Reasons for Exemption
Project includes fuel reduction within 30 feet of the City's electric infrastructure, as well as the removal/replacement of of existing utility poles and infrastructure, to include trenching, placement of electrical conduit in the trenches, and the restoring of the trenched areas to their previous condition. The proposed Project is intended to reduce wildfire risk and protect the City's electric infrastructure. The Project would not have an adverse impact on environmental resources because it is located in an urban environment, vegetation activities would occur outside of the known nesting bird season, no trees would be removed, and all work would be performed in areas within the existing right-of-way or areas that are previously disturbed. Additionally, no work would occur within Gibson Creek and the area containing potentially sensitive habitat would be avoided. existing poles adjacent to the creek in this area will not be replaced as a part of this project, as they are secondary (not primary) poles and were not included in the grant program. Overhead lines that currently span Gibson Creek in the area of Park Boulevard and North Barnes Street will remain overhead and will not be included in the underground portion of this Project. Instead, the undergrounding will continue up to the existing pole in the sidewalk, on either side of the creek (approximately eight ft from top of bank), leaving an overhead span crossing the creek. If existing poles need to be replaced or relocated, they will be replaced like for like and will not be located closer to the creek than the existing poles, and will be placed in the sidewalk. No modification will be made to the creekbed or bank, and undergrounding in this area will take place during the dry season. As such, the Project qualifies for the aforementioned exemptions.