP expiration date by another six months because work at the L85 Site has been delayed while awaiting federal Endangered Species Act permitting.
CDFW has determined that although Major Amendment No. 2 may result in an increase in take of the Covered Species and increased Covered Species habitat impacts from those contemplated in the ITP as originally issued and as amended, the additional impacts of the taking will be minimized and fully mitigated through implementation of the Conditions of Approval. Because the impacts will be minimized and fully mitigated, there will be no increase in Project impacts to the Covered Species with Major Amendment No. 2. Measures include: 1) Weekly Compliance Reports; 2) establishment of avoidance zones; 3) worker education; and 4) permanent habitat protection.