CHAPTER 5

CEQA STATUS AND FINDINGS

The SFOBB East Span Seismic Safety Project is exempt by statute from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) under California Streets and Highways Code (CSHC) Section 180.2 and CEQA Section 21080.

Sections 21000 through 21178.1 of the Public Resources Code make up the CEQA statutes. Section 21080 contains a list of projects that are generally identified as statutorily exempt; that is, they are granted exemption from CEQA by the state legislature. These are distinguished from other classes of projects listed in Section 21084 that may be found to be categorically exempt after some review.

CEQA Section 21080, subdivision (b) sets forth the types of activities that are excluded from CEQA, and paragraph (4) of this subdivision specifically includes actions necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency. According to the CSHC, as amended, the structural modification of an existing highway structure or toll bridge (Section 180.2 [a]) and the replacement of a highway structure or toll bridge within, or immediately adjacent to, an existing right-of-way (Section 180.2 [b]) shall be considered to be activities under subdivision (b), paragraph (4).

In the current project, the Retrofit Existing Structure Alternative meets the definition in Section 180.2 (a) and the replacement alternatives meet the definition in Section 180.2 (b). All project alternatives are considered "specific actions necessary to prevent or mitigate an emergency" and are, therefore, statutorily exempt from CEQA. Some exemptions are complete exemptions from CEQA, and other exemptions apply to only part of CEQA requirements. The exemption of emergency actions is a complete exemption and does not require any environmental review under CEQA.

Appendix H of this FEIS contains the Notice of Exemption, pursuant to CEQA, that was filed with the State Clearinghouse and with the Clerks of the Counties of Alameda and San Francisco in the Fall of 1998. The placement of this notice in the FEIS is for the readers’ reference; it does not constitute a new noticing procedure under CEQA, nor does this project require additional noticing under CEQA. This notice was previously published in the DEIS appendices for the readers’ reference.