SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102-3298

July 31, 1998

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

RE: Variance Request #92 - Relocation of the project pipeline from station numbers 2918+09 to 2953+89 north of Castaic (a distance of 3,580 feet), Los Angeles County, 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 was examined by a PPSI biologist on July 13, 1998. Vegetation along the proposed M-70 right-of-way consists of disturbed ground species. Grasses consists of ripgut and red bromis. The forb component consists of heavy stands of mustard, star thistle, asters, datura, native tobacco, and prickly lettuce. No sign of Piersons morning glory (or other morning glory) were noted. Wildlife encountered included fence lizards. Numerous rodent trails were observed through the grass, but no rodents were encountered. No snakes or other terrestrial species were encountered. Birds noted included a California king bird, several species of sparrows, and ravens. No nesting habitat was encountered during the July 13 survey; however, a crows nest (fledged) was identified adjacent to the right-of-way on July 21, 1998 during a survey conducted by the CPUC Lead Environmental Monitor. No sensitive biological species were encountered during the investigations. No significant biological impacts are anticipated with the implementation of the measures noted below.

Cultural Resources. The proposed realignment was examined by a PPSI archaeologist on July 13, 1998. No evidence of prehistoric or historic resources were identified. Given the disturbance caused by the construction of the Mobil M-70 line, it is unlikely that an intact deposits are remaining with the M-70 right-of-way. A representative of Owl Clan Consultants was present during the survey, but due to the nature of the past disturbances, no concerns were noted. 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 steep slopes for placement of the pipeline. No significant geotechnical impacts are anticipated with the implementation of the measure noted below.

Hydrology. Neither the original right-of-way or the proposed realignment would traverse any hydrologic features. The proposed reroute would move the pipeline and construction activities further to the east from a flow creek. No significant impacts to hydrological resources would result.

Traffic. A minor reduction in traffic impacts would result since the original right-of-way would have required construction within the shoulder of an existing dirt road used by several utilities to access their facilities.

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 an already disturbed right-of-way, a minor reduction in cumulative visual impacts from construction within the area would result.

Public Utilities. The proposed realignment would place the pipeline within a utility corridor containing a 16-inch Mobil M-70 pipeline and a 10-inch Mobil oil line. Implementation of project measures to protect existing utilities during construction would reduce any potential construction impacts to these facilities.

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 approval shall be submitted to the CPUC Environmental Monitor upon receipt.

- 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.

- 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, the steep 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 the adjacent dirt roadway.

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


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

Back to Variances Pages

Back to MMCRP Home Page