Reasons for Exemption
California Environmental Quality Action Guidelines Section 15301(b) exempts the operation, repair, maintenance, permitting, leasing, licensing, or minor alteration of existing public or private structures, facilities, mechanical equipment, or topographical features, involving negligible or no expansion or existing or former use, including existing facilities of both investor and publicly owned utilities used to provide electric power, natural gas, sewerage, or other public utility services. L1003 pipeline is an existing SoCalGas facility, and the project supports maintenance of this facility and does not involve expansion of use.
In addition, the project does not involve unusual circumstances, including future activities resulting in or which might reasonably result in significant environmental impacts. The project would not meet any of the exceptions under Section 15300.2 that would preclude application of an exemption. The project would not result in significant adverse impacts, including cumulative impacts. The project would not result in a significant impact to a historic resource, adversely impact a designated state scenic highway, and the project site is not identified as hazardous waste site pursuant to Section 65962.5 of the Government Code.
Project construction would be up to five (5) weeks. No storage of petroleum projects exceeding 100 gallons is proposed. No generators would be used. The project would not generate any unusual odors. In addition, water will be used to support dust control and drilling.
The project is not within an Archaeological Sensitive Area. An archaeological records search was completed using data provided by the Central Coast Information Center (CCIC) of the California Historical Resource Information System (CHRIS). Results of the records search indicate that the project area is included in one archaeological field survey in 2006 (SR-04574). No archaeological resources are recorded within the project area. The project area is in urban development, and there is a low possibility of encountering intact archaeological deposits. The project will not impact archaeological resources, provided that the recommendations are followed. If a cultural resource is encountered, the crew will halt work and contact a SoCalGas Archaeologist. If human remains are found during any phase of the project, the crew will halt work for at least 200-feet around the discovery and contact the Santa Barbara County Coroner and a SoCalGas Archaeologist for further guidance.
The project site is within the coast live oak woodland, savanna or forest habitat in the City’s MAPS system. Impacts resulting from the project would be approximately 0.10 acre and not expected to impact black-flowered figwort. Vegetation clearance would be the minimum needed to support access and construction. Tree trimming will be coordinated with the City’s Recreation Department. Nesting bird preconstruction surveys will be required prior to vegetation or ground disturbance during the nesting bird season.
According to the City’s MAPS system, there are no creeks or watercourses associated with the project site. See insert.
The project site is outside the coastal zone.
The project does not involve any expansion in the use of fossil fuel. Rather, the project would support the maintenance of existing natural gas infrastructure.
Front Country Trails
The project site is within 50 feet of a trail around the reservoir property and is adjacent to a pedestrian path associated with a Firesafe Landscape Garden, as well as connector trails between these two features. The project would temporarily limit access to one of the access locations on Stanwood Drive. However, there are other access locations to the to the east, south and west. Connection between the garden path and the main trail would remain.
The project site is not associated with any known or listed hazardous materials site.
High Fire Hazard Area
The project site is not within a Fire Hazard Severity Zone in a State Responsibility Area. However, the site is within the Foothill Zone of the City’s High Fire Hazard Area. The contractor will have a water source on-hand (e.g., water truck or nearby hydrant) during project construction. In addition, a fire station is within 400 feet of the project site.
The project site is not associated with a floodway. Flood Zone AE is just north of the project site nearest the road. The project would not introduce any structures or improvements within the flood zone.
The project site is not within an Alquist-Priolo Zone or within a state designated geological hazard area (liquefaction zone, etc.). However, the site is identified as “Apparently active, Holocene activity” in the City’s MAPS system, Fault Hazard Zones layer; see insert below.
According to the City’s MAPS system, the project site is classified as at moderate risk for relative landslide potential, is associated with past slope failure, and has high risk for expansive soils. The project site does not contain a bluff and is not associated with potential for liquefaction or shallow groundwater.
No habitable structures are associated with the project. The geologic conditions are not a substantial consideration for installation of the monitoring well facilities.
The project site is not associated with any historic structures that meet the definition of
“historical resources” in the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines. A historical records search was completed using data provided by the Central Coast Information Center (CCIC) of the California Historical Resource Information System (CHRIS). No historical resources are recorded within or adjacent to the project area. The project area is in urban development, and there is a low possibility of encountering intact historical resources. The project will not impact historical resources, provided that the recommendations are followed. If a historical resource is encountered, the crew will halt work and contact a SoCalGas Archaeologist for further guidance.
Parks and Recreation
The project site is not within a park or recreation feature in the City’s MAPS system.
There are no sensitive noise receptors within 200 feet of the project. The site is not within an area with an ambient noise level above 65 dBA. Project activities include drilling for a monitoring well and excavation of a trench. No pile driving is proposed. Noise and vibration will be typically associated with construction including materials and equipment loading/unloading, operation of equipment—a drill rig, excavator, water truck, vacuum tanker, and concrete truck. Construction noise will be limited to the hours from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, and thus would not affect evening and overnight hours.
The project site is easily accessed from the north side of Stanwood Drive. In addition, a fire station is within 400 feet of the project site. Project equipment will be staged off the road or in the shoulder and would not impact continued traffic operation.
Tree trimming will be required to access the project site and will be coordinated with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. Trimming is not anticipated to impact more than 20 percent of the tree canopy.
Well head and monitoring features will be installed at the site similar in appearance and location to the existing facilities onsite. The site is not located in a historic district, and not have an important open space or unique hillside that would be impacted by the project.
In conclusion, the Project will allow SoCalGas to construct cathodic protection for its existing L1003 pipeline. Project is not anticipated to result in any significant impacts towards the environmental resources, therefore, the Public Works Department recommends that the Case Planner consider this Project as exempt, as defined in the CEQA review process classified under the Class 1, 15301 (b) categorical exemption of the CEQA Guidelines.