Type, Section or Code
21080(b)(4), 15269(b), (c), 15301(b), (d), 15202(c), 15304(f), 15269(c), 15063(b)(3)
Reasons for Exemption
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) proposes to upgrade the natural gas distribution system within the East Campus Housing Area. The proposed project involves using trenchless horizontal directional drilling (HDD) and open trenching methods to access, cut, purge, seal, and replace the gas line. As a result, implementation of the proposed project would not require extensive site preparation. The proposed project would require implementation of the avoidance and minimization measures identified in the Biological Resources Report (Attachment B, Biological Resources Report) and measures required by In 2020, PG&E’s Multiple Region Operation and Maintenance Habitat Conservation Plan (MRHCP), which is a multiple species Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) for routine operation and maintenance activities in 34 California counties, including the County of Monterey. These measures would avoid and reduce potential impacts to sensitive biological resources in the project area.
-Section 21080(b)(4) and 15269(b) and (c): The proposed project would reduce threats to the distribution system’s integrity and improve public safety and system reliability. In October 2011, PG&E made a commitment to begin replacing more than 1,200 miles of plastic gas piping, manufactured by DuPont before 1973 under the name Aldyl-A, across California due to its history of cracking and failing. This replacement program was prompted after a leaky plastic gas pipe sparked a fire at a Cupertino, CA condominium complex. The project involves emergency repairs to publicly owned service facilities necessary to maintain service essential to public health, safety, or welfare, which is necessary to prevent and mitigate an emergency.
-Sections 15301(b) and (d): The proposed project involves the repair and maintenance of existing publicly-owned facilities to provide natural gas and restoration of deteriorated facilities to meet current standards of public health and safety. The proposed project would not involve the expansion of use of any existing facilities.
-Section 15302(c): The proposed project involves the replacement or reconstruction of existing facilities where the new facilities will be located on the same site as the facility replaced and will have substantially the same purpose and capacity of the facility replaced. The project would replace and reconstruct existing gas lines involving negligible or no expansion of capacity.
-Section 15304(i): The proposed project would require minor alterations to land. The HDD method would result in approximately 1,196 square feet (sf) (0.027 acre) of ground disturbance and the open trench method would result in approximately 1,024 sf (0.024 acre) of ground disturbance, resulting in a total area of approximately 2,220 sf (0.051 acre) of ground disturbance. The implementation of the identified avoidance and minimization measures identified in the Biological Resources Report and PG&E’s MRHCP would avoid and reduce potential impacts to sensitive biological species, and would not result in any take of listed species. No healthy, mature, scenic trees would be removed as part of this project.
-Under CEQA Guidelines section 15061(b)(3), Review for Exemption (14 CCR Sec. 15061(b)(3)), activities are exempt from, and otherwise not subject to, CEQA under the "common sense" exemption where it can be seen with certainty that there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment. The proposed project would not result in any significant effects on the environment. A biological assessment was completed for the proposed project and determined no significant impacts to sensitive biological resources would occur with the implementation of the avoidance and minimization measures identified in the Biological Resources Report and PG&E’s MRHCP (Attachment A and Attachment B).
The proposed project would not have a significant effect on the environment due to unusual circumstances; would not result in damage to scenic resources within a Scenic Highway; is not located on a hazardous waste site pursuant to Sec. 65962.5 of the Government Code; would not cause a substantial adverse change in the significance of a historical resource; and would not result in cumulative impacts.