Reasons for Exemption
The proposed Monitoring, Reporting, and GMP Update for Sustainable Management in the Borrego Springs Subbasin Project meets the criteria for a both a Class 6 Categorical Exemption (15306) and a Class 3 Categorical Exemption (15303). Class 6 consists of “Information Collection,” outlined under Section 15306 of the State CEQA Guidelines. Class 6 exemptions consist of “basic data collection, research, experimental management, and resource evaluation activities which do not result in a serious or major disturbance to an environmental resource. These may be strictly for information gathering purposes, or as part of a study leading to an action which a public agency has not yet approved, adopted, or funded.” The Project includes monitoring, reporting, and report updates that would consist of data collection, research, experimental management, and resource evaluation activities that would not result in serious or major disturbance to an environmental resource, and the data collected from the Project would be used as part of a study leading to an action which a public agency has not yet approved, adopted, or funded. Class 3 exemptions consist of “construction and location of limited numbers of new, small facilities or structures; installation of small new equipment and facilities in small structures; and the conversion of existing small structures from one use to another where only minor modifications are made in the exterior of the structure…(e) Accessory (appurtenant) structures including garages, carports, patios, swimming pools, and fences.” The proposed Project is a monitoring, reporting, reporting update program that includes a component that would include well abandonment or converting existing wells to monitoring wells. This would consist of conversion of existing small appurtenances (wells) to either inactive status through abandonment or to monitoring wells thereby constituting a change from one use to another where only minor modifications are made to the structure. This activity is set to occur as part of the overall information collection for the Project, as discussed above. The Project has been evaluated against the Categorical Exemption exceptions (CEQA Guidelines Section 15300.2), and does not fall under any exception based on the lack of historical, archaeological, and scenic resources within the Project area of potential effects, and that no hazardous waste sites are located in the vicinity of the Project, and no cumulative or significant effects are anticipated to occur as a result of Project implementation. The Project activities have been determined not to have a potential to cause significant adverse environmental effects. Therefore, this proposed Project is not forecast to cause any potential for significant adverse environmental impacts and qualifies with the requirements for a both a Class 6 Categorical Exemption (15306) and a Class 3 Categorical Exemption (15303).