ES 165

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kl6847
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ES 165
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2013-10-31 16:46:20
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ES 165 UCSB midterm 1
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  1. Project
    A discretionary action with potential physical effects on the environment
  2. Statutory Exemption
    Legislative exclusion from preparation of CEQA documents
  3. Categorical Exemption:
    Types of proposals ordinarily involving no potential for significant impact.

    Repair of existing facilities, replacement/reconstruction of existing facilities, new, but SMALL facilities- up to 3 single family homes, 2,500 s.f. commercial/industrial facility.
     Historical resource restoration/rehabilitation
     Small habitat restoration projects.
     In-fill Development- consistent with zoning, less than 5 acres, surrounded by urban uses
     NOT APPLICABLE if there is potential for environmental impact, located in sensitive environment, affects scenic resources within official state scenic highways, located on hazardous waste site, or creating substantial change to historic resource.
  4. Lead Agency
    Agency with primary responsibility for CEQA compliance when preparing an initial study, negative declaration, mitigated negative declaration, or EIR
  5. Responsible Agency
    CA agenc(ies) other than the lead agency with discretionary authority over the project
  6. Initial Study (IS)
    Document prepared to study project for potential significant impacts
  7. Negative Declaration (MD)
    Document prepared when there are no potential significant impacts
  8. Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND)
    Document prepared when there are no potential significant impacts after application of mitigation
  9. Environmental Impact Report (EIR)
    Document prepared when there are potential significant impacts
  10. When was the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) created?
    1970
  11. Phases in the Environmental Review

    Phase 1
    Preliminary review of an agency action to determine whether the action is subject to CEQA or the underlying project is exempt from CEQA
  12. Phases in the Environmental Review

    Phase 2
    Preparation of an initial study to determine whether the project may have a significant environmental effect
  13. Phases in the Environmental Review

    Phase 3
    Preparation of an EIR if the project may have a significant environmental effect or of a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration if no significant effects will occur.
  14. What Environmental Laws and their regulations were enacted in the 1970's? 

    a) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)
    b) Clean Water Act
    c) Clean Air Act
    d) Endangered Species Act
    e) All of the above
    e) All of the above
  15. CEQA Objectives
    • Disclose to decisionmakers & public the significant environmental effects of proposed activities
    • Identify ways to avoid or reduce environmental damage
    • Prevent environmental damage by requiring implementation of feasible alternatives or mitigation measures
    • Disclose to the public reasons for agency approval of projects with significant environmental effects
    • Foster interagency coordination in the review of projects
    • Enhance public participation in the planning process
  16. If a project requires a negative declaration or mitigated negative declaration which phases of CEQA must be the project be subject to? 

    A) Phase 1. It doesn't pose significant threat
    B) Phase 2. It requires some threat
    C) All phases. The project must be reviewed
    C) The project is subject for a full review
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  17. If an activity is not a "project," or is exempt from CEQA which phases of CEQA must be the project be subject to? 

    A) Phase 1. It doesn't pose significant threat
    B) All phases. The project must be reviewed
    C) Phase 2. It requires some threat
    A) Phase 1. It doen't pose a significant threat to the environment
    (this multiple choice question has been scrambled)
  18. What does NEPA stand for?
    National Environmental Protection Act
  19. What does CEQA stand for?
    California Environmental Quality Act
  20. CEQA applies to all discretionary activities considered "_________"proposed to be carried-out or approved by California public agencies including ______,______,_______, and _____ ____.
    projects

    state, regional, county, and local agencies
  21. CEQA requires all California public agencies to comply with bot _____ and _____ requirements
    procedural, substantive
  22. Procedural Requirements
    A series of detailed procedural requirements to ensure that each of the law's objectives are accomplished
  23. Which Procedural Requirements are used to meet the CEQA Objective
    Disclose environmental impacts

    a) initial studies, ND's, EIR's

    b) Mitigation measures, alternatives, mitigation monitoring

    c) Findings, statements of overriding consideration

    d)Scoping, public notice requirement, response to comments, legal enforcement procedures, citizen access to the courts

    e) Early consultation, scoping meetings, notices of preparation, State Clearinghouse review
    a) initial studies, ND's, EIR's
  24. Which Procedural Requirements are used to meet the CEQA Objective
    Identify & prevent environmental damage

    a) initial studies, ND's, EIR's

    b) Mitigation measures, alternatives, mitigation monitoring

    c) Findings, statements of overriding consideration

    d) Scoping, public notice requirement, response to comments, legal enforcement procedures, citizen access to the courts

    e) Early consultation, scoping meetings, notices of preparation, State Clearinghouse review
    b) Mitigation measures, alternatives, mitigation monitoring
  25. Which Procedural Requirements are used to meet the CEQA Objective
    Disclose agency decision making?

    a) initial studies, ND's, EIR's

    b) Mitigation measures, alternatives, mitigation monitoring

    c) Findings, statements of overriding consideration

    d) Scoping, public notice requirement, response to comments, legal enforcement procedures, citizen access to the courts

    e) Early consultation, scoping meetings, notices of preparation, State Clearinghouse review
    c) Findings, statements of overriding consideration
  26. Which Procedural Requirements are used to meet the CEQA Objective
    Enhance public participation?

    a) initial studies, ND's, EIR's

    b) Mitigation measures, alternatives, mitigation monitoring

    c) Findings, statements of overriding consideration

    d) Scoping, public notice requirement, response to comments, legal enforcement procedures, citizen access to the courts

    e) Early consultation, scoping meetings, notices of preparation, State Clearinghouse review
    d) Scoping, public notice requirement, response to comments, legal enforcement procedures, citizen access to the courts
  27. Which Procedural Requirements are used to meet the CEQA Objective
    Foster intergovernmental coordination

    a) initial studies, ND's, EIR's

    b) Mitigation measures, alternatives, mitigation monitoring

    c) Findings, statements of overriding consideration

    d) Scoping, public notice requirement, response to comments, legal enforcement procedures, citizen access to the courts

    e) Early consultation, scoping meetings, notices of preparation, State Clearinghouse review
    e) Early consultation, scoping meetings, notices of preparation, State Clearinghouse review
  28. Substantive Requirements
    Provisions requiring agencies to mitigate environmental impacts, whenever feasible.

    Agencies must actually avoid or minimize environmental damage unless doing so is not feasible
  29. What does CEQA authorize agencies to do?
    Require changes in a project to lessen or avoid significant effects, when feasible. 

    Disapprove a project to avoid significant effects

    Approve a project with significant effects if there's no feasible way to lessen or avoid significant effect and the project benefits outweigh these effects

    Impose fees on project applicants for CEQA implementation
  30. What Act was CEQA modeled after?
    NEPA
  31. Who signed NEPA into law and when?
    President Nixon. January 1, 1969
  32. Why is CEQA considered more substantive than NEPA?
    It requires agencies to not only  disclose environmental impacts, but also to avoid or mitigate impacts when feasible to do so.
  33. What report was CEQA drafted in response to?
    The Environmental Bill of Rights.
  34. Aesthetics
    That which concerned with the characteristics of objects and of the human being perceiving them that make the object pleasing or displeasing to the  senses
  35. Parts to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

    Determines the impact on the environement
    • Project
    • Significance-Outcomes of project significant?
    • Mitigation (if significant) solutions
    • Alternatives-Changed project
  36. How did the environmental impact assessment come about? Why do we need it? 
    Is it still a valuable tool, or does it just add to development costs?
    1930's (depression) 1st time gov't became involved-soil conservation service-survey

    • Disaster 1969 SB Oil Spill. 
    • Cincinnati river caught on fire

    We need it to ensure that we maintain our environment along with our economy
  37. Land Suitability Assessment technique (LSA)
    Look at whole area or region as opposed to specific

    • Study-Potential siting development
    • Long range environmental planning
    • Doesn't have mitigation alternatives
  38. What lawsuit and when was it that caused CEQA to apply to public AND private projects?
    Friends of Mammoth. 1972
  39. WHich CEQA guideline is used when Determining the Significance of Impact so Archaeological and Historical Resources?
    15065.5
  40. What are examples of a "general purpose agency?"
    A city or county
  41. What are examples of a single-purpose agency?
    An air or water quality agency
  42. What year was CEQA created and who signed it?
    1970 Governor Reagan
  43. Are the documents mentioned high/mid/low risk and are they considered to take short or long periods of time to process? 
    Categorical Exemptions
    Negative Declaration
    Environmental Impact Report
    • Categorical Exemption: 
    • 1-2 months. Highest risk/shortest time period

    • Negative Declaration: 
    • 4-9 months. Mid risk/mid time period

    • Environmental Impact Report: 
    • 9-18 months. lowest risk/longest time period
  44. Determining the Lead Agency

    Public Projects

    Private projects requiring government approval
    • Public Projects: 
    • A public agency is the lead agency for its own projects, even if the project will be located within the jurisdiction of another agency

    Private projects requiring governmental approval:

    An agency with general governmental powers (city,county) prevails over an agency with single or limited purpose

    The city prezoning an area prior to annexation will be the lead agency rather than the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO)

    When criteria are equal, the agency that acts first becomes the lead agency

    Agencies may designate a lead agency by mutual agreement
  45. Master Environmental Assessment
     An regional inventory significant natural resources and constraints within a planning agency’s jurisdiction
     Allows ranking and prioritization of resources throughout a regional study area, rather than a specific project
     Provides a baseline /database for assessing future project development impacts
     Must be periodically updated as new information becomes available, in order to maintain accuracy
    Example of LSA!

  46. Statutory Exemptions
    Specific public agency actions excluded by
    definition in CEQA
     Legislated actions – ex. 1984 Olympics
     Voter initiative ballot actions- plastic bag ban
     Government funding mechanisms.
     Ministerial – no judgment required –grading permit.
     Emergency projects – repair to avoid public health and safety risk
  47. CEQA Review: Is there a Project?
     Project- an action that:  Is discretionary- approved/denied by an
    agency.  Potentially resulting in direct or “reasonably
    foreseeable” indirect physical changes.  Possible to create future indirect effects-
    general plan, zoning ordinance adoption
  48. CEQA – Environmental Protection and Streamlining Policies
     Maintenence of quality environment
     Maintain ecological systems and welfare of the people
     Identify critical thresholds to prevent environmental conditions from impacting health and safety
     Agencies must strive to prevent environmental damage, control pollution
     Protect, rehabilitate, and enhance the environment
     Provide clean air/water, and enjoyment of aethetic, natural,
    scenic, and historic qualities
     Prevent elimination of fish and wildlife species
     Integrate CEQA with other planning laws
     Documents that are efficient, complete, and good-faith effort at full disclosure.
  49. Types of Impacts
     Direct – Actions directly resulting from project implementation (removal of trees for project access road extension)

     Indirect – Actions that may occur secondarily, or at a later time (access road extension provides potential access for additional future development .

     Cumulative – the combined effect of the proposed project with past, present (other proposed, approved but not built), or reasonably probable projects (affect of the road extension with other subdivisions proposed in this vicinity).
  50. Project Description:

    NEPA – “Proposed Action,” occurring on Federal land or with Federal monies (e.g., Caltrans highway projects).

     NEPA - Several Proposed Action Alternatives can be evaluated based on technological and/or economic basis.

     CEQA – “Proposed Project,” occurring anywhere within the state of California, either public or private.

     CEQA – Only one proposed project, though a range of alternatives must be evaluated.

     Key Description Components: site location; construction timing and operations; how construction and operations will be undertaken.
  51. Environmental Setting or Baseline

     NEPA and CEQA – Description of all relevant environmental characteristics potentially affected by the proposed action and project.

     CEQA - setting is based on when preparation of the project environmental document is commenced, or Notice of Preparation (NOP) is distributed for comment.

     Key Setting Components: project site; surrounding land uses (compatibility); vicinity, particularly if project will affect activity on roadways, waterways, railroad tracks etc (either during project construction or operation).
  52. Public Scoping

     Scoping – Public notice and hearings to gain input on range and controversy associated with issues to be identified/discussed in the environmental document.

     NEPA – Public notice and scoping hearing required for major environmental documents (EIS), but not necessarily for less substantial documents (FONSI).

     CEQA - Public notice required for all documents (EIR and ND), but hearing is not required. Notice of Preparation (NOP) is distributed for 30-days when EIRs are prepared.

     Scoping Comments: must be addressed in EIS and EIR.
  53. Initial Study and Impact Determination

     CEQA – Initial Study. Appendix G, Environmental Checklist – series of questions for various environmental issues that require comparison of the proposed project compared to setting
  54. Initial Study and Impact Determination

    NEPA – No checklist provided. Each lead agency may have individual process, but nothing systematic.

    Environmental Assessment - document that explains no potential for significant adverse effect.
  55. Environmental Documents

     NEPA: EA – Environmental Assessment. Preliminary analysis under NEPA to determine type of environmental document needed

     CEQA: IS – Initial Study. Preliminary analysis under CEQA to determine type of environmental document needed

     NEPA: FONSI – Finding Of No Significant Impact. Document prepared if EA identifies absence of potentially significant project impacts (no need for EIS)

     CEQA: ND – Negative Declaration. Document prepared if IS identifies absence of potentially significant project impacts (no need for EIR)

     NEPA: EIS – Environmental Impact Statement. A comprehensive impact evaluation under NEPA

     CEQA: EIR – Environmental Impact Report. A comprehensive impact evaluation under CEQA
  56. Mitigation Measures – Same in NEPA-CEQA

     When significant adverse impacts are identified,
    revisions to project description that either:

    Avoid – redesign project to eliminate component or
    redesign (reorient or narrow road width to avoid trees).

    Minimize – reduce the extent of adverse action (remove only smaller, non-native trees)

    Rectify – repair, rehabilitate, or restore environment (restore creek habitat adjacent to roadway)

    Compensate – replacing or providing substitute environmental resources (plant 10 trees for each tree removed).
  57. Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Plan
    (MMRP)

    Only in CEQA:
     For Any Required Mitigation Measures – plan to demonstrate how measures will be effectively implemented).

     Who is Responsible for Implementation – applicant

     What is Plan for Implementation – landscape plan prepared by landscape architect or restoration biologist

     When is Plan Reviewed/Approved – prior to issuance of grading permits

     Who Monitors Implementation and When – City of Goleta, during and after tree planting).
  58. Types of Pollutants – Outdoor Contaminants, Injurious to Health

    Gases - SO2, NO2, CO, CO2, H2S, VOC/RHC.

    Particulates – Solids or liquids that are dispersed. diesel exhaust.


    Air Toxics – Hazardous chemical pollutants –the Clean Air Act identifies over 189!


    Atmospheric Effects- Combination of pollutants:

    SMOG= VOC/RHC + NO2  ACID RAIN = SO2, NO2,
    GREEN HOUSE GAS EMISSIONS = CO2

     
    POLLUTANT CONCENTRATIONS ARE QUANTITATIVELY MEASURED!!

  59. Sources of Air Pollution

     Short-Term Project Construction. Short- term, but possibly several years. Equipment exhaust, dust particulates.

     Long-Term Stationary, Point Source. Long- term, on-site; e.g., industrial manufacturing, restaurants (Direct Impact!).

     Long-Term Area, Mobile Source. Long- term, off-site; e.g., residential traffic, ocean tanker, railroad, trucking trips (Indirect Impact!).
  60. Regulatory Setting

    Federal- Clean Air Act (1963, Updated)

    Ambient Air Quality Standards- acceptable
    pollution concentrations based on health tolerance.

     Emission Standards – limits set for project pollutant
    generation.

    Attainment Status – description of baseline for particular pollutant in region (state).

     State- CA Air Quality Standard (1969, Updated)

     Local – AQ Management Districts. Plans to implement state standards.
  61. Environmental Setting

    Local Air Basin – Regional Geographic Area

    Topography – mountains, etc. capable of creating barriers to dispersion of air pollutant dispersal.

    Urban Demography – geopolitical boundaries forming district management.

    Examples – South Coast Air Quality Management District – Los Angeles Basin, Bay Area

    Santa Barbara County- Santa Ynez Mountains appear to constrain transfer of pollutants from South to North County, but substantial exchange in mobile sources (US 101 traffic).

    Air Monitoring Stations – collect pollutant concentrations relative to Plan “Attainment” standards.
  62. Air Quality Environmental Setting Factors
    Considered

    Wind Patterns. Influence dispersion of pollutants from point sources, particularly for industrial projects (Elwood Oil Treatment Facility in Winchester Canyon).

    Surrounding Land Uses

    Sensitive Receptors – schools, hospitals, outdoor recreational areas, backyards. 

    Odor Sources – fast food restaurants (IN-N-OUT!),sewer treatment plants.

    Toxic Contaminant Sources – industry, processing plants.
  63. Are Impacts Significant?

    CEQA Appendix G – Initial Study Checklist. State standard, basis for local thresholds development

     Conflict with air quality plan? Not consistent with attainment standard?

     Violate air quality standard, contribute substantially to such a violation?

     Generate cumulatively considerable increase of any pollutant for which project is in non-attainment under federal or state standard, including ozone?

     Expose sensitive receptors to substantial pollutant concentrations?

     Create objectionable odors affecting substantial number of people?

     Quantitative thresholds, but still subjective- what is substantial?
  64. Computer Models Used for Impact Assessment

    Short-Term Construction – based on numbers of construction equipment, duration of activity.

    Long-Term Operations – land use classes and associated traffic; size of stationary sources (industrial), etc.

     Considers measures that can reduce stationary emissions such as solar heating, or mobile emissions such as car pooling.

     Need to replicate results to provide full public disclosure (no black box magic allowed!).
  65. Short-Term Construction. REDUCE-MINIMIZE:

    use of electric equipment, to reduce diesel engine use; engine tune-ups, water down project area to reduce dust, tarp on dump trucks.

    Long-Term Operation . AVOID – businesses: car- pool, bus passes; bus stops.

    REDUCE – green building practices, solar heating, minimize asphalt (black reflects heat).

    RECTIFY – retrofit industrial facilities with scrubbers to reduce emissions; plant trees to “sequester” CO gases forming GHG emissions.

    COMPENSATE – purchase air pollution credits generated by industry that has already reduced their emissions.
  66. Decibel (dB) Basic Unit of Sound Measure

    Measured on Logarithmic Scale

     Weighted Scales (dbA)- 24 hour noise average

     Provides emphasis on noise occuring during quiet periods of evening, night, early a.m.

     Leq, Ldn (federal): add 10 dB to noise occurring between 10:00 p.m - 7:00 a.m.

     CNEL (state): add 5 dB to noise between 7:00 p.m. – 12:00 a.m.; add 10 dB between midnight and 7:00 a.m.
  67. Noise Level Changes

     Just Noticeable – 1 dB difference

    Noticeable – 3 dB difference

     Obvious – 6 dB difference

    Substantial – 10 dB difference

     Medical quantitative expert data used to identify thresholds of significance.
  68. Regulatory Setting Noises


    General Plan Noise Element, Noise Ordinance – identifies acceptable land use noise exposures

     Ambient Noise Levels

    Noise Contour Maps – average exposures identified over broad jurisdictional area. Example of LSA and can be found in a MEA.

    Project-Specific Measurements/Modeling – can be taken within and adjacent to project site to refine Noise Contour readings.
  69. Surrounding Land Uses – Sensitive Receptors

     Schools, Parks, libraries, Residential care medical facilities

     Topography- can “trap” noise- canyons, etc.

     Sensitive Structures (Vibration!)

     Historical buildings more vulnerable to foundation surface treatment damage – i.e., cracking. Photograph/video buildings before construction.
  70. CEQA Appendix G-

     noise exposures exceeding local plan or
    ordinance;

     “Excessive vibration or noise?

     “Substantial permanent noise increase?

     Local Thresholds (like SB County)

     Exceed exterior level of 65 dB(A) CNEL
    affecting sensitive receptors?

     Exceed interior level 45 dB(A) CNEL?

     Substantially increase ambient noise level?
  71. Short-Term Construction

    Construction equipment – “stationary” onsite, mobile traffic to/from site. Standard noise levels established for equipment types.

    Attenuation – noise levels reduced by 6 dB with doubling of distance.

    Long-Term Operations

    Mobile sources – traffic on roadways.

    Stationary sources – industrial machinery, school and church bells, outdoor recreation noise.

    Modeling- projected noise based on existing measurements and anticipated intensity of land uses.
  72. Reduce Noise

     Restrict construction schedule to daylight hours, no weekends or holidays.

     Place stationary equipment away from project site boundaries and adjacent sensitive receptors

     Construct temporary sound walls, such as plywood, etc.

     Ensure equipment is well-maintained (mufflers)
     Avoid pile driving if possible (nasty!)

     Avoid/Compensatory

     Offer temporary lodging to adjacent sensitive receptors
  73. Short-Term Reduce

     Construct Sound Wall

     On property boundary of industrial plant

     On property boundary of residential
    development

     Must be solid- vegetation doesn’t work

     Height dependent on adjacent noise source, topography

     Interior – Reduce

     Building materials, double-paned windows.

     No windows facing noise source (freeway) using A/C, ventilation instead
  74. VIBRATION
    Mitigation Measures

    Short-Term Construction - Rectify

     Compare building condition after construction to photographs taken prior to activity. Repair any damage.

    Long-Term Operation- Rectify

     Anticipating increased vibrations from additional heavy truck traffic or new rail, stabilize structures that are not constructed to current Building & Safety standards to extent feasible.
  75. Aesthetics - Visual Resources Qualitative Analysis

    Descriptive Rather than Numerical.

    Presence or absence of particular attributes that make up a pleasing visual quality.

    Visibility: degree to which these attributes can be experienced from a viewpoint. Includes duration of the experience.

    Quality: degree to which the attributes have been compromised or reduced in quality.
  76. Aesthetics - Visual Resources Quantitative Analysis

    Quantitative
    – attribute a score to a view to provide relative merits compared to other views. Visual Resource Management Systems (VRM)
    Inventory of landscape quality 
    characteristics including aesthetic “modifiers.”

    Inventory Amount of Use: degree to which view is experienced, and sensitivity level of public.

    Map Degree of Visibility or Distance from View:
    fore-ground, middle-ground, or background.

    Combine into Matrix: to determine quality of view, and even severity of the visual impact.
  77. CEQA – Primarily Qualitative

    SB County Thresholds - Individual Assessment

    Natural Physical Attributes: topography, vegetation, water bodies.

    Cultural Features: historic structures, contemporary structures, power lines, towers, etc.

    Clearly Identify: sources of information and how description is developed.
  78. NEPA – Quantitative

    US Forest Service - Visual Management
    System

    Natural Physical Attributes: landform,
    rock form, vegetation, lakes or streams.

    Sensitivity Level:
    relative visibility, intensity of use, importance to users.

    Distance zones: is view in foreground, middle-ground or background?

    Matrix:
    combines scores to determine significance and appropriate mitigation.
  79. Inventory, Identification
     
    Describe Visual Resources
    are they present? Have they been blocked by structures or vegetation? What is the expanse of the view? Photographs very helpful.

    Public Views
    – scenic highways, bike paths, trails, recreational areas. Private views not normally addressed.

    Duration of the View – speed of traveler and time that the individual will experience the view.
  80. CEQA Appendix G, I.

    “Would the project:
    a. Have a substantial adverse effect on a scenic vista;

    b. Substantially damage scenic resources such as trees, rock outcroppings, historic buildings within a state scenic highway?;

    c. Substantially degrade the existing visual character or quality of the site and surroundings; or

    d. Create a new source of substantial light or glare?

    Polices – consistency with Open Space Element, Scenic Highway Corridors, Parks and Rec. Designations, etc.
  81. Impact Assessment

    Computer Simulations – photos or videos that show the change in visual character, including vegetation. Subject to potential bias from methodologies (e.g., architectural renderings)

    Story Poles – PVC poles that are erected along lines of proposed structures, with ribbons hung along lines suspended from the poles to create sense of bulk. mass.

    Line of Sight Diagrams– two dimension renderings that show ability to view structure from common point of view.
  82. Phase 3: Mitigation

    Avoid
    – Redesign project to protect views of scenic resources; clustering of structures and maximize open space areas for recreational use.

    Reduce – Lower height of structures to allow views of most important visual resources- mountain ridgelines, etc.

    Compensate – screen views of development with vegetation such as trees, bushes. Need to avoid creating incompatible visual character, and even greater blockage of views.

    Rectify
    – restore native landscaping to enhance existing visual resources.
  83. As With Each Environmental Issue

    Intent is to characterize/describe the existing conditions on the project site and within the area of area of potential effect (APE)

    Accurate description of the environmental setting is critical to defensible assessment of project impacts

    Particular to Geology

    Comprehensive description of geologic and soils characteristics probably requires site- specific field studies

    Geologic conditions often ‘regional’
  84. GEOLOGY & SOILS Impact Assessment
    Our Discussion Includes:

    Initial Study Checklist
    Appendix G of State CEQA Guidelines

    Jurisdiction Can Create/Adopt Local Version

    Significance Thresholds
    Not Required Under Statute

    Intended to Make CEQA Impact Assessment

    Consistent, Uniform, Comparable

    Subject to Local Variation
  85. GEOLOGY & SOILS Impact Assessment:

    Significance Thresholds

     Threshold language likely to be qualitative rather than quantitative, for this resource area

    Determination typically based upon results from technical studies by licensed professional(s)

    Uniform Building Code & State Legislation are typical sources for performance criteria addressing geology concerns for new development
  86. Significance Thresholds Examples

    Faulting
     
     
    Location across fault trace (often qualified by
    “active or potentially active fault”)

    Seismicity


    Habitable structures ␣ Hospital


    Liquefaction

    Habitable structures
     
    May be a factor even if much deeper than proposed foundation depth

    Compressible / Collapsible Soils

    Habitable structures

    May be a factor even if much deeper than
    proposed foundation depth

    Expansive Soils 

    Habitable structures

    Infrastructure improvements

    Compressible / Collapsible Soils

    Habitable structures

    Roadways

    High / Shallow Groundwater 

    Habitable structures, especially those with sub- surface components

    Wastewater disposal systems
  87. Significance Thresholds Examples

    Slope Stability

    If structures, access roads, or utility systems are proposed to be constructed on natural slope exceeding 20%

    If project would create a slope greater than 2:1 or with relative elevation of more than 15 feet

    If building site is above or below slope with historic landslide activity

    If construction is proposed on slope area composed of soil material or geologic formation with known instability issues (Rincon Shale, etc.)
  88. Mitigation Strategies (Geology/Soils)

    Faulting

    Establish a structural / utility line setback zone
    from identified fault location

    Where utility lines must cross fault, equip with sensors and automatic shut-offs

    Seismicity

    Design and construct buildings to withstand identified ‘maximum credible ground acceleration’

    Ensure project residents receive appropriate information and are given adequate direction with regard interior improvements
  89. Flora (Vegetation)

    Fauna (Animals)
    Species. ESA and CESA Regulations

    Endangered: in serious danger of becoming extinct throughout all or significant portion of its range.

    Threatened:
    likely to become endangered within foreseeable future throughout....

    Rare:
    not presently “T” or “E,” but found in small numbers that it may become endangered if environment worsens.

    Special Concern: not listed by feds or by state agency, but candidates for state listing by other orgs (i.e., Native Plant Society, etc.)
  90. Habitats – combination of food, water, cover and other resources a species requires to survive

    Critical Habitat:
    specific habitat essential for survival of T/E species, often requiring special management and protection (ex. coastal sage scrub –gnatcatcher)

    Environmental Sensitive Habitat (ESH):
    (ex. special concern species like monarch butterflies; unique biol. Productivity like kelp beds, riparian corridors, dune; educational value like Coal Oil Point).

    Wetlands (ESH):
    saturated periodically or seasonally, like marsh, vernal pools, estuaries. Supports unique flora and fauna, 1/2 of U.S. T/E species help filter runoff from urban development into water bodies.
  91. Qualitative and Quantitative. -

    Review Existing Data Bases maintained by state and local agencies. CA Natural Diversity Data Base has records of all areas where biologists have identified T/E, Special Status species and habitats.

    Fieldwork: identify presence of habitats and species, and measure presence with GPS to allow for mapping.

    Existing Management Practices:
    agriculture, brushing for fire suppression that can affect species and habitat, vegetation, water bodies.

    Integrity:
    quality of habitat resulting from modern
    conditions (ex. Sediments in creek, invasive flora).
  92. Environmental Setting - Species

    The Good: relatively easy to identify, given likelihood of presence in given habitat.

    The Bad:
    some floral species only present during flowering season, making identification challenging; others vary from year to year, due to rain levels, or just because (i.e., Monarch butterfly trees).

    The Ugly:
    difficult to know, understand full extent and distribution of species over wider region (i.e., snail darter and Tennessee Dam).
  93. Impact Assessment

    GPS Quantification of Direct Impacts– overlay development areas on mapped habitats and species to determine areas to be disturbed)

    Indirect Impacts - Qualitative – disturbance to species and habitats from adjacent construction noise, removal of habitat (ex. effects on raptors in trees).

    Human Encroachment– Qualitative – wildlife corridors being constrained by roads; pets entering in adjacent riparian areas and open spaces capable of killing smaller species.
  94. Biological Resources

    Avoid – Provide open spaces including ESH areas, wildlife corridors; cluster development with increased density.

    Reduce
    – Redesign to minimize native tree number or habitat acreage loss.

    Compensate
    – Replanting of native trees removed on 10:1 basis, transplant animals to safe alternative habitat (Desert tortoise); restore native habitat vegetation onsite.

    Rectify
    – restore and/or acquire native habitat offsite and place in sanctuary were it will be preserved forever (critical habitat for CA Tiger Salamander, Burton Mesa chaparral).
  95. Is it appropriate to mitigate biological resource impacts offsite?

    NO: Project neighbors may not experience mitigation benefits (visual, recreational). May not truly compensate in kind for loss.

    YES: Can provide for preservation of larger, contiguous areas outside of urban area. Small project scan provide be3neficial contribution to larger, regional preservation efforts

    The Nature Conservancy. Partners with developers who contribute to purchase of larger expanses such as Santa Monica Mountains, Irvine Ranch, etc.
  96. Flooding - Potential for project to be located within an area subject to flooding hazards. Potential for project to contribute to flooding hazards by affecting watershed drainage.

    Surface Runoff – Project site increase in impervious surfaces that results in concentrated runoff from site into nearby watershed.

    Stormwater Quality– Contributing contaminants in runoff to nearby watershed.

    Groundwater Extraction – Reduction of available potable water leading to groundwater basin overdraft.
  97. Flooding. Federal Emergency Management Agency Flooding Insurance Rate Maps. Identify presence of areas subject to potential flooding in 1:25 years, 50 years, 100 years. (LSA)

    Surface Runoff.
    Identify project topography and existing drainage patterns, relationship to adjacent watershed downstream (creeks, etc.)

    Stormwater Quality. Determine project area that currently absorbs runoff during rainfall (not paved), characteristics of soils (well-drained?)

    Groundwater Extraction.
    Where does proposed water source come from? If groundwater basin, what is current capacity and demand. Overdraft =more withdrawals than replenished through rainfall percolation.
  98. Flooding

    Is Project located in 100-year floodway, a high flooding hazard? 100-year threshold is subjective.

    Would project cause changes to 100-year floodway , thereby increasing hazards outside the existing area of exposure?

    Surface Runoff
    Project creates runoff exceeding capacity of existing
    drainage infrastructure (storm drains, etc.). 

    Project concentrates runoff that could generate erosion.

    Project increases offsite runoff over existing levels (new EPA standards).
  99. Stormwater Quality- Construction

    Will construction occur in rainy season?

    Does project require substantial grading, particularly adjacent to water courses, or would it require alteration to a water course?

    Stormwater Quality
    - Long-Term Operation
    Increase in impervious (paved) surface areas,
    particularly parking?

    Storage of hazardous chemicals (pool maintenance!)?

    Project application of hazardous chemicals including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers (landscaping too!)?
  100. Groundwater Extraction

    Project water demand would result in substantial decrease in available groundwater supplies, contributing to overdraft.

    Land Use Water Demands established per person, per square foot (commercial, industrial), per acre (landscaping)

    Quantitative determination of how much available supply is left to support development for the long- term, e.g. 75-year horizon (ex. 10 AFY)

    Would project interfere with the recharge (return flows) of the underlying groundwater basin?
  101. Mitigation Measures
    Flooding 
    Avoid. Elevate the proposed project 2-feet above the estimated
    100-year flood elevation.

    Avoid. Redesign improvements such as roadways, drainage away from the edge of the floodway.

    Surface Drainage

    Avoid. Redesign drainage plan away from exposed ground
    surfaces that would generate erosion.

    Reduce. Minimize impervious surfaces, substituting turfblock roadways for asphalt or concrete that provide filtration.

    Reduce. Incorporate retention basins, bioswales to increase stormwater filtration onsite. Project creates runoff exceeding capacity of existing drainage infrastructure (storm drains, etc.).

    Compensate. Build new or upgrade existing stormwater conveyance systems

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