||MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION
Southern California Edison (SCE) is required by AB 890 to determine the value of its 56% share in Mohave Generating Station (MGS) by December 31, 2001. AB 1890 requires some utility-owned generation assets to be valued using appraisal, sale or other valuation methods. SCE has chosen to determine the value of its share of MGS by sale using an auction process. The valuation proposal is contained in SCE's Section 851 Application submitted to the CPUC.
As required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Commission assessed the potential environmental impacts of the proposed project as part of its decision to grant or deny SCE's application. This Mitigated Negative Declaration has been prepared based on the assessment presented in the Initial Study.
The project proponent (SCE) proposes to value its 56% share in the MGS through an auction. SCE has identified the construction of 500 feet of fencing (to separate the MGS from the switching yard) as the only physical improvement that may result from the sale.
POSSIBLE CONNECTED ACTIONS
Reasonably foreseeable actions were evaluated as part of the CEQA analysis. A range of possible actions could occur if SCE sells its share of the plant. Possible connected actions are described below.
Continued Existing Operations
A new owner may choose to continue the operations at the MGS essentially the same as those currently occurring. Under this scenario, the MGS could continue to operate within the confines of existing permit requirements.
The MGS output could be increased because the plant is not currently running at maximum output. A new owner could increase generation by changing maintenance procedures and modifying and replacing equipment at the MGS.
The Initial Study was prepared to assess the potential effects of the valuation of the MGS on the environment in the project area. The Initial Study as based on information taken from SCE's Proponent's Environmental Assessment (PEA) (1999), SCE identified no significant environmental effects of the valuation and therefore did not propose any mitigation measures.
Based on the analysis presented in the Initial Study, the proposed project and related actions would have less-than-significant effects or no impacts in the areas of:
- Air Quality
- Agricultural Resources
- Biological Resources
- Geology and Soils
- Hydrology and Water Quality
- Hazards and Hazardous Materials
- Land Use and Planning
- Mineral Resources
- Population and Housing
- Public Services
- Transportation and Traffic
- Utilities and Service Systems
- Mandatory Findings of Significance
The Initial Study indicates that the proposed project or related actions could have potentially significant impact in the area of cultural resources. The impact identified as potentially signiicant could be mitigated to avoid the impact or reduce it to a less-than-significant level. the potential impact and mitigation measure for the project are described below.
Construction of the fence has the potential to affect previously unidentified resources, such as buried archaeological resources or disturb buried human remains. This potential impact would be mitigated to a level of insignificance with the imposition of the mitigation measure below.
If digging is required to install a fence, work areas shall be monitored during construction by a qualified archaeologist. Potential effects of the installation can be mitigagted to a less-than-significant level in accordance with the applicable state, federal, and local regulations by avoiding, recording, and/or recovering identified cultural resources. If the cultural resources are identified, construction or excavation activities shall be temporarily halted or directed to other areas, pending the archaeologists evaluation of the resource's significance. The materials and site shall be recorded using standard archaeological survey methods. The site shall be evaluated by a qualified archaeologist for its significance in consultation with the Nevada Department of Historical Preservation and Archaeology. If significant resources are found, the site shall be avoided or a data recovery plan shall be developed and implemented to ensure that the information contained in the site is not lost. If the site is determined to not be significant, no further action is required.
If human remains are encountered, the archaeologist shall contact the appropriate County Coroner immediately, and security measures shall be implemented to ensure that burials are not vandalized. No further construction disturbance of the site shall occur until the decision of disposition has been made and implemented pursuant to applicable law.
Based on the analysis of the Initial Study and the Mitigation measure identified therein, and incorporated into the project, the Commission finds that the project shall not have a significant effect on the environment.
Natalie Walsh, Manager, Analysis Branch, Energy Division Date: February 3, 2000
California Public Utilities Commission