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  1. Impacts and Mitigation Measures Steven Blum

  2. What is an Impact? “Impacts” = “Effects” (Guidelines §15358) CEQA focuses on physical changes Purely economic or social impacts (e.g. property values) are not environmental impacts subject to CEQA analysis

  3. Significant Impacts A significant impact is a “substantial or potentially substantial adverse change in…physical conditions” (Guidelines §15382) Economic or social impacts may be considered significant only if they lead to environmental impacts May help determine whether physical change is significant Must be examined if they lead to physical change (e.g., “urban decay”)

  4. Potentially Significant Impacts Direct impacts Effects directly attributable to project Reasonably foreseeable indirect impacts Temporary impacts Impacts removed in time and space Impacts of implementing a reasonable range of compliance measures (e.g. construction, air quality and noise) 4

  5. More Potentially Significant Impacts • Growth-inducing effects • Will the project lead to additional growth? • Cumulative effects • Project’s contribution in combination with effects of other projects

  6. Typical SED Impacts • Basin plans/TMDLs: Not just a plan on paper • Basin Planning projects rarely result in direct impacts from construction (but it’s possible) • Indirect impacts from compliance projects

  7. More Typical SED Impacts • The SED must examine and disclose all reasonably foreseeable indirect impacts • Adverse impacts of the plan/TMDL • Temporary impacts • Indirect impacts usually derive from implementation of alternative compliance measures

  8. Cumulative Impacts A cumulative impact is: Two or more individual impacts which, taken together, result in a significant impact (Guidelines §13555) Includes impacts resulting from past, present, reasonably probable future activities Individual impacts may be less than significant taken by themselves Practical view: an impact that results from the contributions of many actions Example: Global Warming More detail coming in the next presentation!

  9. Mitigation and Certified Regulatory Programs • Basin Plan amendments/TMDLs include alternative compliance measures that may result in significant effects • Board cannot normally specify means of compliance • BUT the SED must include a menu of mitigation measures for each significant impact, for each alternative compliance method that dischargers may undertake

  10. Mitigation in the SED • For every potentially significant impact, the SED must identify available mitigation measures that will reduce or avoid the impact • If the mitigation measure is not assured, it may not serve as the basis for a determination of “less than significant” • Mitigation measures are not required for insignificant effects

  11. Mitigation in the SED • Mitigation measures must be “feasible” • If part of a determination of “less than significant,” mitigation measures must be fully enforceable • If you are certain that measure(s) will be implemented by either the lead or responsible agencies, check box for “less than significant with mitigation incorporated” • If implementation of measure(s) is discretionary by another agency check box for “potentially significant impact”

  12. Mitigation in the SED • If mitigation is infeasible, the SED must explain why • Legal, economic, technical, other reasons • Formulation of mitigation measures cannot be deferred, but measures may specify mitigating performance standards which may be accomplished in more than one way

  13. Five Types of Mitigation

  14. Avoidance Avoid the impact altogether by not taking certain actions or parts of an action

  15. Rectification or Restoration Rectify the impact by repairing, rehabilitating, or restoring the affected environment

  16. Compensation Compensate for the impact by replacing or providing substitute resources or environments

  17. The Menu of Mitigation Measures • SED must identify WHO will be responsible for implementing and enforcing the measures • For each potentially significant impact, the SED must explain HOW the implementing agency can mitigate that impact • Think creatively about other Water Board authorities and our ability to require mitigation • Such as site cleanup orders, conditional waivers, general permit conditions…

  18. Summary Basin Plan amendment may result in significant adverse impacts TMDLs and some BPAs must analyze reasonably foreseeable compliance methods Compliance measures may result in adverse impacts SED must analyze and disclose adverse impacts SED must include a menu of mitigation measures that would mitigate each of the impacts

  19. Questions?