Reasons for Exemption
CEQA Guidelines Section 15301 (b) Existing Facilities, Class 1. This Project meets Section 15301 Existing Facilities Class 1 (b) repair and maintenance categorical exemption, because the Project involves operation and maintenance activities involving existing sewer facilities and would not result in an expansion of use.
CEQA Guidelines Section 15302 (c) Replacement or Reconstruction, Class 2. This Project meets Section 15302 Replacement or Reconstruction Class 2 (c) categorical exemption, because the Project consists of the replacement and relocation of sewer mains within the public ROW with no expansion of capacity.
The Project may use generators limited to Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District approved 50 Horsepower or less. Therefore, the Project’s effect on air quality is considered less than significant.
The eastern alignment of the forcemain along North Hope Avenue and State Street is adjacent to a Prehistoric Watercourse Buffer along Arroyo Burro Creek. The forcemain alignment is within the ROW in previously disturbed soils. A cultural resources assessment was conducted for all aspects of the Project (Stantec, Archaeologist Michelle C. Cross, M.A., RPA, January 2018), with results for archaeology summarized as follows:
• Records research of prior archaeological studies was conducted, including at the UCSB regional repository and the City of Santa Barbara, which documented that there are no known archaeological resources within the Project site.
• Several recorded prehistoric and historic sites with important subsurface archaeological resources have been documented within a half-mile of the Project site.
• The Project earthwork would largely occur within a previously disturbed area (existing ROW and subsurface utilities) where intact subsurface archaeological resources are not likely to exist.
• The Project trenching activity may potentially go deeper than the previously disturbed area, where there is a greater possibility of encountering intact archaeological resources.
• The Archaeologist identified standard measures to be undertaken, consistent with City of Santa Barbara’s Building Code provisions and Master Environmental Assessment (MEA) Guidelines, which would be implemented through City contractor specifications. These measures would provide for protection of any unanticipated archaeological resources encountered, and the Project would not result in significant impacts to important archaeological resources.
• Mitigation activities in the Project areas of the Prehistoric Water Course Buffer of Arroyo Creek will include:
o Monitoring. Project earthwork in areas not previously disturbed would be monitored by a City-qualified Archaeologist and Chumash monitor.
o Resource Discovery. In the event that subsurface archaeological resources are discovered during Project earthwork, procedures as established in SBMC 22.12 and the City MEA Guidelines would be followed to ensure protection of any important resources. Measures include notifying contractors of procedures; stopping work in the area of the find; alerting the City; assessment of resources by archaeologist in consultation with Chumash representative; and implementation of any measures necessary to avoid significant impacts to important archaeological resources (e.g., documentation; collection/reporting; preserve in place). In the event that potential human remains are discovered, State procedures by the County Coroner would be implemented in consultation with Chumash representatives.
Upland habitat vegetation is approximately 200 feet from the forcemain to be abandoned at 3948 State Street. The eastern portion of the forcemain alignment proposed is within 200 feet of riparian areas of Arroyo Burro Creek. Given the work is only occurring within the existing road ROW, and is located 200 feet away, the effect on biological resources is considered less than significant.
The eastern alignment of the forcemain along State Street comes within 200 feet of Arroyo Burro Creek where the creek crosses under the State Street roadway. However, the new forcemain will terminate at the 24-inch vitrified clay pipe running north/south across State Street within the State Street roadway. Because the work is limited to the previously distributed State Street ROW and is located at least 200 feet away, the proposed Projects effect on Arroyo Burro Creek in considered less than significant.
One leaking underground storage tank cleanup site (closed in 1997) is located adjacent to State Street at 3793 State Street. However, the forcemain alignment will remain on the northern (west bound lanes) of State Street, approximately 50 feet away. No excavation work will be performed on the parcel. One leaking underground storage tank cleanup site is located at 3948 State Street (closed in 1992). No excavation work will be performed on the parcel. No work will occur on parcels listed on the Cortese List; therefore, the effect of hazardous materials is considered less than significant.
The proposed Project alignment intersects the following areas of noise greater than 65 dBA (Ldn): North La Cumbre Avenue at Via Lucero: 65-70 dBA and North Hope Avenue at State Street: 65-70 dBA.
The Noise Ordinance (Chapter 9.16 of the SBMC) governs short-term or periodic noise, such as construction noise, operation of motorized equipment or amplified sound, or other sources of nuisance noise. The ordinance establishes limitations on hours of construction and motorized equipment operations and provides criteria for defining nuisance noise in general. The Project, including night work, will comply with Noise Ordinance regulations, therefore the short-term construction related noise impacts are considered less than significant.
In conclusion, the Project replaces an aging sewer forcemain with parallel, new forcemains to increase redundancy, limit service disruptions, and improve operations. No capacity increase will result with implementation of the proposed Project. 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 §15301(b) Existing Facilities Categorical Exemption and the 15302 (c) Replacement or Reconstruction Categorical Exemption of the CEQA Guidelines.