SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102-3298

July 30, 1998

Dean Shauers, Project Manager
Pacific Pipeline System, Inc.
12201 E. Arapahoe Road, C10
Englewood, CO 80112

RE: Variance Request #100 - Relocation of the project pipeline from station numbers 2686+84 to 2708+88 south of Templin Highway (a distance of 2204 feet), Los Angeles County and Angeles National Forest (ANF), Segment 2C.

Dear Mr. Shauers:

We have reviewed the above-referenced variance request and approve your request, based on the following factor:

Biological Resources. The proposed realignment (100 foot coverage) was examined by PPSI biologists (L. Hunt and D. Keefe) on June 6, 1998. The proposed realignment traverses mostly west-facing slopes vegetated with non-native annual grassland (with a significant weed/forb component), coastal sage scrub, and several small intermittent and perennial watercourses. Bird species observed along the realignment included: lazuli bunting (17), common raven (1), western flycatcher (1), ash-throated flycatcher (2), unid. hummingbird (1), Anna’s hummingbird (3), California towhee (1), Bewick’s wren (1), spotted towhee (1), yellow warbler (1), black phoebe (1), house wren (1), brown-headed cowbird (1), scrub jay (1), and California quail (2). No nesting bird activity was observed during the June 6 survey or July 22 survey conducted by the CPUC Lead Environmental Monitor. No sensitive biological species were encountered during the survey. No significant biological impacts are anticipated with the implementation of the measures noted below. In addition, since nesting season is over and the young have fledged, no impact to nesting birds is anticipated.

Cultural Resources. The proposed realignment was examined for cultural resources by the PPSI environmental inspector. No evidence of prehistoric or historic resources were identified. Given the disturbance caused by the construction of numerous utilities through the area, it is unlikely that an intact deposits are remaining. A representative of Owl Clan Consultants was present during the survey, but due to the nature of the past disturbances, no concerns were noted. The original EIR/EIS provided a literature review of the area and no recorded cultural resources have been identified in the vicinity. No significant impacts to cultural resources are anticipated with the implementation of the measure noted below.

Geotechnical. Neither the original right-of-way or the proposed realignment are located on active faults or areas subject to lateral spreading. The proposed reroute would require the excavation into some steeper slopes than that of the original alignment. No significant geotechnical impacts are anticipated with the implementation of the measure noted below.

Hydrology. Both the original right-of-way and the proposed realignment would traverse several small intermittent and perennial watercourses. No significant impacts to hydrological resources are anticipated with the implementation of the measures noted below.

Traffic. Both the original right-of-way and proposed realignment would terminate at Templin Highway, within 200 feet of each other. By requiring that no construction equipment or materials be allowed on Templin Highway or Paradise Ranch Road (see below), no traffic impacts on these roadways are anticipated.

Visual Resources. Construction within either the original right-of-way or the proposed realignment would be intermittently visible by passing motorists on portions of Interstate 5. However, by moving the pipeline to the eastern fringe of an already disturbed utility right-of-way, only a minor increase in the cumulative visual impacts from utility construction/revegetation within the area would result.

Public Utilities. The original and proposed realignment would place the pipeline within a utility corridor containing numerous existing pipelines. By moving the pipeline to the eastern fringe of the utility corridor and by implementing the project measures to protect existing utilities during construction, potential construction impacts to these facilities would be reduced.

Other Issue Areas. Since the original and proposed route are essentially the same length, traversing the same immediate region, no increased impacts would result from the proposed realignment for the following issue areas: air quality, environmental contamination, socioeconomics, system safety, or minority-low income.

- All applicable mitigation measures for the project shall be implemented at the subject location.

- Prior to the commencement of construction, property owner approvals shall be submitted to the CPUC/ANF Environmental Monitor upon receipt.

- As proposed, prior to the commencement of construction, the right-of-way shall be clearly flagged in consultation with the CPUC/ANF Lead Environmental Monitor or ANF Project Representative. The maximum allowable right-of-way width shall be 75 feet, except at stream crossings (intermittent and perennial) where the maximum width shall be 50 feet.

- All vehicle and construction equipment, including excavated soils, shall be restricted to the established right-of-way.

- Prior to initial brush clearing and grading, a qualified biologist shall walk the area to be cleared to verify that there are no active bird nests. If an active bird nest is found, PPSI shall consult with the CPUC for further instructions.

- Prior to initial brush clearing and grading, a qualified wildlife biologist shall walk in front of or alongside equipment to salvage and relocate any species encountered.

- If stream crossings are active (flowing) during time of construction, appropriate stream crossing techniques (e.g., dam and pump, or flume) shall be implemented.

- Appropriate measures shall be implemented at all stream crossings (e.g., sand bags, silt fencing, etc.) to prevent the deposit or future migration of construction silt and debris into the waterways.

- Topsoil from the areas to be cleared and graded shall be salvaged and stockpiled for the duration of site-specific activity. The salvaged soil shall be covered with grubbed vegetation to reduce loss from aeolian transport.

- Upon completion of construction, slopes excavated for pipeline placement shall be recontoured/stabilized to ensure that future drainage across the area will not result to damage to the right-of-way. In addition, the subject area shall be appropriately revegetated in accordance with the Erosion Control, Revegetation, and Landscaping Plan.

- A qualified archaeologist and Native American monitor shall be present during excavation activities. If any signs of cultural resources are identified, work shall cease immediately, and the site shall be evaluated using the procedures in the Cultural Resources Management Plan.

- The location shall not be used for fuel or hazardous material storage.

- All drips, leaks, and/or spills from vehicles and/or equipment shall be excavated immediately and disposed of in appropriate, labeled containers.

- No parking or storage of vehicles (including personnel vehicles), equipment, pipe, or any other project-related items shall be allowed on Templin Highway or Paradise Ranch Road.

- Implementation of this variance in accordance with the provisions noted above shall be verified on a random basis by a CPUC/ANF Environmental Monitor.

This approval is not considered valid until the corresponding ANF approval is issued.


Andrew Barnsdale
Project Manager
cc: R. Borden, ANF
H. Rastegar, Aspen

Back to Variances Pages

Back to MMCRP Home Page