Reasons for Exemption
On November 15, 2022, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) took final action under the California Fish and Game Code and the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA) with respect to the project. In taking its final action for the purposes of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA, Public Resources Code, Section 21000 et seq.), the Commission adopted amendments to sections 1.91, 27.20, 27.25, 27.30, 27.35, 27.40, 27.45, 27.50, 27.51, 28.26, 28.27, 28.28, 28.29, 28.47, 28.48, 28.49, 28.54, 28.55, 28.56, 28.58, 28.65, and 28.90, Title 14, California Code of Regulations (CCR) (“Project”), relying on the categorical exemptions for “Actions by Regulatory Agencies for Protection of Natural Resources and the Environment” contained in CEQA Guidelines sections 15307 and 15308 (Classes 7 and 8 categorical exemptions, CCR, Title 14, sections 15307, 15308). Classes 7 and 8 categorical exemptions apply to agency actions to protect natural resources and the environment. The Project is intended to provide for consistent state and federal regulations, which were developed to reduce mortality of certain nearshore rockfish species (quillback and copper rockfish) and maintain access to other non-nearshore federal groundfish while keeping total mortality within federally set harvest limits. Therefore, because the Project would maintain, restore, and enhance fishery resources and the environment, these regulatory changes are the proper subjects of CEQA’s Classes 7 and 8 categorical exemptions.